No need for shoes, of course, or closets full of empty dresses. No need for the shade of trees or the approval of parents and friends. They don’t care about the objects of this world: a new computer, a house overlooking the sea. The place they occupy may or may not contain a window to all they’ve left behind. We, the living, think of them without knowing who or what they have become. Ghosts? Dust? Butterflies? Wind? Other mysteries — puberty, sex, childbirth — are the business of life, and anyone can tell their story. On the matter of death: only a closed box and the silence of earth or ashes. When my daughter was small, my disappearance behind a blanket or curtain seemed permanent. How could I exist if I was not visible? When I returned, she was grateful: laughter and kisses, her hand on the roots of my hair.