Sad Ceremony

Brigitte Labbe-Langer will be turning two-years-old on Saturday. But there won’t be any cake, candles or presents for the tiny tot with the reddish hair and the impish smile.

Instead, she’ll spend what should have been her special day in a bed at the Hospital for Sick Children, surrounded by every relative except the ones she wants most – her own mother and father.

Brigitte survived Wednesday’s unthinkable murder-suicide that claimed her parents and her 3-year-old sister, Zoe. And police agree the timing of the tragedy couldn’t be worse.

“Brigitte turns two-years-old tomorrow. The families have to try and get past what's happened this week and move on to the many tomorrows,” laments Det. Sgt. Chris Buck. “We have Christmas around the corner.”

Brigitte’s future isn’t quite as clouded as her present. The Children’s Aid Society has agreed to allow her to be raised by relatives. Her sister, 7-month-old Margot, who emerged from the carnage unscathed, will also be allowed to stay with extended family.

It will be up to those caretakers to one day try and answer the questions the kids are sure to have about what happened to change their lives so terribly. But it’s unlikely anyone will ever be able to give them the reasons they seek.

“They were a gorgeous family. They were perfect,” laments the niece of victim Brian Langer.

Neighbours simply hope the public recalls the lost trio the way they do. “I'd like them to remember that they were a great family, and I want people to know that she didn't know what state of mind she was at,” avers Jennifer Alves.

“I just want them to remember them as being the family that was also close together, the family that always reached out to the community.”

Now it’s the community reaching out to those who are left.


December 3, 2004