Which is probably how I got through the entire story outline without making any decision about who they are.
Except now, for some reason, it's staring me in the face as I start to write.
Only child is easy, but if I make him an orphan with no close relations, I still have to give him some kind of guardian, and if the death is close enough, some reaction.
Especially since a major character's parents and what happened to them is an important plot point.
could give him only one parent, and the muse is leaning toward a male one -- or a close relative who raised him -- but it's not clear yet. Especially since it's going to affect the story.