Our littlest KAT is turning four in a month or so and we are super excited about this milestone and the special little person that continues to evolve before our very eyes. In a bittersweet irony, we bear witness to another anniversary in the lead up to the momentous occasion of this Birthday number 4....the anniversary of her grandpa's death.
Our junior KAT's life has been interwoven with her grandpa's since before she was even born and as the years pass, we are witnessing a rather interesting phenomenen. Junior KAT has an imaginary friend. We know he's imaginary because she's never met him, yet she speaks about him as though he is just around the corner, he is a constant companion and a very special friend of hers. Yes, Junior KAT's special friend is "grandpa" and she talks endlessly about him....what they do together, what he likes, how much fun they have and the like.
At first I found the whole conversation a tad off-putting, a bit like the little blonde girl in Poltergeist to be honest...creepy!!! She would speak in such a literal fashion and many is the time she's related to a random stranger stuff about "grandpa" to which they nod obligingly, unaware that she never actually met him...sadly her other grandpa she hears little about and he's still alive, living overseas, SM is not as voluminuous in the anecdote department as I am!!
As time has marched on and her vocabulary has increased the stories are becoming more richly painted and I have come to enjoy them immensely. They do not make me sad, instead I find it to be one of the ways that "grandpa" lives on...as my atheist tendencies are becoming more pronounced, I relish the fact that she has absorbed by osmosis the "fun" grandpa (dad) that I and her sisters like to recall, and that she has translated this into an imaginary companion that is so dear to her and so alive to me.
Yes indeed, there is an afterlife...it's called the imaginary world of a nearly four year old and how it keeps the precious memories of her mummy's daddy aliver and well.