I have historically been leery of blogging about my family, so let me tell you a story about an unspecified five year old girl. Let’s call her “K”. Now, K has had a rough year dealing with death. Her most beloved grandparent died this year, and she was at the funeral and saw the burial, not an easy thing to deal with at age 5. She and her brother have had lots of questions about death and the afterlife and burial and stuff, which have been answered as well and honestly as possible. It’s still kind of a hot topic. She’ll talk sometimes about how much she misses her grandma, and her dearest memory is her grandma making her her favorite sandwich (jelly) with the crusts cut off. To her that is ultimate love.
Because of the circumstances, K’s father has avoided playing one of his favorite playstation games, Medievil, because it’s kind of a horror-movie game with a lot of zombie attacks, and the main character is an undead skeleton. Death and things rising from graves might be a little too real.
But he eventually happens across his copy and really wants to play, and it’s been a little while, and probably they won’t even make the connection between this whole fantasy thing and real-world death and mourning, so he plugs it in and plays one night.
And “K” has fun watching it, thinks it’s cool but scary — when she says it’s scary, her dad offers to quit playing but she doesn’t want him to — and he hacks his way, with a sword, through three or four levels of ravening undead, as “K” and her brother watch, enthralled. A couple times in the process he makes sure the kids are clear that there is no such thing, in the real world, as a zombie. They assure him they understand that.
And that’s when she comes out, quite cheerfully and matter-of-factly, with this, and I defy anyone to put together a rational, appropriate fatherly thing to say in response…
“Papa, if Grandma came out of her dead-place in the ground and was a zombie, I would TOTALLY kill her.”