My maternal grandfather passed away in 2009, just three months before my son was born. I loved him deeply, as he had a significant influence on my upbringing, and was more like a father figure to me and my brother. His absence caused me immense grief, and I often think about him, wondering if he would be proud of me and my life choices.
Dealing with his loss was tough, and I experienced panic attacks and vivid dreams about him. To help me cope, I visited his grave every month for a year, wrote letters and poems to him, and kept his pictures around my house, especially the ones from his youth, which I copied from my grandmother’s collection. These photographs bring me comfort, as if he’s still a part of my life.
Over time, my son has made random comments that seem to have a connection to my grandfather. Even at a young age, he recognized my grandfather in photographs without my prompting, and at age 5, he has occasionally mentioned things that my grandfather enjoyed doing or eating, referring to him by a special name. My son’s appearance and personality also closely resemble my grandfather’s. Even my mother’s husband commented on how one of my son’s facial expressions reminded him of my grandfather’s in his final days, when he was suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Recently, my son and I were at a store shopping for home fragrances, and he asked for an antibacterial hand lotion, specifically choosing the “strawberry pie” scent. When I asked him about it, he told me that strawberry pie was his favorite when he was older and was my grandfather. This took me aback as my grandfather did enjoy strawberry newtons, and one of my fondest memories with him was working on his strawberry garden in the backyard.
This is not the first time my son has mentioned his past, but it is the first time he has claimed to be my grandfather. I had always wished that my son would have a relationship with my grandfather, and even prayed for it before he was born. While I never believed in reincarnation before, I am now at a loss for words and do not know what to think.
I did try to ask my son more questions on the drive home, but he tends to get silly and give vague answers, which makes it challenging to get more information from him. Nonetheless, the incident has left me wondering about the possibility of reincarnation and whether my grandfather’s spirit is somehow connected to my son.