I was asked about this recently so I decided to do a post about it. This was not a topic that resonated with me at first. It was frowned on in most church circles where I travelled in my younger days. However I had many family members who believed in it, one being my Tibetan Buddhist sister, who used to tease me about being buried twice in the same grave!
At this point I am back to believing in it again as it is the only explanation I’ve found for many of my own experiences and the experiences of many other people I’ve known. My mother believed that I was reincarnated from her sister, Emily, who died in 1938. This story came to me by way of my sister, who has it further documented in letters our mother sent to her in the 1970’s and 80’s.
Emily, was 12 years older than my mother. From what Mom told me she spent a lot of time with Emily while she was growing up. Emily got married in about 1937 and shortly thereafter became pregnant with her first child. Early on in the pregnancy she developed a complication called hyperemesis gravidarum. This condition is basically morning sickness on steroids – you are so sick you can’t eat anything for months on end. As this was 1938 there were not many options for treating this condition. The treatment now involves a lot of IV’s and drugs that can suppress the problem with varying degrees of efficiency and risk. But back then? They tried a lot of things but by the 7th month of the pregnancy Emily contracted pneumonia and died. There were ideas back then about a “good death”. When the doctors decided that Emily would most likely die they started bringing in this endless parade of family members and friends, including my mother who was eight years old at the time. Mom told me (while alive) that she was taken to visit Emily the night before she died. She said Emily was on a feeding tube and couldn’t talk, and looked absolutely terrified. When they took my mother away Emily looked at her a certain way, and this image of the last time she saw her sister stayed with her vividly for the rest of her life.
They buried Emily in the family plot. That is burial #1.