I’m not a religious person. I do not believe in a God. I do not pray. I struggle with thoughts of the afterlife. Is anyone really sure what happens after we die? Are we simply recycled within the Earth to give life to new beings? Do our spirits live on in other bodies?
The day I was hit with the pure belief of reincarnation was September 28th, 2013 driving up to Amherst, Massachusetts with my family to visit my sister at her university. This was our first family road trip in a few years. We were all busy wrapped up in our own lives and finally made time for a trip together. It was still warm outside and the sun was shining brightly.
My dad made a wrong turn somewhere on the interstate which set our trip back an entire hour. All of us were annoyed and frustrated driving through dizzy back roads trying to make our way back to the main road. Then I saw it. A medium sized log cabin with bright yellow and orange mums in the garden and an American flag proudly waving. I was so suddenly taken over with this intense vision of my past life.
I saw this house in my mind, maybe 30 or 40 years ago. In my vision I saw the big hill behind the house, with older people sitting in white rocking chairs at the top of it. So many children were rolling down the hill, laughing, playing and smiling. Then I saw myself. I am old, a grandfather. My face is leathery and wrinkled.
I’m wearing an aged military uniform. There are American flags everywhere. My grandchildren run up to me and embrace me. I feel overcome with love and happiness and fulfillment as I watch them play on the big hill.
My mind returns to the car with my family and the road trip. We’ve passed the house and I didn’t see the name of the street or the number or anything to remember it by.
It took me a few weeks of deep thought to really dissect what happened during that moment. I truly and firmly believe with no doubt that I saw a memory from my past life. I was a war veteran, a grandfather and I had a big family. I was very old and lead a long and healthy life. The feeling I had during my vision was unlike anything I’ve experienced as a 21-year-old. I felt like a parent, like there was nothing else in this life that I loved more than these children playing in front of me. I felt so complete in that moment, watching these children that would carry on my memory thrive in the sun and enjoy themselves.
I still don’t know why I saw what I saw. Maybe there’s a part of our brains that store the memories from our past lives but we just can’t access them unless they’re triggered by an image or person or even a smell. I know that my dad was meant to take that wrong turn. We were meant to get lost and drive past my old home. I was meant to see it.
When things get confusing and scary for me and I start thinking about what happens after we die and how my body will rot in the ground like everyone else’s, I center myself with the thought of this moment. My spirit will live on. I will lead another life in a new body and my energy will not perish.