Falling From the Sky

My second book, Return From Heaven, is devoted to cases of reincarnation in the same family.   This is a common phenomenon:  A family member or a loved one dies and reincarnates in the same family.  The surviving family members recognize the new child in the family as the loved one who died through the child's statements, specific, quirky mannerisms, behaviors, physical symptoms related to the death, and other personality traits that cannot be attributed to heredity.  Most people are surprised to learn that the turn-around can be very fast--even less than nine months. Here's a great case a grandmother sent me:

My grandson Alex was born in May of 2000. From the time he was born, he would wake from sleep and thrash, scream, and kick like he was in a panic. He acted as if he was terrified, and for the first ten minutes or so it was if he didn't know who his family was. He would not respond when we tried to sooth and comfort him and get him to calm down. He also frightened easily, and mechanical noises, like the vacuum cleaner, made him scream with fear.

I told my daughter Sally, Alex's mom, that I thought this was caused by some sort of trauma from a past life, and that we had to be extra patient with him. I told Sally that I thought Alex would eventually overcome his fears if he felt loved and cherished. That was our mission as parents and grandparents.

Alex started talking about his past life when he was three. He told his family that he used to live in Florida and he talked about fishing. (Alex and his family do not live in Florida and they don't fish.) A few months after making those remarks, he told a family friend that he had died outside. A few weeks later, when he spent the night with me, he told me that he had died in an airplane that burned up, like in a fireplace, and then it fell out of the sky.  I was shocked, to say the least, but tried not to seem overly concerned to Alex. When his parents came to pick him up the next morning I told them what he had said. Sally was interested. But Richard, Alex's dad, didn't  really want to talk about it because it brought back painful memories for him. His own father, Sam, had died in a plane crash in 1980 when Richard was only eleven. Richard never talked about his father's violent death in front of Alex.

Sam had been a businessman who had lived in Florida. He had owned several yachts and an airplane and regularly made business flights around the U.S. On this particular and fatal flight, he was traveling with his business partner, his partner's young son, who was seven, and a pilot who flew the plane. They had just made a flight to Philadelphia and were flying home. The plane was found crashed and burned in the mountains of Tennessee. It had crashed during a snowstorm. All the occupants of the plane had been killed. Sam's wallet was returned to his wife and it was soaked with blood.

When Alex was four he began talking more about the airplane crash with his mother, but only a few sentences here and there. Then one day, while was was driving in the car with his mother, Alex began to tell her about the plane crash. The details he related were so vivid she began to believe that the story was true, not just his imagination. Plus, so many of the details mirrored what she had heard about the airplane crash that had killed Sam, the father-in-law she had never met. Some of the details Alex told her were unusual, and they involved aspects about the crash she did not know.

Alex told her that when he died he had been a grown man, was married, and had four children. (Sam had been married, and had four children; Richard was his youngest.) Alex said that the plane burned as it fell and hit a mountain. He said the people inside the plane were screaming as the fire burned them. He said there was a “big boy” sitting in the seat beside him who had red hair. This did not make sense to Sally, because Richard had once told her that a young boy of three was on that plane and that the boy had been the son of Sam's business partner. But Alex was insisting that he was a big boy.

Sally questioned Richard about these details when Alex was not around, asking if the boy who died had red hair. At first Richard flatly refused to believe Alex's story. He said his dad's plane did not burn before it crashed, and that the boy was only three, so he wasn't big. He also didn't know if the boy had had red hair. Plus he said that he had never heard anyone say that the boy was sitting next to his dad when they crashed. Sally suggested that they call Richard's older sister, Beverly, who had been twenty at the time of the crash and would know more details.

Richard called Beverly who lives in Florida, and related to her what Alex had said. Beverly got upset and started screaming and crying. She told Richard that their father and the other people on the plane had been burned badly; the plane caught fire as it plummeted to the Earth. They did not tell Richard this at the time of the accident because he was only eleven years old. They were trying to spare him as many of the horrible details as they could. Beverly said that the little boy was older than Richard thought; he was seven years old and he was indeed a redhead. (So to four-year-old Alex, a seven-year-old would have looked like a big boy.) She also verified that the boy had been sitting in the seat next to Sam, not his own father, as Alex had claimed.

Richard was very upset when he found out that his dad had been badly burned before the crash, and that he had suffered terribly before he died. The news came as a great shock.

Richard then, for the first time, told us about the last day he saw his dad alive. His dad was flying out later that afternoon and was packing to leave on his trip. As his father was leaving, his mom decided to take all four kids to get an ice cream. Richard said he remembered his dad kissing him in the driveway and telling him he loved him very much. Richard climbed into the car and watched his dad wave good-bye as they drove away. He never saw his father again.

Shortly after this,  I was babysitting Alex one night. I was putting him in the tub when he turned and looked up at me with huge, sad eyes and said, "Grammie, one time I burned up and fell out of the sky. I was covered with boo-boos and I died."  He then started to cry. He sobbed and sobbed. I held him close and told him not to worry, that it happened a long time ago and he is now safe.

Since that day, he loves to tell me about "when I lived in Florida." He talks on and on about how he owned a boat and loved to go out on the ocean, sit in the sun, and catch fish and eat them. That is exactly how Sam had spent his spare time. He sailed the Caribbean, taking his family on long trips to the islands, catching fish and eating them! Unfortunately, now Alex belongs to a family that does not go fishing, we don't live near water, and we actually hate fish and never eat it. Alex is always begging his mom to buy him some fish to eat.

There are other similarities between Alex and his grandfather Sam. Both love to dance. And, according to Beverly, Alex behaves towards his other grandmother, Laura, who was Sam's wife, the same way Sam did. When Laura tells him to do something, Alex puts his hands on his hips and says, "Nana, no!" in this commanding voice that he doesn't use with anyone else. He also told his mother that he used to be married to Nana.  Beverly believes that Alex is her father reborn. She says that there is no other way that he could have known all the facts of the accident, and some of his behaviors are just like her father's.