When my son was five, we had seen Abe Lincoln on TV one night. When I was putting him to bed that night he asked, "Mom, am I going to die by getting shot?" I answered, "No, honey, you'll probably just get old and sick and die one day." Suddenly, his face lit up and he smacked himself on the side of the cheek and exclaimed, "Mom, I've already done that! I died once." I said, "You what?" And he repeated, "I died once."
I wondered where this was leading so I asked him, "How Jamie?" He said, "I was a very old man and I was on a ship, a wood ship with a tall pole. We had just gotten to America and everybody else had gotten off. But, can you believe it? I just died before I got there."
I asked him where he had come from. He said, "It was so far away, somewhere across the sea. It was so cold, and we didn't have anything to eat and we were so hungry. And they shot me before I could get off the boat."
I said, "And you remember this?" He said, "Yeh, and everybody else got to get off in America and I just died."
I knew enough about past lives at that point to draw him out, but it was unsettling hearing him talk about his death. But I realized that he was recalling a past lifetime with great clarity, and I let him talk. His memory seemed to be triggered by what he saw on TV, when he heard that Lincoln had been shot. He sounded a little disappointed when he said he never made it to America, but I assured him that he had finally made it.