3/26 – “Across Time and Death”

“Across Time and Death” is a story about Jenny Cockell’s journey in finding her children from a supposed previous life. When she was a little girl, Jenny had reoccurring vivid dreams about the death of a woman named Mary. Jenny could describe in great detail the architecture of the room Mary died in, the feeling of what it was like being in the room, the cottage Mary used to live it, a map of the village where Mary used to live, and perhaps the most significant, Mary’s children. The dreams were intense and would leave Jenny sobbing in the middle of the night, worried about what happened to Mary’s children. Jenny kept to herself as a child, as she was too nervous to tell her mother and father about the dreams.

Yet Jenny was not able to let the dreams go. Once she grew up and had children of her own, Jenny decided she had to find the children of her past life. After much work and dedication, Jenny learned more about the Mary in her dreams. When Jenny first got on the phone with the daughter of one of Mary’s sons, Jenny writes, “I said, ‘I know it’s going to sound very strange, but I remember the family through dreams.'” This (to my surprise) did not scare the daughter away, and Jenny was able to learn more about Mary’s children and where they are today. After this conversation, Jenny describes feeling “curiously free” knowing that the children are now grown up and self-sufficient. She felt more able to move on but still felt a strong tie as a mother.

This story, along with the documentary we watched in class on Monday, leaves me with lots of questions. How can we be sure these aren’t coincidental instances? What is the difference between having a reoccurring dream and believing it was a past life? Furthermore, is this a rare case, since like we discussed in class on Monday, most dreams end in the early teen years and the individual forgets this ever happened? What makes some remember and others not?

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