Life Before Life – 4/2

Jim Tucker tells the story of Kendra Carter and her swim instructor Ginger in Chapter 6 of his novel, “Life Before Life.” Kendra was first introduced to Ginger when she was four and a half years old and instantly felt very connected to her. Although the two had only seen each other during Kendra’s swim lessons and talked about nothing other than swimming, Kendra told her mother a couple weeks after her first lesson that Ginger had lost a child. Surprised and skeptical, Kendra’s mother asked how she knew this. Kendra responded, “I’m the baby that was in her tummy.” She continued to describe an abortion to her mother, “saying that Ginger had allowed a bad man to pull her out and that she had tried to hang on but could not.” She further described being in a cold and dark place. Kendra’s mother later learned that Ginger had had an abortion nine years before Kendra was born.

While Kendra was very happy and warm towards Ginger, Ginger wasn’t the same way back. Rather, she was quiet and cool. Kendra insisted on seeing Ginger outside of swim lessons. She claimed she loved her. While Kendra’s mother wasn’t very fond of the idea, she allowed Kendra to stay with Ginger for three nights a week, because Kendra wasn’t happy otherwise. In fact, prior to staying with Ginger, Kendra had an intense fear of dying and told her mother that she wouldn’t come back if she died again.

Kendra’s mother and Ginger eventually had a falling out and Kendra was no longer allowed to see Ginger. Because of this, Kendra did not speak for over four months. Kendra’s mother (naturally) had a very difficult time dealing with this. As a conservative Christian, she didn’t believe in reincarnation and felt as though she were committing a sin by even considering the idea.

Of course, there are many unanswered questions to this story. How did this four year old describe an abortion? Was it a dream or was it real? As Kendra’s mother, how do you deal with this? Furthermore, I found it fascinating that Kendra felt so strongly towards Ginger even though Ginger wasn’t the same way back. I appreciate the way Tucker tells the stories throughout his book and lets the reader decide what theory best explains these incidents. He makes a point to state that the stories aren’t proof — they’re evidence.

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