“I have lived before.”
This is probably one of the strangest, most unnerving things a parent can hear from a child. At two or three years old, children start stringing words together into sentences and learning to express themselves to the people around them. This is a milestone in a child’s developing years – a much awaited stage that many parents look forward to because they’d be able to understand and communicate with their children better.
But when your child starts talking about having lived in a different time – an alternate universe where you don’t exist – and describing the events in his past life in precise detail, the joy of hearing your child express himself more clearly gives way to an unsettling feeling.
How can you differentiate between a child’s figment of imagination and a true story of reincarnation? If your child has indeed lived a past life, what will you do?
Below is a true and recently investigated account of a child who claims he has lived in the past:
”Mama, I think I used to be someone else.”
This was what four-year-old Ryan Hammons suddenly told his mother Cyndi one night as he was being tucked into bed. The child was upset that he couldn’t remember the names of his three sons, but he kept insisting that he lived in Hollywood in a big white house with a swimming pool.
His mom started researching about reincarnation when Ryan kept getting more and more disturbed about the memories from his supposedly past life. But then, as Ryan and his mom were leafing through the pages of a Hollywood book, he suddenly recognized himself from one of the black-and-white photos. It was a still shot taken from Night After Night, a 1930s film. Imagine his mom’s shock when Ryan pointed at one of the men in the photo and said: “That guy’s me. I found me!”
A 1930s Hollywood star trapped in a child’s body
With this discovery, Ryan’s mom sought the help of Dr. Jim Tucker, a top-tier child psychiatrist and researcher of reincarnation cases, to figure out the truth behind her son’s claims and ease his anxiety. Dr. Tucker eventually discovered the identity of the man Ryan recognized in the photos as himself. It was Marty Martyn, a Hollywood actor who died in 1964.
Ryan provided accurate descriptions about some things in Martyn’s life which all turned out to be true. He recognized Hollywood stars from his era, including “that Mary lady” Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth, whom he described as someone making Coke floats. He also identified the actors he worked with in Night After Night – George Raft and Gordon Nance. Ryan also asked his mother once to get him a can of “Tru Ade”, which was a brand of soft drink sold decades ago in the 1940s to the 70s. Ryan couldn’t have known such relevant pieces of information on a certain era at his age – unless he really did live in that era in his past life.
Dr. Tucker further investigated and tested Ryan’s memories of his past life after verifying most of his descriptions. Ryan was able to properly identify Martyn’s wife among four photos of different women and also Senator Ives, a New York senator in the 40s and 50s whom Marty had met, among pictures of four men.
Confronting the ghosts of his past life
To help Ryan find closure on his past life and let go of the memories which cause him distress, Dr. Tucker arranged a meeting with Martyn’s daughter. Upon learning her age, Ryan said: “She got old. Why didn’t she wait for me?” The child got angry, seemingly unable to understand why his “daughter” changed so much through the years and didn’t wait for his return. He was later on quoted as saying: “Same face, but she didn’t wait on me. She changed; her energy changed. I don’t want to go back. I want to always keep this family.”
After the meeting with Martyn’s daughter, Ryan seemed to eventually come to terms with the events in his past life that he can no longer change. He learned to let go of his past, accept his present, and embrace his new family.