Their elder sisters had been killed by a car as they walked to church on a Sunday morning. Less than two years later, their mother had twin girls – one with a birthmark on her forehead identical to a scar on the brow of one of her dead sisters; the other twin had a birthmark on her hip, mirroring one the other dead girl had. In addition to the physical ’evidence’, the girls ‘remembered’ and discussed the accident in which the older girls were killed – despite their parents never having shared the details with them. They also recognised ‘their’ toys – things that had belonged to their dead sisters and had been packed away in the loft.
I was put in mind of this story when I read about an Indonesian man who lost his three daughters in the 2004 Tsunami and has just become father to female triplets. Has he been given his daughters back because they were taken away before their time?
The whole concept of reincarnation fascinates me; I am certain there are those who have been here before and those that haven’t. Some people seem to have an ‘old’ soul and a wisdom that may belie their years, while other adults have the depth of a muddy puddle.
I wrestle with the idea that we have a preordained ‘time to go’. I believe in freedom of choice, and that sometimes we make mistakes and end up travelling along the wrong path. But when life’s going wrong, it's comforting to believe that 'things can only get better', because this isn’t the way it’s meant to be. It engenders a certain cushion of confidence to think: “It’ll be alright, it’s not my time yet."
It's also comforting to believe that when the universe gets it wrong, it puts it right again. I hope that's true.