The Funny Thing About the Past

Once we unlocked the ability to remember across lifetimes, we had to figure out what to do with it

Hengtee Lim (Snippets)
Human Parts
Published in
18 min readAug 2, 2017
Illustrations: Don Barkhouse III

WWhen we first announced the results of our research, the world responded with a mix of curiosity, skepticism, and disbelief. This was expected. To say our findings might shock the world was an understatement — we had taken what people knew about life and death and flipped the idea on its head.

It was only natural that many didn’t want to believe it, and it’s perhaps only natural that many still don’t.

But that’s life, really, whether this one or the next.

Belief, I think, is a matter of choice.

I remember the day our findings made the news. I was tired and worn out. It had been a long day and a longer night, and I felt anxious. I turned off my computer, left my phone on my desk, and took a book to a local café.

At a table by the window, I sipped a coffee and tried to empty my mind. I sometimes glanced at Sara as she served customers, wiped the counter, or stared into space. The sight of her was comforting.

I remember deciding I would finally talk to her. I had always thought of Sara as my soul mate and long felt a connection between us, like an invisible string tying our hearts together.

For the longest time, I put that feeling down to an overactive imagination, but now I knew it was true.

People looked to poke holes in our results and find fault in our data. The amount of skepticism in the news was healthy, but the ignorance and outright attacks were more than a little overwhelming.

It’s funny to think of how difficult it is to argue with cold, hard facts but how often we see them crumble beneath faith and strong emotions. It’s like there’s the truth we’re willing to accept and the truth we’re not.

In the end, I didn’t speak to Sara that day. I thought about it and knew what I wanted to say, but I couldn’t quite find the words or the timing.

And even though I’d been through this experience countless times, I wanted it to be different with Sara. I wanted it to have the appropriate weight and…



Hengtee Lim (Snippets)
Human Parts

Fragments of the everyday in Tokyo, as written by Hengtee Lim.