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May 17, 2024 7 mins

Imagine meeting your children…and they're way older than you! But you've been obsessed since your earliest memory with the idea that you were the mother of eight kids. But you died, leaving them orphaned. And your guilt was palpable, even as a three-year-old! You may not believe in reincarnation, but it’s hard to ignore Jenny Cockell’s story.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Imagine meeting your kids from a past life. All right,
it's the nineteen fifties. As a toddler, you have vivid
memories of what is clearly this other life. You remember
where you lived as a single mom, the village, the shops,
your house. Most of all, you've remember your eight children
and the guilt you felt when you died while they
were still young. Later in life, you find the village,

the house, the children, now elderly, and most of them
come to believe you are their mother reincarnated. I'm Patty Steele.
A mother's devotion has no boundaries. But do you believe
that's next on the backstory? The backstory is back. Has

a memory ever kind of itched at your brain, one
where you couldn't quite recall all the details, but it
kept digging at you, and it keeps coming back and
getting more vivid. This is what happened at Jenny Cockell
for pretty much as long as she could remember. Jenny
was born in the English countryside in nineteen fifty three. Now,

as a very little girl, she had memories and dreams
of another life. She saw herself as a poor, working
class woman in Ireland, and she believed her name was Mary,
and that she had eight children before dying when she
was just three years old. She actually told her mom
she was having dreams all the time about Mary's death.

Her mother later confirmed all that. As she got older,
she remembered the deathbed events more clearly and told her
mother she felt really, really guilty that she had abandoned
her children. She also remembered what she experienced as she died,
said that she had watched the scene in the hospital
from what felt like about ten feet above near the ceiling,

with nurses and priests hovering around. She said, then suddenly
she felt like she was being sucked backwards into a
brightly lit space, and she got the feeling that there
were other spirits around her. Jenny's other memories of Mary's life,
I've included a vivid picture in her mind of the
family's cottage, a single story building made of light colored

stone with a solid wooden door and a really sagging
slate roof. The house sat opposite a stream and was
the first in a line of several small cottages on
her street. She knew the layout of the house and
how the old fashioned, kind of odd kitchen functioned. She
knew the layout of the vegetable garden she'd planted, and
she remembered trapping animals for food with the help of

her children. Now, as a child, Jenny was able to
draw a map of the town, though she couldn't remember
the town's name. She remembered the markets, her church, and
the streets, as well as a train station and a
dock that went into some body of water. She remembered
standing on the dock waiting for a boat, but she
didn't really know why. Later on in school, she studied

a map of Ireland and felt drawn to a town
called Malahide. Now, Interestingly, while Jenny remembered exact bactly what
Mary wore most of the time, she had no memory
of what she looked like, but she did remember loving trains. Now,
as far as her husband went, she had very few
memories of him, except that he wasn't a loving person

and he was rarely at home. But she vividly remembered
what her children looked like and even their personalities. In fact,
when Jenny was six, she chose a doll with blonde
hair and blue eyes. She named her Elizabeth, which it
turned out was the name of Mary's youngest child and
the only one with blonde hair and blue eyes. Now

it's nineteen eighty eight, Jenny is thirty five years old.
She decides she's going to undergo regression hypnosis sessions to
try to find out more details of what she believed
was this past life. Dated day memories of her life
and her children did come to her, but she still
had trouble locking down names that might have helped her
find her passed a little more easily fly In nineteen

eighty nine, she visits Malahide and everything that she'd put
down on the map she'd drawn years before was in place,
said Jenny. She knew the streets and the church. She said,
I just felt like this tremendous sense of relief. There
was a rundown house she couldn't see behind a wall,
but a local landlord told her a woman named Mary

Sutton with a lot of kids had lived there in
the nineteen thirties but had died young. He said. After
her death, the children had been sent to orphanages. All
the pieces were now coming together. Finally, in nineteen ninety one,
Jenny met with Mary's oldest child, Sonny. She told him
her memories and he confirmed everything from the sagging roof

on the cottage, the layout of the rooms, the odds
stove in their old kitchen, even what she grew in
the vegetable patch. He said she nailed the looks and
personalities of all the children, and what clothing Mary had
worn pretty much much regularly, and he was shocked by
the accuracy of her memories of certain events. He told

her she'd wait on the dock for him when he
was a teenager coming home from his job as a
caddie on a nearby island. He gave her details of
Mary Sutton's life. She was born in eighteen ninety five
and her father was a train station master, which explained
her interest in trains. She married John Sutton and had
four boys and four girls. The family lived just on

the edge of the village of Malahide, and eventually her
husband became a really violent alcoholic, increasingly abusive and also absent.
She managed to feed the children on homegrown vegetables and
she trapped animals from meat. Then, in nineteen thirty two,
Mary Sutton died of pneumonia and a blood infection. She

was just thirty six years old. Eventually, Jenny met all
the surviving children, The oldest son totally believed Jenny's memories
and actually thought of her as his mother reborn among
the other children, some believed, others were skeptical. Now, in
the aftermath of all this, she actually became a pediatrist.

Jenny has written books, She's made public appearances, and of
course there are plenty of people who don't really trust
her and are skeptical of her story, and there are
many many who believe her. So the question is, if
we believe what Jenny remembered of Mary Sutton's life, which
Mary's children confirmed, where does that lead us. Jenny seems

trustworthy in her story matches the family's memories, But if
we accept that Mary Sutton really was reincarnated as Jenny Coquel,
doesn't that change everything we take for granted about birth,
life and death. So do you believe that we really
have passed and maybe even future lives? I hope you're

enjoying the backstory with Patty Steele, and I really hope
you'll subscribe. Also, if you have a story you'd like
me to look into and share, just DM me on
Facebook at Patty Steele or on Instagram at real Patty Steele.
I'm Patty Steele. The Backstories a production of iHeartMedia, Premiere Networks,

the Elvis Duran Group, and Steel Trap Productions. Our producer
is Doug Fraser. Our writer Jake Kushner. We have new
episodes every Tuesday and Friday. Feel free to reach out
to me with comments and even story suggestions on Instagram
at Real Patty Steele and on Facebook at Patty Steele.
Thanks for listening to the Backstory with Patty Steele. The

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