In 2007, K Paul Stoller was told what no parent is ever prepared to hear: “Your son is dead.” Galen Stoller, an eleventh grader at Desert Academy in Santa Fe, New Mexico, was hit by a train at an unguarded railroad crossing. At the moment of impact, Galen enters another dimension, one in which he can see his grieving family and communicate with his father, a former pediatrician and fellow of the American College of Hyperbaric Medicine.
Galen’s initial contact with his father is through a trance medium. K Paul had studied and worked with trance mediums in the 1970s and in the disbanded parapsychology lab at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. The first book of an anticipated series, K Paul says Galen asked him to be his scribe. Galen’s efforts to describe what he sees and experiences are presented in this memoir, this effort to capture his life after death.
Neither in heaven nor hell, Galen has a home and teachers who help him make sense of his new life. He also has several companions who offer comfort and knowledge. While on earth, Galen helped train dogs, so his first, and perhaps closest, companion is Andy, a black Labrador. Through Andy, Galen rediscovers free will, while Carl (a would-be brother, had his parents made different choices) helps him understand why he died young: “We are not as stuck on the path we find ourselves on as we might think. If the soul has predesigned multiple probabilities, then as long as one is breathing, one need only decide to have a different experience and act on it.” When Galen assists Brock (an orange-haired, egg-shaped being) as he is about to incarnate, Galen concludes that helping others “has been a driving factor in my life, whether on earth or here. Always I have wondered, how can I help others?”
Although many will find this book incredulous, it is alluring. The short, suspenseful chapters are filled with well-written philosophical statements about love, free will, service, and purpose: “It is not the length of time one spends on earth that is important, but the reason for coming to earth.”
K Paul’s reflections in the editor’s notes attached to each chapter are revealing and touching. This book will not only appeal to those who have longed to connect with a deceased love one, but also to those who simply want to know how to make the best of their time on earth.