Warning: This post discusses death and descriptions of the moments afterward, as told through past-life hypnosis, mediumship transcriptions and other sources. If you feel this post will bring up painful memories or fears, please consider carefully before clicking through.
“As I rolled to a stop at the railroad tracks, I decided it might be wind gusts creating too many positive ions in the air that was activating my weird sensations. Closing my eyes for a moment, I saw dancing lights and heard unfamiliar sounds. I felt my body moving, but I also felt protected. Then suddenly I heard the sound of metal, followed by a tremendous silence and utter darkness.”
–My Life After Life: A Posthumous Memoir, Stoller, Galen, 2011
This is Part VII of a series of posts exploring death experiences and transition stories. Accounts are selected from over a century of mediumship transcriptions, channeling, and life-between-life regression experiences. Selected excerpts focus on the moments leading up to physical death, transition and entry into the spirit world. To read the introduction to this series of posts, please use the link above to open Part I.
In places where you see this symbol, […], I have skipped sentences and/or paragraphs from the original text for the sake of brevity.
Note: While I have found no indication that any of these original sources are fraudulent, I would always encourage the reader to determine the legitimacy of each of these sources for themselves.
Transition Experiences, Part VII
Galen Stoller, 1991-2007
Galen Stoller was a bright young American teenager growing up in the bustling cultural mecca of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Galen was passionate about acting, preparing to perform a double role in his high school’s production of Oliver! and anticipating a future career in theater acting. Galen enjoyed training dogs for people with disabilities with the group Assistance Dogs of the West for which he was posthumously nominated for their Amy Biel Youth Spirit award. Galen’s physical life came to a tragic end when his car was hit by an Amtrak train on a windy December day in 2007.
Within several days of the accident, Galen’s grieving father Dr. Kenneth Stoller contacted Suzanne Ward, who had lost her own teenage son, Matthew, in a car accident in 1980. Suzanne had developed the ability to speak directly with Matthew telepathically, and Dr. Stoller had been an avid reader of her monthly online messages. With Suzanne’s request, Matthew was able to locate Galen in the spirit world and agreed to send a one-time message from Galen to Dr. Stoller. In time, Matthew said, Galen and his father could learn to communicate directly as Matthew did with his mother.
Galen and Dr. Stoller worked hard for several years until a link could be established. My Life After Life: A Posthumous Memoir was the result of Dr. Stoller’s successful communication with Galen. Additionally, Dr. Stoller consulted mediums to confirm that his messages from Galen were received as intended. Is it possible that Dr. Stoller’s communication is the result of pathological grief and dissassociation? I encourage my readers to read the book in its entirity and determine that for themselves. If you are interested in reading more about Galen’s experiences beyond his transition, please also read my review: The Afterlife of an American Teenager.
Galen’s transition experience must be viewed with a different perspective than others introduced so far in this series. Galen’s passing did not happen in a past life, or in a war a generation ago. Galen died in 2007; a contemporary soul on this earth who loved and is loved. His personality, sense of humor, his talent for acting, and compassion with animals survives in the memories of his friends and family. Loving tributes on YouTube show Galen performing in full, living color. Galen is real, and the experiences of his spirit are vivid, present, alive…they are now.
Galen’s transition story, like all others, does not focus on the moment of his death. There is no mention of pain, nor even of the experience of separation in this case. Galen’s story unfolds in the hours after his accident as he meets his guide, acclimates to his new surroundings, and learns of his death.
As the winds turned too gusty for paintball, I headed for the interstate to return to my mom’s house, about forty-five minutes away. My iPod provided suitable background music as I headed home, but I had the sense that things were out of sync in my world. […] I was not seeing double, but my vision, while vivid, was out of sync. The hum of the engine, the whistle of the wind, and the rumble of tires all seemed disconnected as well, appearing to come from somewhere other than where such sounds originate. […] As I rolled to a stop at the railroad tracks, I decided it might be wind gusts creating too many positive ions in the air that was activating my weird sensations. Closing my eyes for a moment, I saw dancing lights and heard unfamiliar sounds. I felt my body moving, but I also felt protected.
Then suddenly I heard the sound of metal, followed by a tremendous silence and utter darkness.
Eventually the lights and sounds returned, yet none seemed real. I could hear my name spoken every so often, but what was being said and by whom didn’t seem to matter. In between the voices, I could hear a faint ringing that started to transform them into a crystalline tone. And then I heard a very clear bell tone in the distance, like the sound a crystal goblet makes when you run your finger around the rim of the glass. I looked in the direction of the bell and saw what appeared to be another version of myself standing beside me. But this other self was much taller than I am, easily over seven feet, and had a luminescent quality.
He said, “What is it that you want to do?” This other self beamed a quality that seemed to contain the essence of everyone I had ever loved in my life, so I knew I wanted to follow this version of myself toward the sound of the bell. […] When the clear ringing sound was all I could hear, I moved peacefully forward with myself, hand in hand.
As we walked along a path, I became more aware of my environs. The landscape was familiar—rolling hills dotted with small pine and juniper trees and scrubby sage, with mountains in the distance. But something was different. […] There was a backlit quality to the light around me, and the plants and trees projected little luminescent accents, as if fine fiber-optic filaments inside them were transmitting light. The fact that I wasn’t waking up from this apparent dream made me want to figure out what this place was about. But the more my mind came up with explanations, the more unfocused my environment became, which was disconcerting. […]
Still walking hand in hand with my twin, I came to a grassy meadow in which two chairs faced each other, beckoning us to sit down. […] I summoned my courage and asked him, “Where am I?”
“Your earth body has passed away, and you are in a different dimension. It takes time for the mind to let go of what is so familiar,” he said matter-of-factly.
“Is this heaven?”
“It is if you want it to be,” he answered. […]
“So, I am dead then,” I said, not really asking a question.
With a wry smile, he retorted, “How can you be dead if you are talking to me?”
“You know, dead!” I said, realizing almost all my questions were being answered with more questions and while there was something familiar and almost reassuring about that it was also very frustrating. “Of course, you are going to tell me I am not dead, just existing in a different dimension,” I said.
“It is true the body you knew is no longer. You can define yourself as dead if you insist, but you are really never dead,” he replied.
“Okay, then, if this is heaven, where are all the dogs?”
Dogs were always a big part of my life on earth, and I was in my second year of learning to train assistance dogs for people with disabilities, so I assumed heaven for me would be a place with dogs. Suddenly I could hear dogs barking, and as if the doors on a thousand kennels had swung open, the meadow in which we were sitting was now full of dogs panting, barking, and wagging their tails. I laughed with joy, but my laughter reminded me that I’d been very happy with my life on earth and would have been content to continue on with it. Not understanding why I had died, I asked, “How did this happen?”
My companion then told me about the train hitting me. […] I had no way of knowing that only six hours had passed on earth since the accident until my twin said, “Your father has an awareness of where you are and he is asking you if you are okay.”
“I am absolutely okay, and I miss you,” I said, directing this statement to my dad, although I felt a little exasperated at having my attention directed back to events taking place on earth. […] I had total awareness of my father’s pain and the intense emotions others were feeling. But I was also protected from the desperate grief that was being generated, which ranged from sorrow to borderline insanity. […]
Turning my attention to my other self, I asked, “You are my identical twin brother, aren’t you?”
“There is no way I am your twin brother because I look so much better than you do!”
I shot him a look befitting a smart aleck, and he said, “I am an aspect of yourself and the soul family of which you are a part. I stood with you before you drew your first breath on earth, as I am with you now to teach you how to thrive here. I am your teacher and your father’s teacher.”
Galen spends his next several days getting acclimated to his environment. He meets a black lab named ‘Andy’, who becomes his friend and companion. Galen and Andy walk through the simulated New Mexico environment often as Galen slowly learns to connect with the energy of his new dimensional home.
Unlike Hugh Benson’s transition experience explored in Part V of this series, Galen has not landed in the consensus realities of the densely populated primary afterlife dimensions. Galen’s abilities and spiritual maturity suggest that he is somewhere in the early intermediate levels where souls have already begun to master the skill of manifestation.
“I found out that the level of consciousness you initially experience here has to do with the maturity level of your soul plus or minus the experience and beliefs of your personality, and that there are many levels both below and above my dimensional station (Stoller, Loc. 422).”
As a way to illustrate the functional and energetic differences between Galen’s intermediate dimension and the less advanced primary dimensions such as where Hugh Benson finds himself, we can compare how each obtained their spirit world homes.
Note: Before you ask why a spirit would want or need a home, consider this: If you wake up in a spiritual dimension with a solid-feeling body surrounded by an earth-like environment, wouldn’t you want your own private home to retreat to, even if you know its an illusion?
When Hugh Benson arrives in the spirit world, he is brought to a somewhat improved replica of his earthly home, complete with vast beautiful gardens. He inquires about the builder of the home. His guide, Edwin, explains that it was physically manifested by beings who are adept in such energy manipulation and have a special skill for architecture in the spirit world. Hugh Benson, having devoted his life to Catholic orthodoxy, is a novice spirit who will go through a ‘basic training’ of sorts to learn these foreign concepts, including early manifestation techniques. In fact, later in his book, Life in the World Unseen, Benson is introduced to a class that is practicing creating flowers.
Galen, on the other hand, has already learned how to manifest objects of permanence using intent, and soon begins experimenting with creating a home for himself. Like any teenager, his initial creations are straight from pop-culture. He creates a star-wars-like environment, then something out of a Dr. Seuss book. Later, he designs a “Manhattan apartment”, a “baroque villa” and finally a home that he would have been familiar with on earth, complete with a bed and couches where he could rest. Part of Galen’s lessons on this dimension included learning how to “set it and forget it”, such that his home would still be there when he returned.
The souls responsible for constructing Hugh Benson’s house might have originated in Galen’s dimension, where spirits who have an interest and talent for manifestation have chosen this field as a sort of an afterlife speciality. Part of their responsibilities may be to create homes for souls on lower dimensional levels who have yet to become practiced in manipulation themselves. In fact, Matthew Ward, who we will meet next in Part VIII of this series discusses this process in a telepathic discussion with his mother in 1994, “We’ve talked about manifestation, the means whereby our buildings are erected, and many souls are employed in these various design and construction processes (Ward, Loc. 3793).”
On Meeting Matthew Ward in the Afterlife:
In My Life After Life, Galen describes his unexpected meeting with Matthew Ward ten days after his transition into the afterlife. Galen is walking along a beach when he sees a young blond man approach who introduces himself and offers to pass along a message for Galen to his father. Eventually, Galen remembers that his father had shared with him many of Matthew’s telepathic messages that his mother posted online – something which Galen completely dismissed at the time.
Galen now understands that it is possible to connect with loved ones on earth, though it would take several years before direct communication would occur. We will look at Matthew Ward’s own transition experience in depth in our next post in the series, Part VIII.
My Life After Life: A Posthumous Memoir
by Galen Stoller
In Part VIII, we’ll learn how a mother developed the remarkable ability to communicate with her son in the afterlife in Suzanne Ward’s book, Matthew, Tell me About Heaven. The Matthew that Galen meets in his second week in the afterlife is an advanced soul already in the spirit world for 27 years, but Matthew’s own transition was emotionally difficult as he finds himself in a deep depression over his family’s grief.