I remember exactly when my son, Galen, was conceived – October 14th, 1990. I know where I was, what I had been doing that day and I remember how one week later I received a dream about a young man preparing himself to be born.

Was this Galen? I have actually never asked him, but on some level unknown to my conscious mind, I had a connection with this man. He was down on one knee stacking books he wanted to go over before he returned to earth.

If you have been reading my articles here on the Open to Hope Foundation website you probably have figured out I have a very rich inner life. Once you have read Galen’s book, My Life after Life, there will be no doubt in your mind.

The man in my dream looked a little like a young Ben Cross, the British actor. And I remember what he told me: “I hope my karma will allow me to bring through the knowledge that is in these books.”

I was able to see what those books were, and it confused me why it was so important for this man to bring through knowledge about growing vegetables, albeit, using natural farming and organic methods. Be that as it may, perhaps that was symbolic for food is about knowledge, so perhaps whatever these books were about to do with growing knowledge in a very conscious manner for others to consume – knowledge about the nature of things and how they grow or how they can be grown.

I woke up from the dream knowing Galen’s mom was pregnant for I had asked the universe that if I were to be a father, I wanted to be told so in advance and, in a sense, consent to being a father. Two weeks after conception, one week after the dream, the home pregnancy test was positive and so it began, events leading to the greatest joys and the most painful moments — and I have to balance both because they are both present in my life.

It is said that a mammal will grieve in direct proportion to the amount of time it takes an animal in that species to be considered self-sufficient, where they could survive on their own. So for the elephant and the human, that is many years. For humans, it is about 12 years, even though we would hardly consider 12-year-olds ready to go out on their own and fend for themselves, but many might be able to a greater of lesser degree if we lived a more natural lifestyle instead of one so disconnected.

The other week, I was walking on 4th Street in San Francisco. I passed a store that had put out a plastic, neon lime-green arm chair – it looked like a toy, but it was adult size, and it made me flash back to something I have not thought about for years.

When Galen was still a toddler, I had bought him a sky-blue plush chair in the shape of a dinosaur. The unusual looking lime chair caused a piece of memory about a chair Galen once used to drift up into my conscious memory where it had not been for a very long time.

The first thing I thought was that nothing I see or do in my life is far from triggering some connection to Galen or shared recollection and there is a very logical explanation for that: Galen is always with me to a greater of lesser degree. Every day I know that is so, and this returned lost memory is just another reminder.

His consciousness does not inhabit my body, but his consciousness and mine are almost like conjoined twins; albeit each twin is not in the same dimension. Sometimes it feels like my spiritual life force and his share the same spiritual circulatory system – some might call this twin soul, but the larger truth is there is no separation and the life force. The spiritual blood behind all we see be it animate or inanimate, has that same blood running through it.

And so now the years go by and transmuted grief is part of my psyche bringing me its gifts of insight and compassion all because I survived what was unsurvivable at the moment it was taking place.

I remember exactly where I was when I was told Galen didn’t make it after being struck by a train on December 1, 2007. I know exactly when it was and who I was with. It was a mirror of his day of conception. Poetic pathos is what I call it, but in the blink of an eye, I will take my place in this other dimension as will everyone when it is their correct time. We are visiting schoolroom earth, and it is just the first phase of a life that continues on, and on.

Kenneth Stoller 2011


K. Paul Stoller

K. Paul Stoller, MD, started his medical career as a pediatrician and was a Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics for over two decades. Previously, in the early 1970s, he was a University of California President’s Undergraduate Fellow in the Health Sciences, working in the UCLA Department of Anesthesiology and volunteering at the since disbanded Parapsychology Lab at the UCLA Neuro-Psychiatric Institute. He matriculated at Penn State, and then completed his post-graduate training at UCLA. His first published works, papers on psychopharmacology, came to print before he entered medical school. During medical school, he was hired to do research for the Humane Society of the United States, and became involved in an effort to prohibit the use of shelter dogs for medical experiments, which made him very unpopular in certain circles when he published an article entitled “Sewer Science and Pound Seizure” in the International Journal for the Study of Animal Problems. He was then invited and became a founding board member of the Humane Farming Association, and served science editor for the Animal’s Voice Magazine where he was nominated for a Maggie. In the mid 1990s, after a friend, head of Apple Computer’s Advanced Technology Group, lapsed into a coma, Dr. Stoller began investigating hyperbaric medicine. Soon after, he started administering hyperbaric oxygen to brain-injured children and adults, including Iraqi vets and retired NFL players with traumatic brain injuries, also pioneering the use of this therapy for treating children with fetal alcohol syndrome. He is a Fellow of the American College of Hyperbaric Medicine, and has served as president of the International Hyperbaric Medical Association for almost a decade. When his son was killed in a train accident in 2007, he discovered the effectiveness of the hormone oxytocin in treating pathological grief. Dr. Stoller has medical offices in Santa Fe, Sacramento, and San Francisco.

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