Monday, October 11, 2010

Messages from Beyond


by Kate Collins

As many of you know, my beloved husband passed away two weeks ago today. He was my best friend and soul mate, my rock and my hero. It took us many years to find each other and came along at a time when I no longer believed in fairly tale romances, even while I was writing them.

My husband had enormous energy. No one could believe he was fifteen years older than me because he had the good health and stamina of a man half his age. But he had twenty-two year old grafts in his heart, and he knew they wouldn’t last forever. He always said he was on borrowed time. His wish was that he would go out after winning a court case, and that was exactly what he did. Not his time line, but on his terms.

I’m not superstitious. I don’t believe in seances. I’ve never seen or felt a ghost. But what happened after his death was incredible. It was at the end of the most horrific four days of my life. I was in pain inside and out. Then I received a phone call from my dearest friend, the person in whom I would entrust my life, the person I trust most beside my husband. She’s a teacher and the most pragmatic, down-to-earth, no-nonsense person you’d ever want to meet. She doesn’t believe in ghosts either.

She was busy teaching a room full of first graders, and suddenly a vision of my husband appeared. He was in the place he loved most, Key West, and he was talking to me! He was saying to my friend, but using the nick name only he used for me, “You can do this.” She thought she imagined it and so she ignored it. But he would not be ignored. He kept appearing throughout the day in exactly that same manner, saying exactly that same message, until she was so spooked, she wrote it all down in an email and sent it to me, asking me not to think she’d gone crazy.

Immediately, that image was replaced by the smiling face of my husband, and then she saw him walking away, up a street, still smiling. Message delivered, he seemed to be saying. And she hasn’t had any visions since.

I can’t tell you how comforting that was. I instantly felt his energy around me. It gave me the strength to give a eulogy at his funeral. And at the end of that long day, after the family had gathered for food at a local restaurant on a rainy day, another wondrous thing happened. A double rainbow appeared.

It was so extraordinary, people poured out of the restaurant to stand in the rain, with the sun shining and black clouds overhead, everyone taking pictures with cell phones. The rainbow’s lower arch was so brilliant, it seemed to be lit from the ground up. We could see the beginning of it just beyond the parking lot, and it arched over the restaurant to the opposite end of the lot.

We gazed up at it, smiling. It was a sign of hope. A sign that things would be okay. Different, and no less painful, but okay.

My fairy tale romance didn’t have the ending I would have written for it, but it did have a rainbow at the end. This is the photo of that rainbow. If you can enlarge it, you will see how it seems to glow from the bottom.

I wanted to share this with you because all of you have been so incredibly kind and supportive. I hope it makes you smile and gives you hope, too.

My best,
Kate

32 comments:

Anne Marie said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and deeply personal story. I am truly sorry for your loss. It sounds like you are surrounded by your husband's love.
Thinking of you...
A loyal reader

kat smith said...

I truly believe that love never ends. If you once found each other you will see each other again. Love lives on in memories and in the flame that is kept burning in your heart every time you think of the one you love. My husband and I love rainbows. We took a long time to find one another and one of our favorite movies is 50 first dates. Our favorite version of Somewhere over the Rainbow is in this movie. I am sorry for your loss but I know that from your telling your story you had a great once in a lifetime love that you will cherish this sweet beautiful man and keep his memory with you always. Blessings to you.

tonya kappes said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, but I do believe in what happened to you. I didn't until my grandmother had passed and I was so distraught. Several months later, I don't know if it was my imagination or dream, but she did appear to me with my aunt/her daughter who passed a year earlier. She said some things that made me feel everything was going to be okay.
My thoughts are with you.

Mason Canyon said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. I truly believe we can be touched by our loved ones after they are gone. Hold on to your feeling and it will help you thought the coming days. Keeping you my thoughts and prayers.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

KH said...

My heart goes out to you, and I understand your experience.
After each of my parents passed away, I experienced a strong sense of them being with me, as if they had come to tell me they loved me and to say goodbye. It was especially remarkable with my dad, because he died in Illinois and I was living in Costa Rica at the time. I just experienced of sense of "dad-ness" in the room with me. With my mom, it was as if something as light as a feather brushed against me, but I knew it was her.
Truly love lives forever.

Dru said...

Thank you for sharing. Your story reminded me of something similar in my life. Keep smiling.

BJ Miller said...

Thanks for sharing your story & beautiful photo Kate. I am sure your husband is with you always no matter where you are.

D.D. Scott said...

Ohhh, Kate...

I will treasure this incredible story you're sharing for the rest of my life...and pass it on to everyone I know.

Your beloved husband has given all of us hope and a beyond beautiful sign that there is another life waiting for us at the end of each of our earthly rainbows.

Thank you, Kate, and thank you too to your love of a lifetime and his glorious beyond --- Hugs, Love, and Smiles --- D. D. Scott

dollycas aka Lori said...

Kate,
I so agree with Kat that love never ends. I also don't believe in ghosts but I do believe in God and angels. I had an angel with me when I had my accident and again in the emergency room as I was brought back to life. I heard my father's voice. He died in 1988, "Honey, it not your time." I spent days thinking I was dying and refused to see anyone because I didn't want them to remember me like that. Finally my sister came in and said she had heard our father voice telling her to get in there and tell me, it wasn't my time and that people needed me. 69 days later I came home, not the same as when I left but home. I still hear his voice occasionally, when I need a good kick in the butt about something.

I also believe there was an angel with my son last week when he walked away from a terrible accident with only bumps and bruises. It could have been any of my relatives or it could have been your Marco because he is with the angels watching over us, cheering us on, protecting us, and sending us beautiful rainbows.

I know the days ahead will be hard, but his love will never leave your heart and he will only be a memory away and sometimes even closer than that.

(((hugs)))
Lori

Kay said...

Kate,
Thank you for sharing this with us. I agree love lives on. I know this from experience. It is very comforting and something that until experienced cannot truly be explained. I could go into further detail but it's a long story & some of it can't be shared publicly.

{{{{HUGS}}}} Keeping you in my thoughts & prayers,
Kay

Diane P said...

My sympathies are with you. May you always feel comforted by his love.

Debra said...

Your story is amazing. You will get through this with the help of your husband. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Marlyn said...

What an inspiring story. Thank you for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Kate. I firmly believe our loved ones on the Other Side watch over us.

Your husband obviously loved you deeply, and perhaps he knew that "seeing" him so soon after his passing, you would chalk it up to being emotional and distraught. So, he visited the person you trusted the most here on earth, knowing you'd accept the message. What a blessing and gift of love.

The rainbow was the cherry on top!

Wishing you sunny days & rainbows,
Sara

barbjan10 said...

Kate, I'm awe inspired by your incredible sharing. You have shown God's mercy toward many who still carry such grief without closure over their losses. I believe strongly in the kind of incidents that happened when your husband passed. My story is also lengthy. I had traveled to Germany to marry my military husband stationed there in 1959. I went with mixed emotions because my father was just diagnosed with Lymphol Sarcoma, a form of cancer. He passed 6 weeks after my wedding and I was unable to go home to the states to be with my family. The night after his passing, he did appear to me, sat on the side of the bed and told me not to cry, not to grieve because now he was well and happy. I honestly thought I was awake, it might have been a dream, but I believe it was my daddy. He appeared to me in dreams, always with something to say to me that he would have said to me if he had been alive. I still sense his nearness to this day. It is no coincidence...I call it a Godincidence! Your rainbow was certainly a show produced by God and shown to you through his gracious glory. Your husband's big smile could have been because he knew that God was giving you both that spectacular rainbow to remember your love forever, as bright as the love you shared. Thank you for sharing. Thanks for giving us hope and a sense of well being. I pray for you to always hold onto this comfort always.

Sharing God's Love,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Rural View said...

This comes with my heartfelt wishes for healing and remembering the good times you and your husband had together. Something very similar happened to me when my husband had lifesaving surgery during which the doctor was sure he would lose him. There are things we'll never understand but never argue with their message.

Andrea C. said...

Kate- your strength, stamina, and fairy tale marraige are all inspiring! Thank you for sharing your story. I am sending all my good thoughts your way....

Kate Collins said...

I appreciate hearing from all of you. Thanks for sharing your own stories. I'm reminded again that we are, indeed, one big family.

Barbjan, I'm sure that your father's enormous energy and love for you did bring him to you. We have so little understanding, and maybe that's good.

Anyone else with a similar experience, I'd love to hear it. Someone told me to be open to it and I'd see amazing things. I'm seeing that right here!

Linda McDonald said...

Hi Kate,
Thank you for sharing your story and the beautiful double rainbow photo. I can't say that I have ever had an experience like that after a loved one passed, but I do know for sure that my dad KNEW he was going to die on the day he did. He had cancer, but was doing okay, however on the day he died he said some things to us that he never would have said in the past. It was like he knew, like he could see the angels surrounding him, even though we could not. And he just gave a few hints, nothing that would freak us out, but something that afterwards we could piece together and come to the realization that he knew it was his time to move on. This was very comforting to me.

Love to you Kate.

Linda

Merry Lu said...

Thank you for sharing your personal story and the beautiful double rainbow with us, Kate. Unfortunately, even fairy tales have to end sometime, even if people usually don't put the ending down in print. My prayers and thoughts are with you in this time of grief and new beginning.

Jeannie said...

A beautiful and loving rainbow with the extra validation by your dear friend. Yes, Hope does live.

Vickie said...

{{HUGS}} Thank you for sharing your lovely story. My prayers are with you.

Moonsanity said...

That is truly amazing, and I'm glad it gave you hope. It certainly gave me hope:) {{{HUGS}}}

Rural View said...

The similar thing that happened to me was when the surgeon was afraid to operate on my husband. Dave had been hemorrhaging off and on for over two weeks, had countless transfusions, but due to an incorrect diagnosis the doctor was afraid to operate. Finally his hand was forced, Dave would die if he didn't operate but had a slim chance if he did. Dave had sent me home before dark and I was a basket case. Then the doctor called with the news but he and Dave insisted I stay home. Dr. would call as soon as it was over. I paced the floor and squeezed the little teddy bear he had given me. I had the World Series on but I couldn't have told you who was playing. Then at 9:08 pm I sat down, suddenly calm; I knew it was done and Dave would live. I discovered in the morning that that was the exact time the surgery was over, the tension in the O.R. blew away, and the sutures held. I knew we were close, but that experience blew me away. That was 15 years ago and still astounds me.

Cheryl Balzer said...

Dear Kate: I know we die physically, but I also know that love has a power that cannot be defined. I believe that love for the people in our lives connects us long after the physical contact is gone. Your story is proof of that. Long after Mom and Dad passed, I was having a particularly rough time. The blues were hitting full blast, and nothing I did seemed to make them go away. One night I dreamed of sitting with Dad, somewhere I did not recognize, and we were having a conversation about daily life things. He stood up to leave and walked over to me. Dad hugged me so tight and looked me in the eye saying "Cheryl, you'll be okay". I felt all my fears and sadness melt away as my dream ended. As I awoke, I could still feel the hug he gave me and I did not want to move! But from that point, things did get easier and so many problems solved themselves almost overnight. I credit my Dad with showing me the strength to do what had to be done, just as he had in life. The ones we love never leave us. They become part of us, to keep forever until we see each other again. Your husband is with you always. Be happy and know how loved you are!

Candace said...

Thinking of you almost non-stop and praying for you as often as I think of you:) As little girls, you and I played and dreamed and made adventures happen. If I could have envisioned any prince in the whole wide world for you, it would have been your husband. If I could have illustrated your fairytale, a double rainbow picture exactly like this one would have been it.
Love you, my dear childhood friend.

Kate Collins said...

Thank you all again for your wonderfully assuring comments. My husband will always be a part of my heart. I'm still working through the stages of grief, and sometimes I feel so alone, it hurts. Your comments give me hope that I will feel his presence in many ways in the future.

Maggie Sefton said...

Ohhh, Kate----That rainbow is your Greek's sign to you that you WILL be able to do this----and everything else that comes your way. He is with you always. I have NO DOUBT that you can feel his energy. He IS there. Love and hugs, Maggie

Maggie Sefton said...

Ohhh, Kate----That rainbow is your Greek's sign to you that you WILL be able to do this----and everything else that comes your way. He is with you always. I have NO DOUBT that you can feel his energy. He IS there. Love and hugs, Maggie

Aurian said...

My condolences for your loss Kate. It will take time for the grief and hurt to lessen, but your story is also a sign that he is still with you, looking after you.
You will get through it all, and every time you see a rainbow, you will smile while thinking of him.

Anonymous said...

Your story is amazing~I HAVE seen a ghost, and let me tell you, your hubby was THERE!
My condolences on your loss...I am so sorry.

Suzanne Arruda said...

You don't have to believe in ghosts - only in heaven. A beautiful soul will find its way to God and that's what your husband's soul did. Always remember John's epistle "God is Love" I meditate on this often and what it does is expand my concept of love to something unimaginable. Your husband's love was so strong as to want you to be at peace.