Monday, February 14, 2011


by Kate Collins

It’s been four-and-a half months since my husband passed on, and to be honest, the grief is still very raw, very sharp, and I have to work hard to keep a positive attitude so I don’t get mired in self-pity. That task has been made so much easier by the support of my family, my friends, and all of you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Sometimes it’s the loneliness that hits hardest, and Valentine’s Day promised to be one of those times. Just the thought of it was enough to bring me to tears. My husband loved to give me thoughtful gifts and take me out to dinner. This Valentine’s Day will be the first in fifteen years that it won’t happen, and I really didn’t want to spend the day thinking about that.

Going out to dinner with a girlfriend was a possibility, but I had a feeling that I’d be thinking of my husband the entire time. I didn’t want to inflict that sad mood on anyone.

Then I remembered some advice my friend Maggie Sefton once gave me. She said, “Ask the Universe, Kate. It listens.” So Saturday night I asked for a way to get through Valentine’s Day without dissolving into a puddle of grief, something that would take me outside myself, get the pity party over with, and let me help someone who was worse off.

And the Universe heard me.

Last night, I got a text message from a friend telling me that an extra ticket to a charity luncheon for the local women’s shelter had come up unexpectedly. She asked if I would be her guest. What was really amazing was that this shelter had been a special cause for my husband who, as a lawyer, was a strong advocate for many abused women. And the event is on Valentine's Day.

I thought about it for about two seconds. “Yes,” I texted back. “I’d love to. Thank you!”

It promises to be a great time. You can read about it here

Whether you call this power the Universe, God, Goddess, Creator, or Divine Guidance, try asking it sometime. If you have pure intentions and the request is something that will be good for you, I promise you’ll be amazed at the results. I’d love to hear from you if it works, by the way.

And just as an afterthought along those same lines, I received a book for Christmas entitled, “Sacred Signs: Hear, See and Believe Messages from the Universe,” that you might want to check out. My daughter was browsing at a bookstore for a gift for me, and that particular book seemed to leap out at her. Hmm. A sign? I think it's one of those mysteries we'll never know the answer to. Maybe we don't need to.

Have a week of peace and happiness.



kissablysweet1 said...

Kate, In my family we were taught from an early age to Ask the Universe. It's always been there for us and continues to guide us in a direction that is helpful, positive and healing. It would seem the Universe is doing the same for you!! I'm so happy to hear that!

Salar37_Shushan said...

I am very glad your friend has stepped in the gap. Rooting for you here!

Tiffany0227 said...

Kate, I am truly sorry from the bottom of my heart. My heart aches for you, though I could never imagine the pain that you have endured.
I actually had to go to the funeral home tonight my sister in laws dad just passed two days ago. My heart sobbed for them as i seen her sitting there with her sister and her mother. I hurt because I don't have any words to express how deeply sorry I am for their's and your loss.

Such a brave and corageous woman you are to keep going.

Be Blessed

KH said...

I felt such a feeling of joy when I reached the end of your post. Yes, the Universe does answer! And I am sure that your husband is sending you love this year, as he did in all the other years.
Yes, you are a courageous woman and an inspiration.
And aren't we glad that we are writers. That's helps with the tough times as well.

Dru said...

You have to always believe in the Universe because the answer you'll get will be worth it.

Linda McDonald said...

What a lovely post. Truly, the universe did answer your call.

lynneandco said...

I totally believe in asking the Universe and then being open to what the answer is. Too often it seems too difficult to get through whatever life hands us by ourselves. Asking the universe to give us a direction, a sign and/or an answer is always good. I'm sure you will enjoy the event.

signlady217 said...

I'm sure you will have a lovely time with your friend, and knowing that these women will absolutely benefit from your decision to go is an added plus, and you are carrying on in a work your late husband supported. Kudos to you!

The Cozy Mystery Journal said...

What a fabulous cause. I hope you and your friend have a great time.

Aurian said...

What a great thing to do with your Valentine's day. But remember you are totally entitled to grieving and bouts of self pity. You cannot be strong all the time. I wish you all the best.

Debra said...

I am impressed that you are going to the dinner instead of hiding at home, which is what I would probably do in your situation. I also want you to know that just getting through the day is a major, major achievement.

Kate Collins said...

Debra, I agree. I'm more than halfway through and had only one small meltdown when I came home.

Otherwise, the day was a good one. I even got my two favorite things -- a red rose (I won it at the luncheon) and a box of Fannie Mae Mint Meltaways - a gift from a friend. My husband used to give me roses and my mom always gave me the meltaways. How amazing is that!

The luncheon raised a nice amount of money for the women's shelter, and that was the important part of the day.

Thanks for all your support and comments.

Jeannie said...


I believe in the Universe and all it portends. I believe in signs if you are open to them. That is what gets me up each day and brought me to your books and sites. Never close the door.

Nanc said...

I know I have privately shared with you some of my experiences with a spouse's death...and you are learning that it is a minute by minute process. I truly believe that God empowers us to learn the art of surrendering ourselves and gives us the ability to move forward. I know that He gave me the ability to learn how to carry on and love again. Even after 20+ years and being happily and blessedly remarried I still find myself caught off guard is then that I stop, take a deep breath and say thanks. Allow me again to share my words from my husband's eulogy.."I'll smile when you leave me...with no sadness but happiness and thanks for everything we shared"...
God bless you, Kate. There is more to your story...I just know it!
with love,

Heather Webber said...

I hope you had a wonderful day, Kate. :)

Kathleen Ernst said...

Know that lots of readers, whom you've never met, are sending good energy your way!

Kate Collins said...

Thanks for sharing that, Nanc. It moved me to tears. I hope to get to the point where I can smile when I think of my husband leaving. Your comments were very touching.
Jeanne, thank you! I'm awed that you were led to my books. I've always hoped they brought a smile and a pleasant escape to readers.
Kathleen, thanks to you, too. When things look bleak, I do remember that.

Maggie Sefton said...

Oh, Kate. . .I am truly touched by your wonderful post. And yes, I also believe that your friend's call & invitation to that special charity event was the Universe responding to you. And. . .you even came home with a rose and your special Valentine's candy. More blessings for you.

Unknown said...

I'm new to this site. I've been following it a few months because I'm a fan of the Flower Shop Mysteries. I recently saw an interview with Joyce Carol Oates about her recent book 'The Widow's Story', and I couldn't help but think of you. She talks about the changes she was faced with after the sudden death of her husband. Have you heard of it?