Angel Kate

Kate Hopkins in SnowA few days ago, my young friend Kate Hopkins went home to California for Spring Break. A student at the University of Tennessee, she was excited to get to spend some time seeing family and friends. A native of Martinez in San Francisco’s East Bay, Kate was especially looking forward to an adventure in Yosemite. On Sunday she drove the four hours to get there and like most everyone who spends any time in the park, got busy taking photos. How can you not try to recapture the beauty?

Unfortunately, what should have been a fun excursion for a 20 year old home from school, turned tragic. Kate was in a skateboarding accident and had to be helicoptered to a hospital in Modesto because of a severe head injury. I received the first text from her mom about this on Sunday night and learned that things were very bleak. I was shocked, and deeply saddened.

I met Kate several years ago when I was living in the Bay Area and had begun my healing practice after leaving corporate HR. Her mother Jackie brought Kate and her brother Clint to me to support their growth and gifts. Both kids had been having encounters with angels and her mother, fully accepting of what they were telling her, helped them to understand what was going on and wanted my support with that as well. Having had my own surprising exchanges with angels in recent times, I was thrilled to meet such young kids who were seeing them with their own eyes, which was not the way I encountered them.

I continued to develop my relationship with Kate over the years and recently, we were talking on the phone about her experiences in college and what looked like a very bright future in front of her. Kate wasn’t sure what direction she was headed but it seemed pretty clear that she would be doing work with groups of people, helping them in some way. Kate was a magnet for friendship and had a natural way with others. That smile you see seemed to never leave her face, and people were drawn to her kindness and joy.

Her death is hitting many of us really hard. There’s something so wrong about the unexpected death of a young person…the shock of it, the heartbreak for family and friends, the loss of so much potential. What brings me solace, and certainly is doing so for her family, is the way Kate will live on through organ donation. So far, her heart is going to someone in San Francisco who is in imminent danger of dying; her liver and one kidney are going to another critically ill person there; the other kidney has been promised as well, along with lungs and pancreas. They are even hoping to help someone with Kate’s beautiful skin and peepers (corneas). What a legacy! Jackie tells me that whoever receives these organ donations should be prepared to love chocolate!

I am sure I will find peace at some point with the fact that this terrible thing has happened and for now, I take comfort in knowing that Kate continues to do so much good. It is amazing how many people are posting their love for her on her Facebook page, and how many young women felt like Kate was their best friend. All those photos of her with her friends are wonderful to see and reveal an astounding talent for connecting with others.

So Kate, who was at home with angelic encounters, is now an angel herself. Her cell phone has been a virtual treasure trove of photos that is bringing her family some real  joy in the midst of all the sorrow. And this one just stuns me in its timing…

Snow Angel

Clearly Kate had a strong sense of self and her place in the world that she easily shared with others. I take inspiration from her life and will honor her memory by honoring myself, and hope that I can in some measure, touch people the way she did, with joy.

Maria Benning

©Maria K. Benning, M.Ed.
Wellness Facilitator & Teacher

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6 thoughts on “Angel Kate

  1. Valerie Wilson

    As always, my friend, the power of the pen is yours. Your heartfelt eulogy
    is beautiful. I feel like I have met our newest angel, Kate, who has one of
    the most beautiful smiles I’ve ever seen. I’m so sorry for this tragic loss
    — but so happy to hear of her organ donation. That’s wonderful. Grateful
    I do not need an organ, but today I will celebrate her life and eat a piece
    of chocolate. xoxo

  2. Carla Smith

    Maria, this was beautifully written. My heart goes out to her family and to you dear friend. This young woman will be missed by many.

  3. Rona Giese

    I was touched by this story. Several years ago I encountered a couple in Sedona, AZ at a metaphysical store where they were getting their aura pictures taken. The man’s aura was surrounding him with indigo, violet and blue. Apparently he had been the receiver of a liver from a woman who had been very spiritual. In the past he had a very different energy as he had been a teacher but had not been a spiritual person at all. He seemed to be influenced by the energy of the woman whose liver he now carried. His wife said his personality had made a big change following the surgery. She also stated that she had a nephew who had received a kidney from his female cousin. Every month when her menses were due, he experienced PMS. The cousin always knew when she was going to get a visit from him because she could feel him getting closer to where she lived. We are all interconnected but I think that the energy must be so much stronger when there is an organ transplant. Your friend Kate is living on in these people she is helping through her organs and is probably making profound differences in their lives through her beautiful energy. I recently lost my sister to cancer and I understand grief, but I am comforted by knowing that she had a higher purpose that I won’t get to know until I meet her again in the afterlife. Best Wishes- Rona Giese

  4. CC

    What a beautiful tribute. So sad.. she clearly was done’ with any work she needed on this plane. That is little comfort for her loved ones but she will indeed be helping others with her organ transplants. I recently decided to donate as well .

    I am not a psychic in the least but looking at her photo her kindness and joy is so apparent. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved friend.

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