Only God Could Get me Through This

Estell Walsh

My husband, Robert, was such a treasure! He was an unbelievably beautiful person. What an unbeatable couple we were ... We loved as deeply and consistently as humanly possible ... were best friends, lovers, husband and wife, truly "two branches from one tree." At times it frightened me that two people could be so close ... and it just kept getting better. Life was good and we had a world of plans and dreams .. then suddenly, after 25 very short years as husband and wife, my Robert died of a massive coronary five minutes after he arrived at work, and two days before Christmas. I was totally devastated.

.. I returned to work as soon as I could after his death ... I had to stay busy. It was a monumental struggle for me to just get through each day. I couldn�t eat, and I couldn�t sleep. Ten hours a day, I worked incessantly on my job. I would go home and again, work incessantly at anything I could think to do ... painting, papering, refinishing floors, replacing door knobs, rearranging furniture ... On �good nights' I would sleep for two hours ... then start the cycle all over again. I forgot how to laugh or smile, I withdrew into myself, I became a robot-like being, and I grieved ... to the very core of my soul ... I was lost in a bottomless, black, icy cold pit of grief ... I was living in hell ... I hated God ... I could see no way out ... I knew I would die from the pain and I wanted to die ... soon, indeed, I prayed to God that it would be soon. I was subconsciously (?) committing suicide by starving myself. The pain never stopped. Desperately needing comfort, I traveled several hundred miles to visit my dad. He was my rock early in life and became my rock once again. Dad, too, was a beautiful human being ... always upbeat, very kind and gentle, and always, always there when I needed him. I saw him cry twice ... when my brother drowned, and when my husband died. We shared our grief ... we talked, we cried, and he comforted me as best he could.

I returned home with a spark of hope. One week from that day, (and only three months after my husband's death) my father died ... of a massive coronary. I was called home to help make his funeral arrangements ...

The following eight months were agonizing. My friends tried to help, but they couldn�t penetrate the wall of grief that encased me.

One evening after a manic day, I sat back, mentally and physically exhausted from work, from crying and from trying to go on. I wanted to close my eyes, my mind, my heart, my soul and free myself from the pain .. Finally, I decided to ask God for help ... and, at the same time, knew there would be no help. I reached for my husband's 38 ...

At the very instant my fingers touched that gun, the most wonderful feeling came over me ... The only way I can describe it is a golden, glowing, warm feeling ... and for the first time in almost a year, I felt inner peace ...

That was four years ago.

God allowed me to feel the deepest of pain and to turn away from Him. But when I emotionally and physically hit absolute rock bottom and finally decided to ask for His help, He was waiting for me with open arms. He has worked miracles in my life since then.

Today, with God's help, I have built a wonderful new life, I have a new faith, a new home, and am abundantly blessed with friends, and health, and an unbelievable zest for life. I know there is a God, I know He loves me, and I also know that when one door is closed in our life, He opens another.

I have not learned how to fall out of love with my husband, I don�t know how to not be married ... perhaps I never will. I still miss my husband and my father to the core of my soul. I go through periods of sadness, especially on their birthdays, our anniversaries, and the dates of their deaths, and I still grieve for them, but it doesn't consume me. I can now think of them and talk about them and smile, and be thankful that I was truly blessed to have had them share my life.

"As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him."


You can send email to Estell at [email protected]
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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW