We would never say her grief is double-- because she wasn't the one who lost her daughters, (only two girls she counted as daughters)-- but, she is both grieving and witnessing. I know, there's no point in measuring or comparing-- when someone you love dies nothing is ever the same.
Tonight I read an essay written by a friend. We don't actually know each other very well. But I read her work, and sometimes I cry afterwards. She writes about the husband she loves. They met in Argentina. She was there to learn Spanish and climbing some mountain with friends. He was the guide. He saved her from hypothermia. He knew the Latin names for all the plants. He taught her all the constellations in the southern hemisphere. Can you imagine? So, of course they fell in love. They got married, and lived happily ever after.
Except, one night he died of altitude sickness on a mountain far away. They'd only been married a couple of years.
Hailes and I sometimes talk about the kind of love that isn't fair because it's so gorgeous. It's not about soul-mates: it's about conscious adoration. It's: let's roll all our strength and all our sweetness up into ball. It's: can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are shooting stars. It's: Otis Redding's White Christmas. It's not Romeo and Juliet; it's not Titanic; it's just Victoria and Albert battling it out ("I should find one to play it with you, not for you") honest and normal.
But when I read her work, I'm slammed with the risk we all take in loving someone that way. They can go away permanently. And you have to live years, and every day, every minute without them. Seconds.
The God I believe in is very romantic because he wants us all to love that way. The high risk kind. The kind where there is communion because you're willing to put in the work it takes to not be afraid (which is just another form of pride anyway).
I believe in heaven. I believe in a Savior who died so that we'd never lose anyone we loved for very long-- that promise is joyous...
But, there must be something Godly in learning how to sorrow, or no child of a supreme deity would ever be asked to lose someone so dear and so precious for even a minute.