Treasures in Heaven
Whitney died last week. She was only 18. I attended her memorial service and hundreds were there to mourn. She had been an acolyte at my parish, one thing among many she did well. She was also a twin. Perhaps, that’s how she first caught my eye.
“A twin?” I thought, just like me.
But, unlike me, Whitney was not long for this world. She was snatched in an instant of unexplainable horror when the van she was filling with gas, caught a spark, and suddenly burst into flames. And, then, she was gone.
I was in the home of a brother priest, when the call came… I just wept. For her. For her mother, Clelia, and her father, David. For her little sister, Marina. But most of all, for Wesley, her twin.
As a twin, it’s my greatest fear: to lose my “other”–my self, split in half. Oh, the pain of contemplation. But, my thought is now Wesley’s nightmare come true. And, at their home, when the memorial service had ended, I hugged Wesley and saw in his eyes, his dispare. “I’m so sorry for your great loss,” I could barely say to him, choking back the tears.
Clelia, Whitney’s mom, and I are friends from a previous life when for some unexpected reason, God had raised me up to reluctantly lead our parish. She was my senior warden. And, now she stood before me at the entrance to that large chapel on the campus of Colorado College.
Having lost a daughter, Cara, I knew all too well and even remembered my insanity born out of unbearable grief. Clelia was allowing me to enter her “looking glass”. For a brief moment, I glimpsed a world she would now call her own… A world without Whitney… A world with deep valleys.
Yes, this will be Clelia’s “dark night of the soul”. Heavy sigh.
When I wrote to Clelia, all I could think to say is that we now have treasures in heaven… The both of us. Where thieves can no longer break in and steal… And the moth can no longer currupt. Whitney. Cara. Our treasures in heaven.
Oh, how we long to be with them, there.