One of the hardest parts of Philomena‘s time here on earth was the isolation. I thought I was isolated when we were at Good Sam NICU. I had no idea what lie ahead and just how lonely and strange it would become. The isolation magnified the already arduous struggle immensely.
Loneliness can be just as debilitating as a physical illness. To be cut off from family and friends in such a radical way so suddenly, it was devastating. I don’t know all the answers to coronavirus, but I am certain we were not made to live in isolation. This is from the devil. By nature, man is made to love and be loved. We are made to be a communion of persons united in our love for one other and our Creator.
It has been a great joy to be reunited with my friends and family. To be hugged and to sit and share conversations with friends and family has been glorious. I am able to talk about Philomena and make her even more real for them. I always cry a bit when I speak about her still, but it is good to talk about her. I love to say her name. I don’t want to forget that she was here and for a time I held her in my arms.
As incredible as these reunions have been – what will my reunion be like when I am able to hold Philomena again in heaven? Since her nativity into heaven, I have pondered and longed for my heavenly home as never before.
A good friend who lost her sweet little girl one week before Philomena sent me the most beautiful quote a priest wrote over a hundred years ago about what this reunion will be like.
“You were heard to lament when death laid low one of your daughters, still an infant in the cradle; you will be heard rejoicing and glorifying the Lord when you meet this cherished little one again on a throne near Him, having all at once obtained a maturity without decline, eternally beautiful, eternally young. In taking her to Himself, God has assumed the care of bringing her up. He has educated her Himself. Fear not that He will have left no place in her heart for you…God will enable her to know her mother [and father] and will give her filial piety as a supernatural virtue”Excerpt from In Heaven We’ll Meet Again by Fr Francois Rene Blot, SJ
Yes, this is a reunion I greatly look forward to. If, by the grace of God, I am able to persevere in living a good and holy life – I will one day have this reunion. Death is not only about our loss here on earth, it is also about a glorious reunion in heaven. Philomena returned to her Maker. As devastated as I was the day of her death, that was the greatest day of her life. Her joy is perfect. What a mystery to reflect upon!
I can understand a bit more now when St Paul asks, “O Death, where is thy sting?” Although I cannot claim to be exuberant to die today, I do find death less terrifying knowing I will be reunited with my little saint Philomena
I look forward to continued reunions here on earth with you, my friends and family. When I see you, I will tell you just how beautiful my sweet Philomena was. Please, give me a great big hug.
Saint Philomena Pauline Marie, pray for us!