Joleen Philbeck Obituary, Death –In the series of books known as The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis masterfully portrays a vision of heaven in the final installment, The Last Battle. The story commences with a nearly catastrophic encounter with a railway train, propelling the children into Narnia—an allegorical representation of heaven. As readers familiar with the series may recall, this heavenly realm is vividly described, with its own joys and wonders, and presided over by Aslan, symbolizing Jesus Christ.
However, when the children’s adventures in Narnia conclude, they face the daunting prospect of returning to Earth. Having tasted the delights of Narnia and the profound presence of Aslan, the thought of leaving this paradise behind is utterly unbearable to them. Yet, Aslan, in his gentle wisdom, shares some heartening news with the children. C.S. Lewis eloquently conveys this moment as Aslan speaks to them, revealing that a real railway accident had indeed occurred, and they had passed away. He describes, “the dream is ended: this is the morning.” Aslan’s form begins to change, and what unfolds next is beyond words, a beauty and greatness that defy description.
In essence, Aslan’s message to the children is that their earthly journey has concluded, and the true adventure is just beginning—a story greater and more beautiful than anything they’ve ever known. It is the Great Story, one that stretches into eternity, where each chapter surpasses the previous in grandeur and wonder.
Today, we bid farewell to Joleen Philbeck, who embarks on her own Great Story. She is dearly loved and was surrounded by her family. While the days ahead may be filled with sorrow and difficulty for those of us left behind, we find solace in the belief that this day marks the beginning of a glorious journey for her. For, as believers, we hold the hope that, in the words of the Apostle Paul, “we do not grieve like people who have no hope.” We look forward to the day when we, too, shall step into our own Great Story, joining Joleen in a realm of everlasting joy and splendor.