Two Oblates had died within four days of each other: Philippe Dumolard and of Victor Arnoux. Eugene gives us a glimpse of his personal reactions – a reflection of our own when faced with the death of loved ones.
So now our dear Dumolard, who had given us so much hope, who had shown an affection for the Society that one would scarcely find in several of our older members, has been taken from us. Our blessed Father Arnoux, model of all the virtues, heroic in observance of the Rules, as spiritual as he was holy, has gone to take possession of Heaven at the age of twenty-four years and five months, leaving us as desolate over his loss as we are edified by his coming amongst us. I do not know which sentiment predominates but I am now afflicted, now consoled, sad and serene. To be separated from one’s own costs more than one thinks, but to have the certitude that they are in Heaven, and that they have arrived there by the path which we march, oh! what a sweet thought!
Letter to Hippolyte Guibert, 29 July 1828, EO VII n 308
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” Washington Irving