Today’s the fourth anniversary of the death of Kate O’Beirne, dear friend and mentor to a number of us at National Review. She was former Washington editor and then National Review Institute president. I first met her when I was an intern at the Heritage Foundation. (Our first conversation may have been in the ladies’ room closest to Government Relations there.) Anyway, she was amazing, and I’m not alone in missing her every day. I still want to hear what clever take she would have on something or another. But mostly I miss her physical presence. I miss praying with her in churches around the world. I think the most beautiful time I had with her and her husband, Jim, was at Mary’s House in Ephesus — where John is believed to have lived with the Blessed Mother after the crucifixion of Jesus.
I don’t think I could ever forget my last moments in her presence, which has made me even more convicted about the need to protect life at the end, and why the separation people had to have from their loved ones dying this past year has been so cruel. (I don’t know if it could have been handled differently, but it was one of the violences of the coronavirus pandemic.) I also feel in my being like it is today, the glory of the moment I learned she had just died – I was as Mass and the Alleluias were resplendent, and such a consolation in the agony of knowing she’d never be with us in the same way again. If I make it to Heaven, I look forward to the reunion. And goodness, one cannot help but to grow in gratitude remembering what a gift it was to imperfectly love and be loved by her. I hope she is in the presence of the Father, knowing His gaze perfectly. Maybe in prayer, she can share Kate’s Take (I think that was a column we ran on NRO for a while — I’m just remembering as I write!) on the gaze of God the Father.
If you did not have the blessing of knowing Kate, you can read about her here.