Joy of joys !!! At last, you've made it. God has seen it fit for you to deserve Heaven. An eternity with Him. You are so glad, more than you've ever been your entire life.
You look around and meet old friends and relatives who have made it here too. You greet them with a tear in your eye - a tear of joy as well as a little sadness when you remember how you missed them and cried when they were gone!
You renew old acquaintances as well as make new ones as you meet the Saints you've read so much about but had never met.
Then you realise someone is missing.
A relative, or friend, whom you'd expected to see here is missing. You ask St Peter and he confirms your suspicion. That person is not here.
Is he in transit? In the Purification Center we call Purgatory, perhaps?
No ... he is ... in the other place.
Your joy turns to sadness, confusion, despair even. How can it be? You so expected to be with that person in Heaven for eternity.
What do you do?
Seek an explanation from God? Perhaps there's been a mistake! Ask Him to re-consider. Plead with Him even? Beg that this person is brought up to Heaven?
Has that person's absence tarnished your joy of being in Heaven? Changed your view of God's justice and mercy?
How can you possibly be here in Heaven for ever, knowing full well that a dear loved one is in the other place and will never join you?
On the Cross Jesus forgave those who dared to inflict so much suffering and death to the Son of God. What more heinous sin could your relative or friend have committed to deserve an eternity in hell?
Your human sense of justice; and your understanding and perspective of forgiveness and mercy would like things to be different and, no matter what that person has done in life, you wish him here with you in Heaven.
But God does not work like that. His perspective is not a human perspective. He decided otherwise.
In Luke 16:19-31 we read that the rich man in "the other place" pleaded that his brothers may not join him there. But his pleadings were met with the response that each person makes his or her own decisions in life, and by their actions they choose whether to go to Heaven or not.
No one goes to hell by mistake. We choose to go there. And many, by their actions, are sleep-walking their way to hell.
The time for action and prayers is now.
And yet ... what if we're one day in Heaven and our loved one is not there? What then?