" ........ Somewhere on the other side of this hell is the Heavenly promise of peace and reunion – but that’s a lifetime away and [learning to cope with] death and separation from our young boy who [wanted] so much to live, cuts us deeply. It’s easy to talk of God and life after death in Sunday school, but to come face to face with it is [bewildering]. 

But alas, we are grateful to know there is life after life ... and we have seen tender mercies in our family, even in the midst of our pain. While there are many today who have abandoned belief in God, we stand resolute … with an absolute knowledge of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We have seen Him work in our lives; warning us, preparing us, and lifting us when we hardly have the strength to stand. We remain grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and its healing, transcendent power. As C.S. Lewis once said of suffering, “Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even [agony] into [glory].” This we know. 

As we process all that is happening and the tender pains of losing our precious child, we have felt a quiet whisper that Mitchell was never really ours in the first place, but he is on loan to us from the Father of us all. He, like each of us, will return to Heavenly Father with a perfectly executed life experience filled with hardship and happiness; all designed to refine our souls for greater purposes.

*I took this photo of Mitchell in the fall of 2012. I added some paint textures to prepare to print on a canvas.*