* PLEASE NOTE: This photo was taken just as Mitchell went to sleep, the night he passed away.*
Dear Family, Friends and Loving Supporters,
At approximately 1:30 AM (Saturday, March 2nd) our sweet Mitchell passed away.
In the hours leading up to his passing we gathered around him as a family, spoke with him, told him how much we loved him, kissed him, cuddled and loved this young man with all that we had. We were grateful that he was able to squeeze our hands to acknowledge he was hearing us. We will miss our baby so very much. Mitchell, while weak in body was giant in spirit.
Last week Mitchell told me that his favorite day is Friday saying it "felt special" because we usually dedicated that evening to family. So in honor of our boy we had our weekly Friday night "den party" but this time in his room. We all spoke softly as we watched a movie and enjoyed each other's company. Mitchell was fading throughout the night, but he kept giving us hand squeeze signals that he was with us and we are sure he loved having us all spend time with him.
Just as I had drifted off to sleep at around 1:00AM I had an impression that I should formally tuck him in (something he asks me to do every night). I got up from the floor, pulled his blanket over his chest, kissed his forehead and whispered into his ear, "Mitchie, this is Dad. I am tucking you in, just as you like it. Remember what we talked about ... don't be afraid, everything is okay. I love you, son. So very much." With that, I kissed him on the forehead a few more times, pressed my face against his and squeezed his hand. Mitchell passed away in less than an hour. I was so grateful to hear that impression and that I acted on it. I would hope that he heard my voice and recognized he had one last tuck and cuddle with his daddy and that it brought him peace and assurance.
Natalie spent the entire evening cradling and caressing her son and assuring him that he was okay and that he was safe in her arms. She never left his side. Natalie has been a valiant and loving mother to her son. I took this photo of Natalie and Mitch last night just before midnight. She loved him with all that she had and served him even more.
In the coming days, weeks and months we will be sharing some events along Mitchell's Journey that have strengthened our faith in God, widened our view of suffering, tender experiences with Mitch, things we learned from Mitchell and some of the remarkable things we learned about you, Mitchell's Journey followers.
We want to thank all of you who reached out to our boy to offer love and support. Your packages and letters of encouragement made him feel special. Your notes on this Facebook page were read to him daily and it made him feel that he wasn't alone. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you.
Our hearts are heavy with sorrow, but filled with gratitude and peace. Mitchell's Journey is not over: it has only just begun ... in this life and the life after.