IT’S NOT A SHRINE; IT’S A JOURNAL*

Just yesterday my boys and I were hustling to get ready for church. Just before we left, I found Wyatt in Mitchell’s room with a reverent disposition – as if he were visiting his brother’s space to quickly to hit reset and get grounded. I love Wyatt and have grown to admire the good young man he is.

I determined at that moment what my son’s room meant to me: it’s not a shrine; it’s a journal.

What is a journal if not a place to reflect and remember?
— Christopher M. Jones | Mitchell's Journey

There was a special, tender spirit in that room yesterday and my heart melted a little.

Last fall, someone saw a different post of mine where I mentioned Mitchell's room remained untouched. Someone glibly posted, "No shrines. It's not healthy." It is my nature to think carefully over things, so I began to contemplate if my son's room was a shrine, as this man callously pointed out.

As I tried to examine the truth of things, I walked into Mitchell's room with an open heart and mind, and I began to see unfinished Lego bases he ran out of time to make. I saw little treasures on his night stand he so carefully placed. Mitch never cared much for things – but he did associate memories with certain items, and if it had an emotional tie, he treasured it for what it meant – not so much for what it was. Little Mitch was so excited to have a bedroom of his own; you can still see childhood posters and a calendar he hastily taped and pinned to the wall when he first moved in. They aren’t level, which makes the wall decorations even more endearing.

On his bed is a piece of art I had an artist paint that represents a tender exchange Natalie had with Mitch, the night he passed away. As she lay cuddling in agony over Mitchell’s lifeless body, she had a distinct impression Mitchell’s spirit remained to comfort his mommy.

As I examined Mitchell’s room, my mind was swept up in memory, and I could almost see my son there again, breathing softly under the warmth of the morning light. It was a tender, healing moment. But healing also hurts, so I felt a little of that, too.

With few exceptions, virtually everything in Mitchell’s room remains untouched. I determined at that moment what my son's room meant to me: it's not a shrine; it's a journal.

What is a journal if not a place to reflect and remember?

One day, when we're ready, we will deal with his room. But for now, it is a tender place to go to remember and reflect. I don't go there often … but when I do, it is always met with feelings of love, gratitude, and of course a little grief.

I used to go there and weep … but now, when I visit, my soul feels more peace than grief. It is a journal not confined to pencil and paper – but instead, one I can see, touch, and remember a little boy who shaped my heart and enlarged my soul.

THE LINK BETWEEN GRATITUDE & PEACE *

Whenever possible, I like to create things that remind me of the many blessings I've encountered in life. If I'm not mindful, it is easy to forget; and when I forget, I can't be grateful ... and when I'm not grateful, it is difficult to find peace and joy.  I've discovered there is a direct link between gratitude and joy, thankfulness and healing.

Tonight, on the eve of Mitchell's passing, I decided to make a desktop wallpaper that was symbolic of a portion of his journey. I started out making it for me ... but then I thought to share it here, too.

If I’m not mindful, it is easy to forget; and when I forget, I can’t be grateful ... and when I’m not grateful, it is difficult to find peace and joy. I’ve discovered there is a direct link between gratitude and joy, thankfulness and healing.
— Christopher M. Jones | Mitchell's Journey

On the left, a beautiful sunset that little Mitch loved so. Fireflies hugged the base of a tree. Mitch always wanted to capture some in a jar but never had an opportunity in this life. Ducks gathered near - he always loved to feed them with his mom at a local pond. Then, birds flocked toward the setting sun - Mitch loved birds.

As the wallpaper progresses there is a patch of darkness which represents the peril our family encountered - an experience that taught me how to see in the dark. Then, in the center is Ethan pushing his little brother. To me this symbolizes the sacred conversation Ethan had with Mitch just before he passed away; wherein a big brother ushered his younger brother toward the next life. Ever by his side. Ever the faithful friend. That conversations between brothers was one of Mitchell's last.

Continuing forward, there are hints of heavenly constellations in the night sky - representing the many tender mercies our son received on his difficult journey I have not labeled them here because they are private, but they are very real. Then a few hints that perhaps [spiritual] reality is far different than we might imagine. After all, as we are reminded in ancient scriptures as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are God's thought higher than our thoughts, his ways than our ways." Lastly, the north star; representing the place we all hope to go in the next life.

I've uploaded this wallpaper to mitchellsjourney.org for any who might benefit from a gentle reminder that tender mercies exist ... and that heaven walks before each of us to prepare the way for our life experience. I don't know many things, but that much I know.

Tonight my heart is filled with tender emotions, but it is also filled with feelings of love and gratitude. There is a measure of peace amid the pain. All is well.

Tri-Screen Desktop Wallpaper

This wallpaper series was designed for multiple monitors.

If you have a wallpaper size request, please send us a message here ...