4Thirteen years ago our youngest son died tragically and suddenly.  It took years to move forward without him, but in the early days after his death we were made aware of God’s presence with us by some of the special things He did to comfort us and assure us that our son was with Him.

One such occasion involved the word “automatic”.  We were standing graveside, trying to make sense of the name on the headstone.  It takes awhile to get used to the name of your child on a grave.  (The good news for those who grieve is that, eventually, you can move forward.  You’re not the same, and never will be, but you CAN rejoin the living).

I asked my husband, “Do you think that when I ask God to tell Mike that I love him, it’s a prayer that gets answered? ”

He responded, “I think it’s automatic.”

The next day I was writing my prayers in my journal. (It’s easier for me to concentrate that way.). I was asking God to tell my son that I loved him.  I looked up for a moment, and saw that the VCR was flashing the word “automatic”.  I looked back to my journal to record this unusual answer to prayer.  When I looked up again, the VCR was flashing the time…8:28.

There were other incidents during this time of fresh grief, when God went out of His way to show us His grace, comfort and peace.  I’ve found that as time goes on and I no longer need as much comforting, these little signs have ceased.  But the word “automatic” is always a reminder to me that I am never alone.

October 4


3 comments on “Automatic”

  1. Hi Jane. I know it’s been a while but I think you can help me with something. Our 4-year-old dog, Xenon died suddenly on November 4. We had an autopsy done and evidently he has a heart dysfunction. My heart is broken and I feel like I have lost a child. I’m sure it’s not the same as you losing your son. I have spent the past three months asking why. I feel like you know where I’m coming from. The song my daughter played for me was, “Let it be”. “There will be an answer, let it be.”

    • Holly!!! I think of you so often, and I’ve left a couple of comments on your blog just to see if you’re still there. It’s so good to hear from you!

      I’m so sorry to hear about Xenon. I’m a dog lover too, and they are part of our families. One of our Goldens died suddenly when an undetected tumor burst. The vet said something to me that, for some reason, made me feel better. He said, “The fact is, we live longer than they do”. I guess we sort of sign on, knowing, in the back of our mind, that we’re going to outlive them. Much like losing a child, it’s more difficult when they’re so young, and when it’s unexpected.

      I will keep you in my prayers, long lost and now returned friend. I hope you start to feel better soon. When you’re ready, maybe there’s another pup out there who needs you.

      Much love,

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