Butterfly of grief 2

The link below is for a recent performance of my “song in progress” at Kulak’s Woodshed it North Hollywood.



Every time I sang the words “How will I ever say goodbye?” I felt tears fill my eyes. My son’s death was something I had not consciously anticipated, though he was sickly with his heart defect.


What would it have been like to be with my child knowing he would soon die? I could not imagine!


I wrote to a mother last night. She was anticipating that soon her daughter’s suffering would end and she would be entering the black hole of grief.


Wednesday afternoon:

I came home from working with George. My newest song arrangement was so magical that I could hear it playing continuously throughout my day.


This was a very special song. I wrote it in 1980 for my good friend, Marge before she left to go abroad for a year. Marge was also in my thoughts recently when I contacted a new voice teacher, Kimberly. It was through Marge that I had heard Kimberly sing.


When we met.

When we met.

Marge in 8/11

I knew the memory of Marge’s smile would definitely stay with me while she was gone and my song was originally named “You’ll Have Never Gone Away.” I was grateful for our friendship. I let Marge know that she would always be a part of this song, though I planned to revise it. I decided there was a new story to tell with my song.


First, I gave my song a shorter title of “Never Gone Away.”


I pictured a mother getting ready to say goodbye to her daughter who had suffered so much. What could she possibly say to her as she was dying?


I decided I would channel their love in order to revise my lyrics. Then I would give them my song as a gift.


Wednesday night:

Dearest Tersia,

Today, I worked on an older song and it became very meaningful for me. My song is about saying goodbye and letting go. It had me thinking of you. I am going to dedicate a revised version of this song to you and Vicky. It will be called “Never Gone Away.”


I don’t have a vocal for it yet and may not have it finished in time. Just know that when it is finished, you and Vic inspired me. I cannot sing it now without crying.


Even without lyrics, the music speaks. I have a karaoke of it and I’m attaching it here. I hope my music is a ray of light in your darkness. This song is for both of you.


My father saved so much of my old artwork. This drawing is from middle school.

My father saved so much of my old artwork. This drawing is from middle school.

Hand sketch 2

I belong to a club that no one ever would want to join – the one for bereaved parents. There was no mistaking my pain this past week when I thought of all the new members resulting from the tragedy in Connecticut. I read something written by another bereaved mother who said it so well that I couldn’t imagine writing anything better than what she wrote.

In the Days Following a Child’s Death: One Mother’s Perspective

Children died Friday. They died in schools, on highways, in hospitals, and in their own homes. On Friday, their mothers joined a sisterhood I’m in. They are now one of us. We are one. By now, she is exhausted. She discovered early-on one of the hardest truths. Sleep is cruel. She longs for it because it offers her hope of escape, and in it she can still see her son or hear her daughter’s voice. Yet in it, she also re-lives the words no parent wants to hear, and by now, she knows there is no escaping them. They reappear in her dreams, and she cries out in her sleep or bolts upright in bed hoping it was just a nightmare only to rediscover her living hell. By now, she has discovered the cruelest of sleep’s tricks, that when waking, there is a foggy moment of forgetting that precedes the remembering, “My child is dead.”  Each time she remembers, she feels the same knife to her heart she felt when she first heard the words, and she has felt that knife again and again and again by now. 

The rest of this amazing post can be read by clicking the link below:


In the Days Following a Child’s Death: One Mother’s Perspective  lettersfromdonna on December 17, 2012

Mom & Jason w. suspenders 2

Tersia's comment

On Dec 19, 2012, Judy wrote:

Tersia, it meant so much to me that you found the time to read Jason’s story and to share my words.


On Dec 19, 2012, Tersia wrote:

Dear Judy, Thank you so much for reaching out to me. I finally read your Jason’s final journey, and I wept for you. I did however realize that in a weird and convoluted way there is a purpose behind all our grief. You reach out to people in a similar situation to you were in, and I am starting a Hospice. You touch peoples’ lives and souls with your beautiful words and voice. Jason has brought peace and consolation in peoples’ lives – through you. Thank you!

Love and light, Tersia

Tersia“More than you know”

By tersiaburger

I have received a couple of very touching emails from Judy Unger. I am an avid follower of Judy’s blog, I have sensed from Judy’s blogs that she has suffered deeply. I have however always avoided reading her posts on her son Jason’s death. Somehow it is too close to home.


This week I received another caring email from Judy. Tonight I read Judy’s post on her child, Jason Mark.


I wept for Judy.


With fresh, tear-filled eyes, I reread my email. I listened to Judy’s beautiful song and went to lay with my child. I held her gently and told her how much I love her. She is having a bad day and is feeling very frail.


Once again I share this remarkable woman’s caring email with you. Her words are flattering and the email personal. Yet I am compelled to share this email…I hope that you will listen to her beautiful song. Thank you dear Judy for baring your soul and showing your compassion. Thank you for reaching out to me!

I don't want to die roses

How will I ever say goodbye?

© Judy Unger and 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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  1. Wow, this is a very sad post…


    • Judy says:

      It absolutely is. I think the death of so many children last week got to me. But heart wrenching aflictions are something I choose not to avoid. My healing music is my gift to share because I want to help in any way I can. I remember the pain all too well. But I also share my inspirational message that joy is possible again, despite the suffering.


  2. Luna Ulric-Taylor says:

    This song is so beautiful! And your post very touching. I hold in heart Vic and Tersia as they make this journey together. You so wonderful to reach out to them as you have. Thank you for sharing their story.


    • Judy says:

      Luna, Your message means so much to me. What an interesting journey it has been. I found your blog and related to you instantly; you are another 50-something rebirth like I am! Later on, I read about your remarkable hospice work. And now, I’ve allowed all the people around me to touch other peoples’ hearts across the world. It was so beautiful that you reached out and left a comment for Tersia. Thank you so much for reading my words and caring.


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