Butterflies in the sky

When I listen to my most recent musical creation, I am taken straight to heaven!

Clicking the blue link, will play my song:

ANGEL IN THE SKY INSTRUMENTAL Copyright 2013 by Judy Unger


My post title is a line of lyrics from my song “Never Gone Away.” Many of my songs have evolved and changed. I was amazed how at the same time I decided to do a new arrangement for “Never Gone Away,” I befriended a mother and her dying daughter.


My song turned into something completely different from where it started!


I have tried and tried to find a replacement line for “I’ll try hard not to cry.” Those words are not really positive, but they are honest.


Denying tears is very common. Since the feeling behind my song was about a mother saying goodbye to her dying daughter – I channeled what I imagined was the mother’s tremendous stoicism.


After my son died, I released my stoicism and constantly cried when I was alone. My favorite places to cry were in the shower or when I was driving. I wrote that during my bereavement, I cried enough tears to fill an ocean.


I believe in tears. I think crying is a healthy outlet. Tears lead to healing and releasing them are very important. But somehow, as the years went by – I stopped expressing myself in many ways. I preferred to deny tears, and soon ended up feeling nothing at all.


I appreciate my life now so much because I can express my emotions after decades of a zombie-like existence.


Although I do wish I were more joyful; I have no doubt that I will be again. Currently, I have extremely stressful circumstances in my life. I feel confident that I am coping as I continue to compose, write, edit my book, as well as support two teenagers.


Recently, some of my friends have remarked to me that my blog has been too sad. I even heard this: “There are plenty of suffering people in the world; reaching out to them is unhealthy and is bringing you down.”


I do realize that my friends are concerned about me; their intentions were caring. However, I feel I must disagree.


I feel a kinship with bereaved people.


For people who have not truly suffered, that might be difficult to understand. It is unimaginable unless you’ve experienced the torture of trying to get through every second of your day while your mind screams out in pain.


I have written about ways to help and connect to grieving people. But sadly, many people prefer to run the other way. Connecting is the last thing they want to do.


The irony is that grief is random and can strike anyone. No one knows when he or she might join those awful ranks.


My kinship with bereaved people is all related to my healing. I reached out to other bereaved people even when I was in terrible pain. That is why I often recommend that grieving people hold the hands of others who are grieving so they can crawl forward together. I know that it was very helpful for me.


And now that I am much father along on my grief journey, I can offer so much more and receive back even more.


I have a wonderful way of looking at what I can do to help people grieving.

Butterflies 4

I am a butterfly. 

My wish is to help those who are suffering understand that the darkness of grief could be a cocoon from which some day they will emerge. There are no guarantees, but I offer that possibility.


I am sincere when I say that I am not suffering anymore over my child’s death. I feel peaceful on his birthday and death anniversary. I have reached a place of acceptance!


I still cry when certain memories surface and even while singing. I allow it because I treasure those beautiful emotions. When I think of my dead child, I am uplifted into peacefulness and spirituality.


When I wrote the lyric line “my lovely light, just not in sight,” I allowed my subconscious to channel those feelings.


Helping grieving people reminds me of my blessings.


Instead of bringing me down, nothing has ever lifted me up more than knowing I have made a difference for someone who is in terrible pain.


Sometimes, life holds challenges at every turn. There are many forms of grief and pain. It is appropriate that I am hurting as I wade through a divorce, watch my mother deteriorate with dementia and cope with eyesight issues.


At this moment, I am grieving other things in my life. That is why I have announced that I am still healing. I achieved clarity with my friends’ concerns. It was understandable for them to feel that way, because I even wrote on my blog that: “I absorbed their pain.”


But I realize that I carry only my own pain dealing with current challenges, which has been lightened as I help others.


The process of healing accelerates for me with the knowledge that I am capable of healing!


I celebrate that I’m no longer anguished over my son’s death anymore. I allow for tears and celebrate my ability to inspire others to heal.


For me, nothing could be healthier!

This is a picture from Jason’s last birthday, 4 months before he died.

This is a picture from Jason’s last birthday, 4 months before he died.

I love seeing my big smile (this is from when I was 18), which I plan to never lose.

I love seeing my big smile (this is from when I was 18), which I plan to never lose.

I continue to share my recent musical creations. Recently, I expanded upon one of the songs that will be part of my audio book. It is an arrangement of a guitar instrumental piece, which I named Farewell. It was recorded in 2010 and my story about it was named MY FAREWELL TO MUSIC.


The word “farewell” stirs up memories of a poignant goodbye. I’ve said before that I believe life is all about arrivals and departures.


A big thank you is due to my childhood friend, Steve de Mena, who is responsible for creating fabulous mixes of my songs on Protools, in addition to sharing and teaching me the program.


Click the blue link below to play my song:

FAREWELL-1/20/13 Guitar Instrumental


I enjoy reading other people’s blogs. One special blog that has been especially helpful for me is: Daily Divorce Meditations. The author, Dee Dee Wood recently commented on my blog, which really touched me. She wrote:


Judy… every time I re-read this story about the loss of your son… I just want to reach through the computer and hug you as hard as I can… D.


Today, when I was writing this post, I stopped for a moment to read her blog. It knocked me over because her words related perfectly to what I was writing! Here is a portion of what she wrote:


Being of service, being the light in someone else’s day, putting my own problems aside to share my strength, hope, experience with others, reminds me to be grateful for the day, and how much I have to give to those in need.

Sometimes I can be oblivious to what is really going on inside of me, until I have some type of revelation. Overwhelmed by too many commitments, struggling with issues regarding my self-esteem, worn, tired, straying from my spiritual path, it is as if my Higher Power suddenly throws someone directly in my way, who says the exact words I need to hear, or gives me exactly what I need in my life, to have a moment of clarity that brings my true world back into focus.


On my last post, I had a Facebook exchange with a woman named Carol. Our on-line conversation continued the next day. I share her words now (in brown).


Hi Carol, It was nice to hear from you. By the way, yesterday I mailed you a CD.



I am so excited about getting your CD. 

My husband listened to some of your songs and he loved what he heard and wants more! LOL



That’s beautiful that your husband listened!           



I love all your songs, but I need to understand how to read a blog. I don’t have much experience there, but I will learn. I love you, Judy. You will never know what you have opened my eyes up to. I have written songs since the age of 13. I stopped writing, since my son died. No, even before. I have tons of stuff I have written, just scared to show anybody. But you lit a fire underneath me.                                    


Don’t overwhelm yourself. Just remember, writing can start with a simple memory. I started my blog by reconnecting with a woman whom I helped with grief only two years after my son died. She continues to be very supportive of my writing.              


You know, I have won awards for some of the writing…nothing that means anything. Just little things


No award is a little thing! You have talent and it has been latent. Now those seeds can grow. I
 lived for 30 years without my songs. I did rewrite lyrics for my son’s funeral to help myself get through it. But in 2010, I picked up my guitar at a very low point. My mom was ill and I felt completely alone in the world. Music healed all of my pain. I rediscovered my songs and then started writing new ones. I progressed so much in such a short time. But most of all, I discovered joy again. My songs erupted and I wrote a song named “The Unknown.” It expressed how unhappy I was with my marriage. Then I wrote a song to help me find my courage.


I never believed much in God, but decided that I was blessed by this gift. I am going to get through any challenge because music helps me! If I can help you, then God is allowing me to spread my blessing. I share to help others feel better and inspire hope. Carol, please know that your gift is waiting to be reopened and to shine. It never left and will blossom as you express and free yourself from pain!


I don’t know where to start…


Why don’t you start a blog? Just write and write – it’s kind of like a journal. You might also find other people reading your words and responding – it grows and grows!


Wow, this sounds like a great idea… but you’re going have to walk me through it. 
 I love you, Judy.


I love you too, Carol. I will gladly help you. There’s no way you can fail! I was just writing a story about why I am so involved with grieving people. I am perfectly fine with what I’m doing and if people find it sad, they can read something else!


All your stuff, is absolutely amazing.

 I am divorced and am remarried.
 I cheer you on to share the beauty that is in your heart with others.
 You are a beautiful thing.


Thank you for believing in me. I actually believe someday I will reach a lot of people. For me, the destination is not as important as the journey. I am staying positive despite unbelievable challenges. I wasn’t meant to be exposed or find fame until the time is right. God continues to bless me with more knowledge and my voice has also improved since I didn’t sing for 30 years.


Leaving my husband was the only way I could do this; to have the courage. I believe I will even touch more people than just those who have experienced grief. There are a lot of divorced women who will be cheering me on!


You have had to overcome challenges that even I don’t know I could have done.


Thanks, Carol. I go back and forth between writing to you and writing my story. Writing to you is part of my story and crystallizes everything. It doesn’t bring me down when I can inspire you to rise up. That was what I was writing about!


Tonight, I had a friend help me in my new digs set up a microphone for recording. I have a lot of songs that need new vocals. Once I get my book done, I’ll be starting a second one with lots more songs!


Judy, I will never judge you, just encourage you, edify you and pray for you, because I know you would do the same for me. I have not scrolled through all my poems, all my songs, until I met you. You have actually inspired me to write again. My husband can’t believe it.


Then I thank you for adding to my beautiful story about why I love what I am doing. It’s all about love. I healed from my grief because of my love for my son and what he wanted for me. You will heal, Carol. It is so hard – but I see it!! I am going to go to bed now – but I have a smile on my face.


The best part about writing is that it is so healing. I waited 18 years, but if you can do it after six years – you can inspire even more people about healing!

Fantasy Butterflies in the sky

Recent email message to a friend:


Sunday, January 22nd

It was so nice of you to be concerned about me. I have not been emailing my friends as much, but I have been writing a lot for my blog. I am still in limbo as far as signing a divorce agreement.


Lately, I’ve been reaching out to other grieving people to offer comfort. A friend told me that it probably wasn’t good for me to do this because it was “bringing me down.” But the truth is that I am down and helping people gives me a lot of satisfaction.


I have not felt great physically. Today, I had a bad experience. I saw something black go into my vision – then it dissipated into threads and my vision was foggy in that eye. I went to Urgent Care and the ophthalmologist who examined me said it was a large new floater and there was retinal blood in the back of my eye. But my retinas were intact and eventually I would get used to this new floater, which I’ll add to my collection. Ironically, it looks like a music note!


My vision is so annoying and looks worse than before my cataract surgery. 50% of the vision in my left eye looks brown. I’m trying not to let it make me miserable, but it hasn’t been easy.


I can share that I have been doing wonderful things musically. I’ve created about five new arrangements in the last few months. Last week, I wrote a beautiful new song and I love it. I’ve also started taking voice lessons with a new teacher. She is wonderful and I hear so much improvement already!


So that is my life in a nutshell. I hope you are doing well. You know I often think of you and care about you very much.


Love, Judy

Ps. My mother continues to hang in there, but when I saw her yesterday, she did not look well. She had mild pneumonia and a urinary tract infection last week. On Saturday, I visited her but she would not open her eyes to look at me. I have done well accepting that she has left my life.



© 2013 by Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com. 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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3 Responses to I’LL TRY HARD NOT TO CRY

  1. jmgoyder says:

    I too understand the kinship you speak of. You are a marvel.


  2. Luna Ulric-Taylor says:

    Judy, the butterfly, in its transition literally transforms, and in the process becomes Irecognizable….a gooey mass which then, slowly, becomes a completely new being. And still, it must make the final struggle out of the cocoon in order to strengthen its wings so it will be capable of flight. None of this is easy and there is no guarantee the butterfly will emerge. It is such a rich metaphor for your life…for all of us who have suffered a painful transition. I see you taking flight, you have done the hard work. And your sharing with others, your music, is like a butterfly beacon, calling to others trying to emerge from their cocoon.


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