Clicking the blue links below will play my song:

Never Gone Away Arrangement Copyright 2016 by Unger


Hugging an angel


Copyright 2011 by Judy Unger


I know that soon you will leave me

how will I ever say goodbye?

there’s so much you’ve left me

I’ll try hard not to cry

and when you’ve left you’ll still be with me

in all the songs I’ll long to play

every time I see a smile

you’ll have never gone away


It always seems to me, that whenever I was down

your hand was the one holding mine

but your fingers I’ll let go of now; how I long to hold on

you’ll touch so many others when you’re gone


I know that soon you will leave me

how will I ever say goodbye?

there’s so much you’ve left me

I’ll try hard not to cry

when you’ve left you’ll still be with me

in all the songs I’ll long to play

every time I see a smile

you’ll have never gone away


Sometimes I will stop and wonder

you’ll know what I am feeling

I’ll hear your laughter in my mind

I’ll remember all our special moments

They’ll run by with a tear

You’ll leave, but in my heart, you’re still here


And I know that soon you will leave me

how will I ever say goodbye?

there’s so much you’ve left me

I’ll try hard not to cry

when you’ve left you’ll still be with me

in all the songs I’ll long to play

every time I see a smile

you’ll have never gone away

you’ll have never gone away

For several days, I have read the anguished words written by a newly bereaved mother across the world in South Africa. I believe it was no accident that I discovered Tersia’s blog a few months ago. Another good friend of mine who reads my blog told me that my sharing of Tersia’s story has moved her deeply. I understand. There is something so affecting when someone writes about death with such honesty. None of us are immune from dying, but many people live their lives without confronting that hard truth.

Comments on Tersia’s blog continue to pour in, and I am awed reading those beautiful messages. The tremendous love and compassion extended to her are incredibly touching, and there are even messages left by people who learned of her blog from mine. This mother is writing about her experience as it is unfolding. I cannot imagine anything more heart-wrenching!

I have a lot more I want to share about this. But I begin with Tersia’s own anguished words. Her post can be accessed by clicking the blue link below:

Vic has left home for the last time. . .

Angel near the end

Where do I start? How do I begin a farewell when I still can’t believe you’re gone? How do I say goodbye to a part of my soul? The day you were born I experienced this UNBELIEVABLE rush of love. I was smitten from the first second I lay eyes on you.

You came into my life and changed me forever. Over the years people have complimented me for being a good mother but I truly cannot take credit for that. You were born good, and great and amazing. You were the one who taught me lessons in life. I believe you are an angel God sent to teach me. You taught me how to be myself. Most of all you taught me about life and how to live.

When you were diagnosed with Osteogenesis Imperfecta at the age of 18 months, the doctors told me I should wrap you in cotton wool and wait for you to die. You are the bravest person in the world. You rewrote medical history. You defied death for so many years… You mocked bad news and a poor prognosis…

You made me so proud. You have always been my greatest pride and joy. At school you excelled as a pianist. As a mommy you were an example to all. As a dying person you were brave beyond words.

I’m not sure how I can live this life without you. You worried about me just as much as I worried about you. You fought so hard to stay alive. You fought until you gave your very last breath. You did not want to leave your boys. Your sons will honor you every day of their lives with their actions.

No one will ever forget you. You made an incredible impact on the world. Your dream of a Hospice for Alberton has been realized with Stepping Stone Hospice, and ironically you were Stepping Stone’s first death…. Thousands of people will benefit from your dream and compassion in years to come.

Vic, I miss you so much already and I don’t know if I can take this pain anymore. How can I be sad when you brought me so much happiness? How can I be sad when I feel like the luckiest person on earth to have been chosen to be your mother? How can I be sad when God gave you to me for 14,019 days, 20 hours and 15 minutes? I thank God every day for the time we shared together.

So now we must bid you farewell. It is your time to run, free from pain and suffering. We will always love you. We will never forget you.

Rest in Peace my Angel Child.

Blue Butterflies

Jan. 20, 2013

Hi Tersia,


I am going to just send you messages of comfort. You do not need to reply unless you have the energy. I feel sure you will get these messages. Just read them and don’t feel you must respond to me.


I love to work with photos in Photoshop – I am sharing with you some creations I’ve made.


Just know that at this moment I am contemplating that you are numb. That is a form of protection – it is too impossible to come to grips that Vicky is gone. There is no right or wrong way to do things. I know everything feels bizarre and unreal. I remember I couldn’t understand why I was still alive – it was so very awful.


I know that Vic’s memorial service will be beautiful. Not sure if you’ve had it yet, but perhaps you can record it. It might bring you comfort later on.


Hang in there, Tersia.


Love, Judy


Jan 22, 2013

Hi Tersia,


I am continuing to write to you. You have entered the awful hole. You are now a member of the bereaved mother’s club. No one wants to join this club.


I read your post. The numbness is very bizarre. What purpose is there left to living – where did she go? I remember it all.


I continue to compose and sing. I was stunned when I wrote and recorded my new song “Angel in the Sky” just two weeks ago. Never has such a beautiful song come out of the sky to bless me. It is many years along for me – so I can sing about my angel with sweetness and without pain. I dream of when that time will come for you. For now, close your eyes and think of Angelic Vicky holding you tight.


Jan. 23, 2013

Hi Tersia,


Tersia, what can I say? I read your post. It is unbearable. There are no words. I think every bereaved parent suffers the helplessness of being unable to save his or her baby. Vic is your baby. The horror of her ending will eventually fade, but your opera has begun.


The amputation of a soul – there are no words for it. You will emerge from the fog, you will get through this – and you have already been through so much already. You had goodbyes – something that many bereaved parents long for. But with the goodbyes came god-awful suffering and trauma. How can you let go of that?


I think of the lyrics from my “Angel” song – “My lovely light – just not in sight.” Vic will always light your way now. She is not in sight – but that doesn’t mean she isn’t with you.


Jan. 24th

Dearest, dearest Tersia,


My song is completely for you now – please let me know of any feeling about Vic that I might add to these lyrics. I heard your wail before you even released it. It goes on and one . . . I KNOW!!!!!!


You’ve held your wail back for sooooo long. Such a dear stoic woman have been. Please know that tears are important – you are filling your own ocean now.


With love and understanding, Judy

Link to Tersia’s blog: Never Gone Away


Link to more information about Tersia and her blog: TERSIA BURGER


Judy and the beach

On Jan 28, 2013, Tersia wrote:

Dear Judy

I am numb and today I just wanted to die.


But then I read this email and saw the great picture you had Photo-shopped and I was filled with gratitude…It is my favorite photo of the two of us!


Thank you for your love, understanding, patience and support! You are an amazing person! I hope we will meet one day! Vic had a thing for butterflies, so I truly could relate to this beautiful song! Thank you for sharing it with me.


I will repost this on my blog with credit to you. Thank you dear friend.


with love and gratitude, Tersia


Dear Tersia,

I just came home from the ophthalmologist to see your message. I am having a tough time with my eyesight in one eye – it’s blurry. He said that there is blood that will reabsorb eventually and my eyesight will improve. But it could take a year!


I have been crying easily, lately. My music still helps me, but I am discouraged. I get headaches looking at my computer so much. 


But then I remind myself that I have overcome many challenges before in my life. I’ve survived the death of a child. I will get through this.


Being in touch with you reminds me to have deep appreciation for life. Look at what Vicky (and you) went through – she would have given anything to live – even if she were blind!


Glad to hear you liked that image. I will make it into a painting and ship it to you soon. I do believe I will meet you someday.


Love, Judy

Tersia and Vic pastel

© 2013 Judy Unger and Tersia Burger and 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. johncoyote says:

    Thank you for the story. Life teaches us many things. Some are hard to understand. Good to have people to give you hope and strength when you need it.


    • Judy says:

      You’re welcome, John. I was inspired musically by John Denver and remember well how you liked him also. I think hope is important and we get through things even when we don’t have the strength.


  2. jmgoyder says:

    Judy, you are amazing. I still can’t get my computer to play your songs so will forward this to Ming’s and see if that works. Love Julie


    • Judy says:

      Thank you, Julie. I cry hearing the song and if you’re amazed by not hearing it – well, then I am more blessed than ever! Of course, it is the thought that counts, but do let me know what you think of it once you’ve heard it. If it doesn’t play, let me know and I will mail you a CD!


  3. tersiaburger says:

    Judy you are such a compassionate person. You have so much pain in your own life and yet you reach out to others. You are a source of great comfort to me. I came here tonight to listen to more of you songs. “Thank you” seems so inadequate but it is the only words I have.


    • Judy says:

      Tersia, thank you from you is hardly inadequate. I have prayed that I might comfort you and you have told me that I’ve made a difference. That alone inspires me as I forge onward on my journey. I’m certain that you and I will be in touch over both our journeys. I am so sorry for your suffering. But as you know, compassion is borne from that. You have it also and already are helping other people, too, with your honest writing. Hang in there.


  4. tersiaburger says:

    This is my favorite story and song!


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