This post is dedicated to my father. Today would have been his eighty-ninth birthday. One year ago today, he went into a coma and died five days later. My song “With Me” was written a month after his death. 

Link to performances, stories, lyrics and recordings: WITH ME


Story behind WITH ME – PART 1

Story behind WITH ME-PART 3

#5 you are a songwriter when



I look at the clouds and see your face

You’re watching me; smiling from space

Not sure where I’m going or when I’ll get there

But you are with me; you’re everywhere

When I’m discouraged, sometimes I crawl

You hold me up so I won’t fall

Not sure of my life now or where I will go

But you are with me; that much I know


With me, when I was born

With me as I mourn

With me in every song

You’re with me to keep me strong

With me every day

With me in every way

With me and always near

You take away all of my fear


Not sure of my future, but I’ve always known

That you are with me; I’m not alone

Though I can’t see you; you’re not in sight

Through the darkness you are my light

Not sure what will happen or how things will be

Yet I am certain, you are with me


With me, when I was born

With me as I mourn

With me in every song

You’re with me to keep me strong

With me every day

With me in every way

With me and always near

You take away the fear

With me when I cry

With me when I die

Watching my life unfold

You’re with me, as I grow old

You’re with me . . . as I grow old

My parents’ wedding portrait from 1950.

My parents’ wedding portrait from 1950.

My parents gave me so much love and I still can feel it.

My parents gave me so much love and I still can feel it.

Oh dad, how quickly this year has gone by since your death. I can easily picture that moment when you died. You opened your eyes and I watched as your soul was lifted to God. 

I was so blessed to have such a loving father as you. With mom’s dementia, we became close and were a comfort to each other.

I hated that you suffered so much. Even though you were in terrible pain, you were always worried about me. I miss having you there to worry about me. But on the other hand, I am very relieved that you are not here worrying about me!

I waited until you were gone to end my marriage; we talked about it and you completely supported me. But it was best that you did not witness my transition; it would have caused you great distress.

I loved sharing all of my excitement with you about my journey. At first you were skeptical, but later on you really had so much faith in me. You even listened to many of my audio stories and gave me feedback. I’m sorry that it was painful for you to listen to some of my stories. You said you could not bear hearing about my grief and suffering.

Dad, I still feel blanketed by your love. I look at clouds and imagine you watching me. If I close my eyes, I can hear your voice. When I cry, I feel your tears raining upon me from above.

I stay positive because I prefer for you to beam from heaven instead of crying.

You are with me always.

Judy & Lee 2

Things I wish I could tell my father:


Dad, I have been very careful not to let eggshells fall into the sink. You always told me not to put them in the garbage disposal because they turn into sand and cause problems.


I’ve tried hard to continue to grow my fingernails. You were so thrilled about that. Recently, I have had a few lapses where I’ve bitten them, but I’m certain I will overcome this.


I’m sorry we didn’t eat at IHOP (Pancake House) the week before you died. When you started to cry about it, I told you that it was easier to go to a different restaurant that day. I know you wanted me to find ways to make my life easier and I hoped you’d get over it. Now I regret it very much, especially because you went into a coma on your birthday.

Dad at IHOP


Dad, you always raved about the eye surgeon who did cataract surgery on both you and mom. I knew you would have been happy knowing he did my cataract surgery, too. Only a few months after you died, I had my surgery.


I told this doctor how much you worshipped him before he operated on me. Even though he was an excellent surgeon, I know that if you were alive you would be very aggravated about my current situation.


Dad, I still carry your favorite “sand pillow” in my car. You wanted me to have it for you when you went to the dentist. Yesterday, I had an appointment and memories came back to me of us going together to that dentist shortly before you died.


You were in so much pain that day and still grateful that I took you to that appointment. You were elated just to be with me, even if it was going to the dentist!


I try not to correct other people by telling them to say “well” instead of “good.” I wish I felt well, and I try hard to stay positive because you loved me so much.


You would be proud that I am working on an illustration assignment.


And when I spent an hour dealing with Medi-Cal issues for mom yesterday, I could feel your sympathy. I heard you say, “Don’t deal with it, cut back!”


Unfortunately, I must deal with many things related to mom’s care. It is amazing the way she clings to life and I am blessed that she is comfortable and not in pain.


Thank you for leaving enough money to pay for her companion, Miriam.



The sale on my former house is going through. Thankfully, it came just in time so that there will be money for me to buy the coop and have funds to pay Miriam.


Your grandson misses you so much. He treasures the coin collection you gave to him and talks about it all the time. He tells me that he tries not to chew on ice and stands up straighter because he hears your voice. I hear those things, too.


His college graduation is tomorrow. You were trying hard to stay alive to see that day. I know you’ll be sitting right there with us. It is because of you that my son is who he is today. He has grieved you deeply and I remind him that you wouldn’t want him to be sad.


I wish there was some way that my brothers could reunite. I wish I could do more, but honestly I’m incapable right now. If you were still alive, you could not bear this – I know.


I realize now that you planned for me to live at your coop. Thank you, dad. You continue to take care of me from heaven.

Grief 3

His favorite cap

© 2014 by Judy Unger 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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2 Responses to YOU’RE WITH ME – PART 2

  1. Sharon Fisch says:

    As always, your journal continue to amaze me and fill me with such emotions, as I am remembering my father, gone already 13 years April. I think about my folks, and do much reminiscing with my siblings, sometimes laughing, sometimes in tears. Less tears as the years go by, more fondness. It does get better Judy. I pray that your brothers see the light and get back together. Continue to draw on your dad’s strength and love, for he is indeed with you. All my love, Sharon


  2. Joni Lautman says:

    Didn’t realize he was 88 when he died. He looked pretty good. It must be difficult for you. He was an amazing man!! Joni


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