Guitar and pick

The tingly sensations and bounce in my step have continued since my meditation-healing workshop of two weeks ago. My eyes are still annoying, but my heart is peaceful and joyous. Music and writing continues to explode from me and I am very excited about life.

When I first separated from my husband, I was anguished about how much it affected my children. I am not anguished now because I’ve changed my mindset and let go of many of the stories that made me sad.

My children are still adjusting, but I must mention that recently my 19-year-old daughter has gone in a direction that has put me in a state of amazement.

Over this past year, she discovered her own passion for music and songwriting!

Every day, our small apartment is filled with the sounds of her singing and playing guitar. I chuckle because she uses my old classical guitar. It still has sand in it from all the times I played it on the beach.

Her talent is beautiful for me to witness. I have to stifle my emotions and maintain my cool when she shares how excited she is over writing a new song.

This past weekend, she performed at a large YouTube Convention in Los Angeles (near where we live). She and 24 other musicians won the opportunity to perform there out of 6,000 entries.

Last night, she asked me, ”Mom, do you have a condenser mic, a stand and a pop shield that I can borrow? I’m recording at a friend’s studio. Oh, and maybe a gear bag for me to carry it in?

I certainly had those items. As I gathered them for her, I broadly grinned.

I guess I’m a really cool mom since I can do these things for her. In the past I’ve offered to help her, but she wasn’t too receptive. Maybe it’s changing!

My guitar is in my bedroom and I have started writing a new song. The first verse is done and the lyrics are scrawled on that notebook next to my guitar.

My guitar is in my bedroom and I have started writing a new song. The first verse is done and the lyrics are scrawled on that notebook next to my guitar.-

Yesterday, I played tennis at a private home.


Lately, my focus on tennis has really drifted, but I know how important it is for me to be outside (and exercise). I play women’s doubles, which requires less physical effort than singles – but our games are swift and require concentration. I usually have a shortage of that, since I’m often writing lyrics in my head while I play tennis.


The woman who owned the home where I played yesterday had been on vacation for 3 weeks. I have played at her home for at least ten years. She had just gotten back from an excursion that included countries such as Spain and Morocco. But it didn’t take long before my “trip” came up in our conversation.


When I casually mentioned that I went somewhere different, my friends all stopped talking and gazed at me with curiosity.


I simply said, “Well, I didn’t go to far – but I did fly somewhere cool with Ayahuasca medicine.”


As I relayed details to those three women, they were completely entranced hearing about my experience.


My friend, a world traveler, had eyes so huge that they were bulging. She exclaimed, “You are so brave! I could never do anything like that.”


Then she proceeded to tell me of a man she knew who had done Ayahuasca. It had changed his life so much that he insisted his 80-year-old father try it. She was laughing when she said, “You know, he almost killed his father!”

Well, it seemed that my “trip” (and its after effects) superceded the tennis yesterday. Even though I’m not a world traveler, I guess I had a trip that was fascinating for my friends to hear about!

I like adding pictures to my stories to make things more interesting. This marker rendering of mine feels like summer! I hardly ever eat red meat anymore.

I like adding pictures to my stories to make things more interesting. This marker rendering of mine feels like summer! I hardly ever eat red meat anymore.

Since my Ayahuasca experience, I am making a few changes in my life. I have decided to discontinue voice lessons for now so that my energy surrounding singing can be redirected. I really prefer to focus on singing with emotion, rather than concentrating on my vocal technique. But I definitely needed to learn about my instrument and how to best use it.

Recording vocals while I was learning helped me to improve, but at the same time it added a lot of pressure. I realize that for the last four months, I haven’t enjoyed singing that much.


But I do appreciate my vocal improvement. I have so many wonderful “tools” in my vocal toolbox that I never had because of Kimberly. I will certainly miss her, because she has become a good friend. We will definitely stay in touch and I know I will still see her occasionally.


I have every intention of practicing and maintaining my voice. I love where I am and feel much more confident about singing for other people than I ever did before.


This afternoon, I went into the recording studio to sing vocals for my new arrangement of “Beside Me Always.”


The first notes of this gorgeous new arrangement transport me to a grassy bluff at the cemetery. I am standing over Jason’s grave while a breeze envelops me and caresses my broken heart.


When I sang my song today, I was quite moved. There is nothing in the world that could describe how beautiful it felt to sing while my heart was bursting. Nothing at all.


I allowed for emotion, but didn’t let it destroy my ability to sing. It isn’t easy to sing and cry simultaneously! But although I sang my song with tears and emotion – I wasn’t sad.


Jason was right there beside me in that recording booth.

Jason in the breeze

My correspondence with a woman named Sammi on an Internet grief forum:

It’s been one year; it’s hard to believe. I slowly rock back and forth and remember how I was one year ago, the shock, the numbness, and the horror of it all. The world continued to turn, life did go on…..for everyone else….not for me. My life has stalled and I continue to have anger and guilt issues.


I have learned to put my false face on when I am at work. I laugh and talk with people and as soon as I am alone that face is gone. People don’t understand what you are dealing with so they really don’t want to see it all the time. This problem cannot be fixed. This problem will never go away and there is no bright side to this. I am tired of hurting. I am tired of having an ache in my soul and a hole in my heart. I am tired of pretending that everything is OK. I am tired of not having anything good to look forward to. I am just tired.


One Year. I used to say; “My how time flies” but I didn’t really know how true that was. How a year can crawl by and fly by at the same time is beyond me but…this one did. I look out over my quiet, sleeping neighborhood and notice how little has changed and yet…..everything has changed. My heart aches every time I hear or read about someone losing a child. I wish I didn’t understand how that felt. I still want to rant and rave and scream until I can’t scream anymore. I have cried enough tears to fill an ocean and yet they still come like I have never cried at all. It hurts too much to face each day without my son but I know, to stop living, is to stop honoring his life. Child loss, no matter the age of the child, is the most piercing, gnawing, constant, lingering pain that will never go away and those of us that have gone through it……will live the rest of our lives wrapped in the mantle of this pain.


Oh, my friend, how my heart aches for you. Just as you wrote about the ache when hearing other people’s’ loss of a child – that is my connection to you!


See, I was where you were exactly once – Hopeless and tired. In fact, your words about tears filling an ocean are unbelievable since I wrote a poem of that title. It really felt as if my tears did fill an ocean.


You already know it is a horrible road. What choice is there? Believe it or not – there are choices. I know people who have died from grief. You are living for your son’s memory, he is your light in this darkness.


Your soul is amputated and you are bleeding profusely. I cannot take away your pain. Promises that it will get better sound too unbelievable for you right now. If hell exists, it is right here on this earth after our child dies.


I knew this was your one-year anniversary and meant to write to you sooner. You made it through one year and that is a huge achievement. Each minute farther away from the amputation of your soul may be slow, torturous and imperceptible – but it is farther along. You will get there. You will always miss your son, but life won’t be filled with torture. Don’t give up hope.


Love, Judy


© 2013 by Judy Unger  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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