Copyright 2015 by Judy Unger

My love for you grows over time 

with every song and every rhyme 

I dream about your sweet embrace 

your sparkling eyes; your beautiful face

You are my angel in the sky, like a butterfly

you flew away and couldn’t stay

we had to say goodbye

I still cry, so you must know I miss you so

my angel in the sky

you’re my angel in the sky

Your precious smile glows in my mind

you uplift; you are my gift

And when I die; you’ll hold my hand

my lovely light, just not in sight


Gone for years and I still cry

don’t you know, my love just didn’t die

You are my angel in the sky, like a butterfly

you flew away and couldn’t stay

we had to say goodbye

I still cry so you must know

I miss you so, my angel

Gone for years and I still cry

You’re my angel in the sky

Guitar with Jason on his bed

Click the blue links below to hear my songs:

Angel in the Sky #2 Arrangement 2014

Angel in the Sky Acoustic Home Recording

In 2012, I wrote my song “Angel in the Sky” to express enduring love for my child who died in 1992.

I was excited about “Angel” from the start; George and I began arranging it before I had even finished composing all the chords and lyrics. My song fell into place and I loved our first arrangement for a long time. But for some reason, I kept struggling with my vocal for it – I felt my voice was either too soft or too harsh for this song.

During that time period, George and I turned many of my songs into instrumentals. The link to the instrumental for that first version of “Angel in the Sky” is below:

ANGEL IN THE SKY #1 INSTRUMENTAL – Copyright 2014 by Unger

As I’ve continued to explore new arrangements for many of my songs, I chose to do a new arrangement for “Angel in the Sky” with the hope that this time the music would evoke more emotion from me. I find this new version to be hauntingly beautiful. George’s encouragement to add a bridge caused the song to really touch me more because of the new lyrics I wrote for it.

Love just didn't die

Three words of: “I still cry” arose in my subconscious after I had an exchange with a woman named Sammi. Sammi articulates her grief very well and I’ve shared our correspondence before on my blog. A few months ago, I had shared with Sammi one of my favorite inspirational songs named “Hang On.” Sammi replied:

Judy, what a beautiful song you have written for us. It brought me to tears. If I had any objections, it would be to the line about how the “pain will go away.” 

I ache every minute I’m awake and it is worse when I am with other people. It’s hard to hide that you are screaming like a banshee inside. I can understand your protective feeling over your music and how it is interpreted. This is after all, the baring of your soul through music.

Sammi, I wish I could tell you your pain will go away with complete honesty. I cry when I sing and I sometimes I still cry about my son. The tears are there but the pain is different.

It would be better if my lyrics went, “One day your agony will go away.” That is what I meant. But there probably is a better way to say it – so I thank you for your feedback!

Judy, I didn’t mean to imply that your lyrics needed changing. They do not. I was just stating my preference. Your music is very personal to you and I would never do that. I had no doubt you still cry for your son. No doubt at all.

Playing guitar for Jason's class

My desire to inspire hope of healing to people who are in deep grief comes from a place of compassion. Sometimes, I’ve regretted telling someone grieving that they will feel better in the future because I have no way of knowing that. The best truth I can offer is only as an example. And that means I must be clear about what healing means to my own life.

Many years ago, I went to see a woman whose young child had died the day before. A relative of mine had asked me to go and offer her comfort. When I arrived, the woman was sitting despondent on a sofa and her family was gathered around. The room was hushed and everyone there hung upon my every word.

I didn’t know what to say. But the question she wanted me to answer still echoes in my mind. She asked me if she would ever feel better and be happy again in her life.

I still know this woman and she has told me that I helped her tremendously even though I wasn’t sure what to tell her about anything “getting better.” At that time, my child had died only two years before (in 1992) and I was grieving deeply.

The reason I am writing about this memory is because hope of healing was something I never imagined I could offer. I always prayed that I would feel better after my son died. It was horrendous and unbearable for many years and I lost hope many times.

In 2010, I achieved great joy from writing and music after living like a zombie for over thirty years. Now I had done more than simply survive my grief; I had actually found happiness. It was so miraculous for me that I wanted to share my story with the world.

I devoted the next two years to writing about my life and the healing I achieved.

Story covers

I spent days, weeks, months and years creating an audio book. My audio book consisted of 34 audio stories and in total was 10½ hours long. The entire process taught me a lot about recording because I put my words under a microscope. I recorded my stories several times over. I scoured the recordings for sibilant (harsh) noises.

I even illustrated covers for every story.

I was very close to releasing my book in 2012, but then my father died. A month after his death, I decided to end my marriage. Shortly after separating, I was plagued with complications in my eyes due to cataract surgery. On top of those things, my mother had dementia and was rapidly declining. It was all very overwhelming.

Looking back, I see how my focus upon “cleaning up” my audio recordings was a metaphor for my life. Erasing flaws was something I did by tuning out the many unpleasant aspects of my marriage for years and years. I was a master of smoothing things out for my parents and children; I smiled, but inside I was lonely.

A year later, the excitement I felt about healing from grief faded away. I came to the conclusion that my audio book was preachy. The biggest issue I had was with my speaking voice. In order to avoid making “harsh sounds,” I spoke many of my stories with a sweet and artificial voice. It wasn’t me!

Not only did my voice sound phony, my message of finding joy just wasn’t ringing true for me. So the book I had worked on for thousands of hours was shelved.

I still plan to create a new audio book someday. It will happen when I am peaceful and clear about what I want to say. My journey is now about doing what truly makes me happy – creating music.

Music is magical and swirls through me; my songs are alive and I’m always finding new insights from them.

Instead of slaving to tell my story, I’ve decided to live it.



We had to say goodbye

I have a great attachment to butterflies and see them as metaphors for death and grief.

Jason came very close to death as an infant (he had a severe congenital heart defect). Although he lived five years, inside I felt certain that I would have to say goodbye to him someday.

On my first arrangement, I sang: “You are an angel in the sky.” For this version, I found myself singing instead: “You are my angel in the sky.” It was because the music inspired a much more personal feeling for me.

My Love for you

Many of my songs can be woven together lyrically. I revised the lyrics for my song “Beside Me Always” shortly after Jason died. The line of “I dream of you in a distant sky” became a foundation for “Angel in the Sky.”

Jason and ET

Your precious smile

I’ve chosen to look at my son’s death differently after so many years of agonizing grief. What I once labeled as “just another nightmare,” has been transformed into something that uplifts me. My son was an extraordinary gift to my life because he has inspired me in many beautiful ways.


When i die

The words above express how my son’s presence as an angel has alleviated many of my fears, including my own death.

There is so much for me to say about “my lovely light” that I wrote a story about it. The link is below:



Those words above are from my song “My Shining Star.”

I continue to maintain healing from my grief but I will always miss my son. He is close by and comforts me whenever I cry.

I still cry

Not only are the words “I still cry” in my bridge, they are also in the chorus.

When I wrote the new bridge lyrics, I allowed the mood of the music to help me. Those few simple words can cause me to become quite emotional – especially with the subsequent line of, “You must know I miss you so.”

I am directly speaking to Jason – telling him that even after all these years I still miss him. His absence was shattering.

“My love just didn’t die” when he did.

Angel in the Sky

The evolution of those three words “I still cry” actually began with another song of mine.

I composed “Every Season” in 2010. It was my first completely new song that I wrote after 30 years of musical silence. My first version of that song had a line in it that I decided to tweak two years later.

The line I changed was: “As the seasons go by, each time I still cry.”

Because I didn’t feel sad on Jason’s death anniversary in 2012, I decided I had most certainly healed. My absence of tears was proof. I revised the line to:

“As the seasons go by, the memories don’t die.”

My new line was also very meaningful for me. But something clearly was brewing with the fact that I didn’t like the line of “I still cry.”

I write a lot about tears, perhaps because suppressing them was my habit for a long time. When music touches my heart, being emotional is a release for me; every tear represents love and longing.

I don’t feel I have to prove that I’m “over” my son’s death.

My child, Jason, has been gone now for twenty-two years. I see his absence as sad, but my “angel in the sky” has never left me.

The message that continues to ring true for me and that I can share is: I have survived the worst part of my loss.

And I have achieved happiness that I never believed was possible after losing my son.

Jason under me

My angel’s sparkling eyes shine through in this picture.

My angel’s sparkling eyes shine through in this picture.

© 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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1 Response to ANGEL IN THE SKY – PART 2

  1. jmgoyder says:

    You are incredibly brave and an example Judy xxx


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