Links to lyrics and other stories about this song: MY SHINING STAR

Click the blue links to hear audio:

My Shining Star Acoustic 1/4/16 Copyright 2016 By Judy Unger

My Shining Star Arrangement Mix 12-230-18

My Shining Star guitar and piano 6-4-18

This song holds so many meanings for me. The most moving part of my song is the line about holding onto our dream forever. A long time ago, grief was a nightmare that destroyed my dream.

But one day, I found my dream again. Even though I have tears when I imagine the dream of how I wished my son had lived, I am grateful for my love for him. He fuels my heart with joy when I create the music that I love.

I am a passionate songwriter and picture myself as a “song gardener.” I continue to grow and develop my songs; they are blooming for me. My life is filled with inspiration. I freely share my music and love what comes back. Nothing feels better for me than knowing my music has helped other people.

A grown man wrote to me and said my meditation music caused him to cry for the first time in 25 years, which helped him release long suppressed feelings of loss. I was extremely moved by his message.

I’ve grown from every part of my journey and learned so much from my former arranger, George. Last December, I began working with a new arranger named Doug. Our relationship is completely different and I have been learning how to arrange songs myself on Protools, which has been very exciting for me. At the beginning of this post, I share my recent arrangement of “My Shining Star.”

My guitar is central to every arrangement and I enjoy creating multiple guitar parts. Despite creating lush arrangements, I prefer my voice to be only with guitar tracks. I plan to share my new arrangements as meditation tracks on Insight Timer soon.

My sessions with Doug usually last four hours and I’m very tired after. I look forward to coming home to edit my recordings.

A month ago, I stopped first to get some gas and saw a message on my phone that grabbed my heart. For five years, I had written to a bereaved mother named Sammi who was very special to me. I felt tears well up in my eyes as I read her heartfelt message.

I thought of Sammi whenever I sang any of my grief-related songs. Just that morning, I had recorded vocals for my song “My Shining Star.” The lyric line that stuck in my head was, “You whisper in my ear to heal.” I was certain that her son whispered those same words in her ear every night.

Five years ago, it was the desolate and hopeless nature of Sammi’s writing that drew me toward her. I felt compelled to counter any hopeless statement she made with gentle disagreement. I wondered sometimes if I annoyed her with my unrelenting positive replies.

But she knew I had been there. I once suffered from desolate grief and it was 18 years before I found true peace and joy again in my life.

I cannot speak for anyone else’s grief – only my own. I am not afraid to express that I have experienced healing. I want to offer proof that healing is possible, especially since I never believed it when I was grieving.

I share below an example of one of my dialogs with Sammi:

Sammi: The nights and early mornings are the worst. I am reminded every single day that my child is dead. The pain of awareness meets me every single morning when I awaken. I dread falling asleep, because I fear waking and facing the pain that I know is waiting. Every single day.

Judy: Sammi, you have accurately described the horrible anguish I remember so well. It was like living within a nightmare. One day, my pain left. Occasionally it knocks on my door, but it has left my room. I pray it will be that way for you someday.

Beliefs are powerful and every person chooses what they want to believe. Those words above that you posted might be true for some people. I’ve known people who died carrying heavy grief.

But for me, I’ve chosen another path. It wasn’t one that I searched for – it just came to me after many years of suffering. I wouldn’t ever say that “time heals.” But for me, healing came and I am thankful for that.



Copyright 2016 by Judy Unger


Shining star so bright

You wink to me every night

Moonlight glows upon my bed

I hear your voice inside my head


Shining star so bright

Surround me with your lovely light

I reach for you in my sleep

You comfort me while I weep


In my heart you will stay

I’ll hold on to our dream forever

The stars above, remind me of our love

Each and every day, wherever you are

You’re my shining star


Shining star so bright

Even though you’re not in sight

With my eyes closed, your breath I feel

You whisper in my ear to heal


Shining star so bright

I’ll dream of you tonight


In my heart you will stay

I’ll hold on to our dream forever

The stars above, remind me of our love

Each and every day, wherever you are

You’re my shining star

 Sammi’s message:

In the beginning, I used to feel lonely on this road. I couldn’t see the others that were traveling it with me. My pain was all-consuming. My heart and soul were ripped out of me and the wound was open and raw. I couldn’t breathe. It hurt to just be. I didn’t know what to do or how to deal with all the sensations that were bombarding me at once.

I was lucky to find a grief site that was small and it was there that I met my friend Judy Unger. I call her my friend because I truly feel like she is. No, we have never met. No, we have never spoken to each other. Yes, we connected in a way that would be hard for others to understand. She knew what I was going through, she knew my pain, she understood. She lost her beautiful son Jason when he was 5-years-old. She knew.

Judy has been with me on the journey even though I hadn’t seen her on this road at times. Why she chose me I will never know but I know that I am truly thankful to have her at the extreme low points on this journey.

I look ahead at the road before me. It is straight and unforgiving. There are no twists or turns. There is only one way to go. Forward. I cannot see an end point. This road fades into the distance. I look behind and I see, off in the distance, black sky, roiling grey clouds, thunder and lightning. The road has deep dark holes that used to cover the entire surface but have lessened to show more road than holes. I can maneuver this part of the road easier. It still has its pitfalls. It will still be wrought with pain. How could it not be? I can, however, walk a bit easier.

I miss so much of what I used to have, but it is good to learn that light is out there. Judy was right.

Judy: I am speechless, Sammi. I read this as I was coming home from a music session. I was exhausted and getting gas for my car. I saw your post with my name there and my eyes welled up with tears.

What a beautiful tribute! I feel like I’ve learned so much about grief alongside of you. Even though I was farther ahead on my grief journey, taking your hand didn’t pull me back – it propelled me farther ahead.

I am honored and quite teary knowing I’ve made a difference for you. You’ve certainly made a difference for me and perhaps one day we will actually meet and hear each other’s physical voices. Until then, our writing connects us and it is a very solid chain. Much love to you.

Sammi: I’m not sure what I could have taught you Judy but if I did, and it helped then I’m glad. I haven’t connected with many who know this journey. I have kept to myself a lot. You are the one that was there from the start.

I always knew I would get a response from you when needed. When I go back to the beginning of this journey and read my first posts, it is so painful – so much heartache. Going through until now I can see where I have made progress and where I have not. I never believed it was possible but…here I am and….so are you.

Thank You.

Judy: I do hope that one day we will have a chance to meet.

Sammi inspired my song “It’s Not Forever” and I share a link to that story:

Story behind IT’S NOT FOREVER-PART 3


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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8 Responses to MY SHINING STAR-PART 2

  1. Molly Presser says:

    Beautiful! Awe inspiring, Judy. What an amazing composition! You bring out all kinds of emotions in your music.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judy says:

      I cried when I saw your message this morning, Molly. I often think of your beloved nephew, Jory. I imagine how bereft his parents are and it makes me cry also. Thank you for your words about my music. I do feel that this gift that was given to me has helped me through so many things that I never imagined I could go through.
      You made my day and I appreciate your love and support. I am blessed!


  2. Your story inspires so many trying to cope with grief. Not all heal easily or at all, but we are not alone. Your son is your shining star and he continued to encourage you to help others through his light of love that he keeps shining on you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judy says:

      Oh, Allyson your message is so moving for me – I thank you. I wish healing were possible for everyone. It is a heavy load to carry for a lifetime; the loss of a sibling or a child leaves an indelible ache and hole. My ability to overcome that has been due to channeling my feelings into music. It is a gift God gave me that I am so thankful for!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Belinda O says:

    Beautiful, Judy. Your passion is well-placed, and I know you help bring healing to others who don’t believe the pain will ever leave. Why should it? But your music is a balm and brings hope.


    • Judy says:

      Belinda, thank you so much for writing this. Something as devastating as the loss of a child certainly is something where the pain is felt forever. I just describe my healing as a huge scar that is not bleeding anymore. I am grateful for my balm of music and the hope I can share with other people. Appreciate you and your words very much.


  4. Oh, Judy, you are a dazzler of the highest order! Your compassion and generosity of spirit is the ideal complement to your giftedness and calling 🙂 Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judy says:

      You are so welcome, Truly. You must know that a comment like yours dazzles me and gives me a giant smile. Thank you for making my day. You’re such a great friend!!


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