Click to hear a shortened excerpt of Angel in the Sky Meditation Song. The 30-minute version is free on the Insight Timer Meditation App:


Watching a close friend die from pneumonia was a trigger for me. The horror of my mother’s death seemed vivid again as I took in the sad circumstances of my friend, Marilyn.

As always, I was thankful for my music. It carried me through the sadness and became a cozy blanket for everyone around me to rest upon.

I especially appreciated my newer meditation music. I had two new songs – one was still unfinished and the other one I had just released on Insight Timer, the meditation app where I had a warm family of listeners.

I was glad I made the decision to create new meditation music when 2018 began. I found a new arranger; his name was Robert. He was a kind young man and told me he was no stranger to grief when I described my music to him. We had a great connection from the start and our first song was one I had longed to use for meditation – Angel in the Sky.

I was very nervous. I had to catch my breath as I walked into the huge hospital. I was going to an isolation room where Marilyn was.

Only a few days before, her son had sent me a text and I ached reading it. He suggested it would be a good thing to visit her. Prior to that, she was undergoing stem cell treatments and wasn’t able to have visitors for months.

The line her son wrote that stuck in my head was: My mom has at least another week to go before she has the chance to come home and succumb to her terminal illness.

I donned a gown, gloves and a mask to enter the room; my heart was pounding. I tapped on the door and entered slowly.

Because of her weakened immune system, Marilyn was struggling with pneumonia. She coughed continuously, but she asked me to tell her about things happening with me. I couldn’t help but feel terrible knowing that she was dying as I shared about my life.

I could see she was tired and I told her I would play something soothing so she could sleep. I had brought a small speaker and began playing my meditation song “Angel in the Sky.” The notes caressed the hospital room.

When it was time for me to leave, I reassured Marilyn that I would come back to visit her again soon. My eyes watered when she told me in a whisper that she would like me to bring my guitar the next time I visited.

I returned a few days later. This time, another good friend came with me. Marilyn was part of a group – our group had been together for 15 years and had a very special bond.

Lynn spread lavender on Marilyn’s sheets and gently provided a Reiki treatment while I sat nearby.

I had brought my guitar and hesitantly pulled it out. It was difficult to play with gloves on, so i slipped them off. I slowly lowered my mask so I could sing and hoped it would be okay.

I played over a dozen grief-related songs. Marilyn thanked me after every one.

The one that gripped me the most was “Never Gone Away.” It was hard to sing the line: “I know that soon you will leave me.” The reality I was facing made those lyrics absolutely true.

With courage I blurted out, “Marilyn, I am going to dedicate a song to you when you are gone.”

She said softly, “That would be very nice.”

This photo was taken two years ago when our group visited Marilyn while she was undergoing chemo.

With each visit over the next two weeks, Marilyn grew weaker and weaker. Eventually she couldn’t speak or open her eyes.

The last time I visited her hospital isolation room, she was struggling to breathe with an oxygen mask. Her sister had been staying overnight and was exhausted. She filled Lynn and I in on the gravity of things. 

When Marilyn suddenly opened her eyes and expressively blinked at me, her sister told me it was unbelievable.

I unzipped my guitar from its case and began playing. Marilyn’s agitation diminished and she relaxed. I sang again for hours.

It was very spiritual and filled with deep music connection. I knew when I left that it would be the last time I’d be doing this with Marilyn.

She died later that evening.

But then, I was invited to play for her one more time. This time she was lying in a coffin at her vigil.

I waited for the right moment. I chose the songs I had played in the hospital. I sang my lyrics slowly and carefully so they could be understood.

I felt tears falling around me as I sang.

The flower bouquet for Marilyn from our group.

Our group of five “Special Moms” attended the funeral. We purchased a flower arrangement and it was Lynn’s idea that we could keep the tiny ornamental statue. We’d take turns bringing it with us to our gatherings. That way Marilyn could join us in spirit. I loved her idea!

Later on, Lynn confided in me. She said, “Ever since our last hospital visit, I’ve had some trouble sleeping. I’ve been listening to your Angel meditation song on Insight Timer. It has helped me sleep and feel better.”

Her words helped me feel better, too.

Marilyn was now an angel in my life.

The comments I receive on Insight Timer are definitely fuel for me to continue creating new music.



At a recent performance I dedicated a song to Marilyn. It can be heard at this link: NEVER GONE AWAY

Marilyn inspired my lyrics for “Wonder Why.” That song can be heard at this link: WONDER WHY

My Facebook post in dedication to my dear friend, Marilyn.

Seeing pictures of our group brought back wonderful memories such as this one taken in Solvang.

This is my favorite picture of our group. We call ourselves “Special Moms.”

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!
This entry was posted in Grief Stories, Insight Timer and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to WE HAD TO SAY GOODBYE

  1. Who I am says:

    This broke my heart but I enjoyed listening to your beautiful music. You are truly gifted and blessed. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judy says:

      Terry, Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m touched that you enjoyed the music – so nice of you to listen. Hugs to you, too!


      Liked by 1 person

      • Who I am says:

        I am always wanting to listen to your music. It is exactly my style. I am a writer, dreamer and thinker. I look into the soul. Your soothing voice and mystical music are what I need


      • Judy says:

        Thank you so much, Terry. I am happy to share with you. Also, my meditation music is available on the app Insight Timer, which is free. I would love to know if you are able to check it out.

        Your words really made my day!!



  2. What a beautiful dedication to your friend Marilyn! Music truly soothes the soul. I’m sure she still hears your guitar. God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judy says:

      Oh, Allyson – thank you so much for your sweet words. Her two sons are mourning her deeply and she fought so hard to stay alive. Her husband is totally bereft. It was hard to witness their grief at the funeral. Their grief journey is now beginning and I plan to stay in touch with them.


      Liked by 1 person

  3. Joni Lautman says:

    What a beautiful share! My heart is heavy and I’m holding back the tears welling up in my eyes. I’m so sorry for your loss Judy and the loss to your special mom’s group.

    Liked by 1 person

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s