20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers



Copyright 2011 by Judy Unger


You’re hanging on as night turns to dawn

I know you can’t stay and soon you’ll be gone

we both know it’s hard to let go

wherever you are my love won’t be far

your smile, your touch, your voice, your face

your essence I will never replace

though I long for you to hold me

I need to set you free

There is no fear and your leaving is clear

we’ll still have our love it remains with each tear

I cry as you leave but I truly believe

As you leave my sight we’ll both be all right

though you have flown to somewhere unknown

we’re never apart ‘cause you’re here in my heart

your smile, your touch, your voice, your face

your essence I will never replace

though I long for you to hold me

I need to set you free

I need to set you free



My song, “Set You Free” is one of my favorites. There are many ways that I relate to my song. I share more about it in a moment. Recently, I was very moved by a blog about a woman who is caring for her terminally ill daughter. It is getting close to the end now. I reached out and sent my song and words to this mother. I was very inspired to know that out of hundreds of messages, she chose to post my song and mention how much it helped her.
There is nothing more meaningful in my life right now than that. 

Clicking the blue title below, is a link to Tersia’s blog:



By tersiaburger

  Tersia's post SYF

 Ray's mom's comment 

I wrote these words six months before my father died:

My song, “Set You Free” was born when I was feeling sad on Cheryl’s birthday. It was hard for me to believe that it had been almost three years since Cheryl died; sometimes it was easier to imagine that she was still alive and living far away. When we were older, life was busy but I missed our former closeness. Sometimes, there were special moments when I could hear her voice; it was recognizable and always comforting. There was no mistaking the cackle in it; we both used to laugh so easily. The smile in her voice was like music filling my mind, traveling straight to my heart and spreading comfort throughout my body. Those times were fleeting, but it was always music that brought Cheryl back to me.

I was sad because I knew Cheryl would have had some wisdom to offer me as I coped with my parents’ suffering. My mother’s dementia was worsening. She still recognized me, but was often terribly confused and anxiousMy father was now in a wheelchair and plagued by constant infections; he would say he wasn’t in pain but he continuously moaned under his breath. A few moments earlier, I had spoken with him on the phone; he was very sick and refused to allow me to take him to the hospital.

And so it was on that stressful day, that Cheryl visited me. I was listening to one of the songs I wrote for her in my darkened bedroom, and my tears began to flow. I cried because it was hard to accept that she was really gone. But then, I heard Cheryl’s voice and her sweet encouragement. Gently, she reminded me that I was not alone; she would always be with me, especially when I played my guitar. After her voice quieted, I stood up to address my emptiness inside. My eyes still wet with tears, as I explored new fingerings on my guitar and soon beautiful chords began to appear; my melancholy was gone.

#5 you are a songwriter when

I put down my guitar to answer the phone. The call was to inform me that my father was being taken to a nearby hospital emergency room by ambulance. I left in the summer twilight to go to the hospital. When I returned home it was very late and I couldn’t sleep. I fingerpicked my guitar and felt inspired; lyrics formed in my mind to go with the beautiful new guitar chords I had discovered the day before. My new song, which I named “Set You Free,” began with the words: “You’re hanging on, as night turns to dawn.”

I cry as you leave

Acceptance is truly what “Set You Free” is about. My lyric line of “There is no fear and your leaving is clear,” is completely honest. As a result of my happiness and newfound clarity about life, I was confident that even with separation, both of us would be all right. Relating that to my children was easy. With my parents, it meant that my uncertainty and fear about death was gone. This revelation was quite profound for me. I felt ready to face the unknown.

It was because I had decided that life was all about arrivals and departures.

Dad kissing me

Because my songs come from my subconscious, sometimes I find my lyrics to carry additional meanings for me later on. I began to picture Cheryl as I sang the lyrics, because she had inspired me to compose the first chords of my song.

But it was my chorus lyrics of: “your smile, your touch, your voice, your face, your essence I will never replace,” that perfectly expressed my deep longing for Jason, and caused me to become emotional when I sang them. Jason was my child who died many years ago, when he was only five years old.

Yet not long after my song was written, I was singing those words and I realized that my emotions weren’t related to pain or sadness. As I remembered Jason’s unforgettable essence, I was overcome by deep gratitude. I had finally let go of my grief for him.

It was then that I understood.

I realized that my song was about setting myself free.

Grief 3

© 2012 by Judy Unger, http://www.myjourneysinsight.com and 20 Lines A Day. 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.


Hurt That Lingers

There is a hurt that lingers

So deep within my soul

It’s like I’m holding on to it

Without it…don’t feel whole


I know I’ve been forgiven

For wrongs that I have done

And those done me by others

I’ve forgiven every one


So now I’m letting go today

Of sorrow that I feel

Unnecessary sorrow

So these wounds may fin’lly heal


Please help me not to look at them…

To leave them all alone

Except just for recalling them

As if a stepping stone


I pray the smile upon my face

Be genuine and real

Not just disguising pain and hurt

That deep inside I feel


I am not ruled by feelings

Though feel them, I will do

While resting in your mercy and

Your love so deep and true.


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