20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


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A mother says goodbye

My fingers wrap around your wrinkly hands

vision blurred, as my eyes well with tears

my lips touch velvet; your soft brown hair

and I do this ov’ and over again

in the short time that we have

rocking gave us comfort cradling you in my arms

with tears that touched your lips

that now would never speak

another chance I beseech, to gaze into your eyes

that are the colour of the sea; embrace your warmth

against my skin, but this will never be

a mother should not outlive her child

I begged take mine, in place of yours

I laid my hand across your heart

a heart that beat no more

why was life so fleeting, the time we had too brief

you were ripped away from me, I’m left behind to grieve

there are no answers

life we know at times so cruel

how do I go on living – living without you

try to remember me, you were called away too young

there is no rhyme or reason, for why this has been done

time they say the healer; one last hold, one kiss, I beg

so as I hold you to my breast, this torment that I bear

know that I so loved you and this last wish I share

wrapped in cotton white, take your pastel coloured wings

my angel child and fly

and with each breath I’ll think

of you, till my time comes, to die 

©JMTacken Sept 2013


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MORE THAN YOU KNOW

I dedicate my words and song to Vicky and Tersia, who live in South Africa. Below is a link to Tersia’s blog:

http://tersiaburger.com/

 

MORE THAN YOU KNOW

Copyright 2010 by Judy Unger

 

You gave me your hand; you’d always understand

No one else could see all the change you’d seen in me

You gave me so much; within a single touch

I searched for a smile; you brought mine back for a while

I just can’t find the words to say

How it felt when you went away

All my life, I hoped you would stay

And when you left, I let you go

But I still love you, more than you know

 I still love you

 

You brought me sunshine; I thought that you were mine

How can I believe? When the warmth of you did leave

You gave me everything that made me want to sing

How could I have guessed that our time would be my best?

I just can’t find the words to say

How it felt when you went away

All my life, I hoped you would stay

And when you left, I let you go

But I still love you, more than you know

 I still love you

Dearest Tersia,

I am always thinking of you at a time where you are putting one foot in front of the other. There is probably no word in the dictionary to express your exhaustion. Yet, you always find time to respond to every person’s comment with grace and kindness.

I loved your last post about tears. How beautiful that you could appreciate tears of joy, and not only of suffering at a time like this.

I have been deeply touched that you’ve shared my songs and words on your blog. It is unbelievable to me how in the short time I’ve know you, you’ve allowed me to help. I certainly hoped and wished I could. My own life has been enriched knowing that I was able to be there for you and Vic. The lovely comments by people who read your blog have also brought me to tears.

Since you have been Vic’s caregiver, you already know her absence will leave you with a deep abyss. It is so hard to have that devotion stop suddenly, because you will be going from plodding in exhaustion into nothingness. It is shocking because for so long, keeping Vic going has been your major purpose in life.

more than you know

There are many levels to this song similarly to “Set You Free.” The main theme is of letting go. My song was written about friendship, but I revised it after my son Jason died. The lines that I find most applicable to losing my child was:

“I just can’t find the words to say how it felt when you went away”

With that line I am saying that nothing can possibly express the anguish of grief.

“I thought that you were mine.”

I believed that my child belonged to me. He was my purpose and I took care of him until he died. I could not accept his death for a very long time. That was why letting go was so hard.

Your own eloquent words acknowledge acceptance of Vic’s death. You are preparing yourself to let her go.

But there is no way to do that adequately.

I share with you my lyrics and song now. Since you have shared my messages, I want to provide a link here to my story about Jason. It helps to explain my songs and why I want to give you hope as you enter the darkness of grief. Your love for Vic will never end, nor her love for you.

Please know that you (or anyone grieving) can write to me any time. I am sensitive to grief in all forms, but because I am also a bereaved parent, I am especially sad when a child dies.

Link to Jason’s Story – myjourneysinsight.com

Here is a link to more about my latest song and to hear it:

MORE THAN YOU KNOW – PART 2

Jason so happy-
Jason at Hanukah

 Her Garden

Jason's grave overgrown

© 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. 


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SET YOU FREE

 SET YOU FREE

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

SET YOU FREE

 CLICKING THE BLUE LINK BELOW READ MORE ABOUT MY SONG AND HEAR AUDIO: 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:

Tersia

SET YOU FREE

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.


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MY TEARS FILLED AN OCEAN

MY TEARS FILLED AN OCEAN

Copyright 2011 by Judy Unger

 

When you died my tears filled an ocean

I was violently submerged, gasping and barely able to stand the shock

Swirling in a raging current, a current of time

I was paralyzed and choking, wanting to drown, but unable to sink

The current dragged me along. It seemed endless . . .

Soon all my energy was gone. Anger at my fate depleted me further

Exhaustion led to floating. The current kept moving

Fighting it was useless; there was no going back to where I began

I was going to somewhere unknown. The journey was filled with horror

I tried not to look while fighting to escape from the endless drift

When I let go of fighting it, the current became comforting

It had carried me such a distance, now the places of horror became far away

and tortured memories became blurry

In the beginning, I wanted to drown, but my fear did not allow me to sink

One day, I bravely held my breath and left the current above me

Down into the dark depths I went . . .

I felt peaceful. I wanted to revisit my grief and sadness

I was not afraid as I closed my eyes and tried to remember

I needed to feel you again

It wasn’t about remembering the pain, the shock, the gasping or the choking

I opened my eyes . . .

In the eerie depths I was touched by your emanating glow

Your pale face was so delicate and beautiful

The exuberance in your eyes washed away my grief

I resurfaced without fear

I knew that someday

I would sink and be with you forever

My longing for you would always be

But now I was filled with your love

I floated onto the soft sand and stood again

I marveled at my survival and the miracle

I had finally reached a destination

of unimaginable beauty

 

LINK TO OTHER WORDS ABOUT THIS POEM:

 

I LET GO OF FEAR – myjourneysinsight.com

 

BESIDE ME ALWAYS – myjourneyinsight.com

freckle-face-smile jason-his-mom-w-guitars

© 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. 


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EVERY SEASON

EVERY SEASON

Copyright 2011 by Judy Unger

 

You always return on an April breeze

With fragrance of jasmine and crimson oak trees

The seasons, they just move go on

And my mind knows that you’re gone

With autumn’s cold you never grow old

With winter’s chill I miss you still

As the season changes my heart rearranges

 

When you left I always knew

Forever I’d long for you

so I’ve held on to your memory

And my sadness will always be

Every season you come back to me

 

You always return with a starry night sky

A soft, golden sunrise; a bright butterfly

I’m reminded you are free for all eternity

When fall would come, for years I was numb

 

My tears fell like rain, but spring thawed my pain

As the seasons go by, the memories don’t die

 

When you left, from life I withdrew

And a piece of my soul died, too

Life and death are a mystery

And my sadness will always be

Every season you come back to me

 

Click this link to a story and to play my song:

Every Season You Come Back To Me

© 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.

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