The Angels Called

© Leonie Wheeler 2013

Even now, all of these 28 years later, tears well up as I write the notes about this song. It almost wasn’t included in the album, as I want to uplift and inspire in my story telling. However this story is real, and hopefully those who have been touched by the loss of a child, will know they are not alone in their grief. This story is about my daughter Nicole who lived for six months due to pregnancy complications.

She never made it out of the ICU nursery, and everyday was both a gift, and a journey mixed with despair, hope and resilience. I often found myself singing “One Day At a Time”, because that’s exactly what it was like. Sometimes it was an hour at a time. I did not know how each day or night would evolve. Nicole passed away one afternoon in circumstances I had to accept in order to move on through my grief.

Twenty-five years later, on the anniversary of her passing, I was working in my office when I thought I was having a heart attack. Tests indicated that I wasn’t but I realised it was probably deep emotional pain within that caused me to feel that way. As I find writing to be healing, I wrote The Angels Called.

It took me about 50 times to sing it all the way through without crying, and even now, I have to psych myself to do sing it. It was never meant to be about me feeling sorry for myself, but an honest sharing of the rawness of a mother’s grief. This is my story. This is Nicole’s song and I sang it to her in the studio when I recorded it.

I am proud of the courage my daughter had in her life, and I am accepting that her time was only meant to be short. There is no other way to honour her life, than to live my life with the same courage. In that message, I hope I can inspire others who have experienced the loss of a child, that we can grieve yet still live our life to the fullest. It is a sad song, but I am hoping it touches many hearts and connects an understanding between us about grief.

TheAngels Called


I cannot bring you flowers

To lay upon your grave

I can only bring you love

That time cannot erase

I call to you my darling

As I wipe away my tears

How many times

Must a heart break?

What does it take to heal?

How can I ever forget?

The night the angels called you

And left me alone to weep


And the angels called

To you my darling

The angels called

And showed you the way

I was all alone

To cry for my baby

With empty arms and

Tears running down my face

Now the years have passed

How you would have grown

You would have lived a life

So full of hope

You would have married too

Stood by your man

Laughing and loving him

With flowers in your hair


Repeat Chorus