Understanding When It's Time to Let Go: How I Said Goodbye to My Parents

Understanding When It's Time to Let Go: How I Said Goodbye to My Parents

by Asha Shamkarran


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We know that death comes to one and all. Intellectually, I was somewhat prepared, but emotionally I was not. Death is never easy and worst when it's a parent.
We experience so much more grief and pain that we sometimes get mad at the entire world. We question ourselves, we sometimes even question the Lord, but we have to remember that death is the cycle of life. Someone is born and someone dies.
Please allow me to share some of my memories of parents with you. Who they were, their death and how it affected me. Also, how I was able to get over my loss, my depression and find peace

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781477205501
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 06/21/2012
Pages: 108
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.26(d)

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Copyright © 2012 Asha Shamkarran
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4772-0550-1

Chapter One


No one can feel or understand that pain unless you were or you are in that situation. There were friends and relatives that passed away in my family, I accepted them passing with less pain than what I felt when my parents passed away.

You see when I lost my mother I thought that my world was coming to an end. I cried every day and night for the good and sometimes for the bad memories. I could not pass by an ambulance. I would just cry. I was running from my car to her house, when the ambulance was taking her away, not knowing that she will be gone forever. I then and now understood what it was like to lose a parent, but I still had my Daddy.

Then, 18 months later my Daddy passed away. The hurting was more intense than before. Here I am, now without any parent, an orphan.


So, we can share the sorrow, but until we are in that situation, we will never be able to understand one's true feelings of losing a parent.

When I was growing up, they were just my Dad and Mom. They were always there. Together, they worked in the fields and also had time left over for their children. They helped out in the community, helped a neighbor if need be, and other family members. They were always there for us when we got hurt, or when we did something good. They were also there when we did something wrong to discipline us for our own benefit. They were sincere in their protectiveness, their support and their responsibilities. They cared deeply for their children and worked very hard to be able to provide for us.

There is a saying that a father's job is to bring home the bacon. Well, both my parents took on that role. Together, they shared all responsibilities as far as their families and friends were concerned.

I think that I grew up not knowing if I respected or if I was afraid of my parents. Just a look from my Dad and I knew exactly what to do or how to behave. They taught us the good values and morals of life and how to use them to make a difference in our lives and others around us. They always put their children before everything else, never thinking about their wealth, happiness, health or prestige. They were two people living a life as perfect as one could. We, the children, were very fortunate to have been born to two such wonderful people, living their lives as an example to give us a chance to continue their legacy, a life of true devotion, honesty and respect for all.

They were loving parents, always ready to get involved in things that would make a difference for the well-being of their families. They would play games, cricket go to the park and such, but the most important of all was their willingness to help us grow intellectually and spiritually. They were always happy to sit and look at their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren grow and prosper in their adventures in life. My parents were always ready to give advice, show their affection, concerns, and love for all, but never judging anyone. They were neither perfect nor faultless. They were simple and lived a simple life, but their hearts were rich.

I love my parents because they were always there for me. They were fun to be around and never intentionally caused their families any unhappiness. They shared my happiness and my sorrows without any judging or criticism but always had their love flowing.

My parents were both from very poor families. Daddy was the third child from a family of thirteen brothers and sisters and Mom was the second child of thirteen brothers and sisters. They had to work very hard to support their children and also assisted both sides of their families. I learned from my elder brother and sister about how tough life was for them when they had just gotten married, but they never gave up. Everyone on both sides of the families looked up to them, with love and respect. If ever anyone needed advice they always turn to Dad and Mom. They were always there in sickness, in happy times and in sad times to give whatever comfort and support that they could give.

They played a very big part in the various communities that they lived in. They were very spiritual, and encouraged growth of spiritually at home and in the communities. They lived their lives according to our spiritual book, 'The Bhagwata Gita'. They were true devotees of Lord Krishna.

My parents lived their lives to the fullest. They were very loving, committed and caring individuals. They were simple and lived as such. My parents loved each other very much. When my mother was alive she always told us that if my father died first she would go in that coffin with him. If they were unhappy about something, they never let us know or show it.

I understand that a day will come when we will have to leave this world. We all came into this world and we will also have to leave one day. Their deaths have left me feeling very empty at times, very lonely and very sad, but I know that they are my angels looking down on me. I miss their loving voices, their warn hugs and just about everything about them.

There are so many things that I want to share with them and believe me I do continue to talk to both of them very often, for I know that they are listening to me from somewhere above.


I gave you life, but cannot live it for you.
I can teach you things, but I cannot make you learn.
I can give you directions, but I cannot be there to lead you.
I can allow you freedom, but I cannot account for it.
I can take you to church, but I cannot make you believe.
I can teach you right from wrong, but I cannot always decide for you.
I can buy you beautiful clothes, but I cannot make you beautiful inside.
I can offer you advice, but I cannot accept it for you.
I can give you love, but I cannot force it upon you.
I can teach you to share, but I cannot make you unselfish.
I can teach you respect, but I cannot force you to show honor.
I can advise you about friends, but cannot choose them for you.
I can advise you about sex, but I cannot keep you pure.
I can tell you the facts of life, but I can't build your reputation.
I can tell you about drinking, but I can't say "no" for you.
I can warn you about drugs, but I can't prevent you from using them.
I can tell you about lofty goals, but I can't achieve them for you.
I can teach you about kindness, but I can't force you to be gracious.
I can warn you about sins, but I cannot make you moral.
I can love you as a child, but I cannot place you in God's family.
I can pray for you, but I cannot make you walk with God.
I can teach you about the Lord but I cannot make Him your Lord.
I can tell you how to live, but I cannot give you eternal life.
I can love you with unconditional love all of my
life ... and I will!!!
~Author Unknown


Being a good parent needs lots of love and courage, being open minded, flexibility and willingness to change and grow. Parents have to learn to incorporate the disappointments, loses, failures and pleasures into the healthy development of their children. A parent-child and a child-parent love is a bond no one in this world could take or replace. So, if ever there is a doubt, always remember that there is only one mother and one father in this world for us and they need our love as much as we need theirs. Without our love, compassion, understanding, listening, responsibility and concern for each other feelings, what would happen to our families when our parents are not around anymore? When we say that we love someone we not only have to say it but we also have to demonstrate actions that show that love.

sometimes wonder what it would have been like to not have had two such wonderful parents as my Dad and Mom. I read a book once where the person was saying that our parents are like our God; well my parents were truly my God. Dad and Mom was my first role model and now as a parent I hope that my children and grandchildren will use me as their role model.

Mom had a very special way with children. I remembered when my daughter was a baby and she used to take care of her. She used to spoil her in a good way. Mom and Dad always said that they spoiled their grandchildren because they did not have the opportunity to spoil their own children when they were small.

They were very involved in doing charitable work; like raising funds to help us keep our temple, helping anyone in the community whenever the need arose and taught us to do the same. Dad and Mom taught us that if we have respect for others then we will gain respect in return.

As far as I could remember they were always there for their children and families. I sometimes wonder if my parents thought that they would be together for so many years, have children, grand-children and great grand-children. Some of us do not even live to see so many years, but my Dad and Mom did it together. I know that Dad and Mom were very proud of us. If we the children and even outsiders look back, we will all be proud to have been part of their lives for they were the perfect role models for everyone. They were very simple and lived a simple life, not wanting too many material things to make them happy. They taught us to always be honest, respectable and loving. They taught us to always live a good life and to always follow our dreams.

I cannot remember a time when my parents were angry with each other. I am sure that they must have had their disagreements, but never in front of their children.

Growing up, I gathered how much my Dad loved cricket from various people but he always made sure that cricket did not affect his work or his responsibilities towards his families.

Moms took care of us kids and the home whenever she was not helping Dad. She never complained about working hard. They were a team from the beginning. Together they worked in the fields and shared the responsibilities of taking care of us as best as anyone in this world could have done.

I did not realized how important it was when my parents were setting boundaries for me but now I have enjoyed knowing that my they were concerned about my future. They taught me the difference and the consequences between right and wrong and about the values of religion. They taught me that my actions will have consequences; be it good or bad. They always stuck to their principles and gave us our space to make our own mistakes and to learn from them. They never tried to stifle our emotions but rather steer us towards something productive. I knew our boundaries and the stability and structure that I gained from them. I know that Dad and Mom loved me with all their heart. Their love made me feel valuable, worthy, and loved. Although I am responsible for my own life as an adult, Dad and Mom's advice meant the world to me and made me the woman I am today.

Mom was more-easy-going than Dad. He was very straight forward and just one look from him and believe me, we knew exactly how to act and behave. I remember one time when I was going to school and needed permission for a school trip and went to Mom, asking her if she would ask Dad for me. She told me to go ask Dad myself. I was so scared, I started crying and going over and over what I was going to say to Daddy. Eventually, I built up my courage and went. I had the hiccups, tears running down my face but no words were coming out of my mouth. Dad took one look at me and his face became serious. He asked me what I was crying for and when I did not answer him, he asked me if I needed a reason to cry. He then told me to go and when I was ready to talk to him then I could return. He did not look too happy because I was actually crying for nothing. Again, I rehearsed my speech, made up my mind and did it. I had to give Daddy all the details, where the trip was going, date, time, number of kids that were going and name and number of the teachers going with us. After that, he told me it was ok. I was so happy that instead of walking, I was skipping to my room.

Mom would wake up very early in the morning to cook our breakfast and also lunch to take to school. During the time we were at school, she would help Dad in the rice field if there was work that needed to get done or they would work at the farm at home. There was also the poultry to be taken care of and whatever else was needed to get done. She would make sure that there were snacks ready for us when we returned from school and then had dinner ready. After we had our snacks, we had to do our chores and if there was time, we would play for a while. Sometimes my brother and I had to go help Dad at the rice field, which was sometime fun. After we had dinner, Mom would make sure the kitchen was clean and everything was put back in its place. Both Dad and Mom would sit around keeping us company as we were did our homework. Dad was around if we needed his intellectual assistance and Mom would do whatever odds and ends there was for her to do and make sure that there were some snacks for us, just in case one of us might need it.

As I was getting older I was given more responsibilities which helped instill in me desires to pursue my own interests and dreams.

Mom and Dad were our caregivers, always trying to do and gave us the best they could afford. They always gave us the things that we needed and not what we want.

can very clearly remember when I had my knee surgery. I could not get up and my family was either at work or at school. Dad would call me as soon as he thought that I was up to find out what time everyone would be leaving the house and he would make sure that he was over before they left. He made sure that I took my medication and had something to eat. He would sit so quietly watching the TV or reading the newspaper and not making a sound for he did not want to disturb me. After spending some time he would go back home knowing that Mom would, by then, be finished making something for him to bring for my lunch. Dad would come back bringing my nurse and my Mom, with him. She would help me take a bath and get me dressed, should anyone stop by as my family returned home.

Then when I had my shoulder operated on, they were both there to help again. This was a very special time and one that made me never ever second guess the love my parents had for me. They did everything as they did before, but because this time it was difficult for me to help myself being I am left handed and it was my left shoulder that was operated on. My Daddy fed me my soup. No questions were asked, he just did it and that moment will live in my heart until the day I die. They took care of me every single day until I was comfortable using my hand without hurting myself.

They were not only there for me during my illness but they were also there for my family when our son had a very serious accident. They gave my husband, daughter and myself the strength and love to carry on and not give up. They listened to us as we shared our pain, as we cried and answered questions as best as they could and never complained or judged us.

There was nothing much that anyone of us could have done as our parents aged but be loving, sensitive, have open communication and take care of them. Now, when I look at some movies that my parents liked or listen to the very old music that they used to listen to, it just brings back so many wonderful memories we shared together.

Most of the decisions I had to make so far in my life were based on teachings from my parents and the relationships I had with them. I always wanted my parents to be proud of me and as such, lived a good life. Because of the love and respect that my parents shared, I am now able to apply that in my life. My Dad and Mom had a very positive influence with me and I hope to pass that on to my children and grandchildren. Having them standing up to what they believed in made me who I am today.

As we learned about the hardships our parents had to face in their life, we the children, have to learn from it and appreciate our parents more and more. Just as we will do anything for our children, believe it or not, they were doing the same for us.


    One of my happiest moments with Mom was her being there with
    me the day my daughter was born.

    One of my saddest memories of Mom was seeing Mom getting
    weaker and weaker, the last few years of her life.

    My last memory of Mom was how much fun I had playing with
    her the Wednesday before she died.

    The thing I miss most about Mom is her funny side, her laughter,
    and most of all her love.

    Things that Mom gave me that are important are the good values
    of life and how to use it to make a difference in the life of others.

    I will always remember how hard Mom worked, her funny side,
    and her love for all of her children, grandchildren and great
    grandchildren and her family.


Being the second child of twelve brothers and sisters, Mom was unable to attend school much and at very early age had to drop out and work in the fields to help her parents support her family. She was married at a very early age into another large family where she also had to work very hard to help Daddy's family and together they had to continue helping her family.


Excerpted from UNDERSTANDING WHEN IT'S TIME TO LET GO by ASHA SHAMKARRAN Copyright © 2012 by Asha Shamkarran. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


We Were Lying....................1
As Parents....................9
Parent and Child Relationship....................31
Community Person....................37
Coping Without Parents....................41
Accepting and saying good-by....................45

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