Let Go

Letting go is one of the hardest lessons in life,
Yet over changing seasons and passing time,
You will have to learn to let go of certain
People, relationships, situations and things,
That fall way beyond your control.

– Fion Lim, Let Go

I read an article by Jug Suraiya or rather by his deceased canine Brindle Suraiya, in today’s Times Of India, on the Editorian page titled, “Letting Go” It was a beautiful piece on why letting go is important. I could empathise with his pain. It is hard to let go. We always try to cling to the weakest straw of hope. But we don’t realise that that causes even more pain. It is out fear of losing, the fear of the void that will be created by the loss that makes us want to hold on.

Having kept a number of pets, I can understand what losing one means. When Toffee was diagnosed with cancer, we had to make the hard decision of putting her to sleep. Delaying the decision would have meant prolonging her suffering and we would have suffered seeing her suffer. Does that make us murderers or monsters who took her life. No, I don’t think so. We freed her from her suffering. Similarly we ended the suffering of the other pets when their time came. We had to free them. Sometimes, some decisions have to be made with a heart of stone.

The hospitals my father and mother work in provide countless examples of people clinging on. People want to keep their dear relative for just another day on ventilator. They don’t realise that the person lying down like a vegetable is suffering more than them.They know that it is inevitable but they want to postpone it. Is it our inherent desire to try and control everything that makes us try?

My maternal grandfather succumbed to cancer and by the time his final hour came, he had been reduced to a skeleton. Now, when I think of it, were the medicines necessary. All they did was prolong his suffering by another 2 months and their side effects was another burden on the already suffering.

We are not ready to accept. And we are too weak because letting go is difficult.There is a big difference between holding on and keeping hope alive.

“We need in love to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily–we do not need to learn it.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

When I ask someone why they still hold on, I usually get this answer, “Mann ko tassalli milti hai ki kumse kum koshish to kari. Kahin kal yeh na lage ki shayad kuch aur ho sakta tha.” (It soothes the heart to know that we at least tried. Tomorrow, we wouldn’t want this thought to linger that what if we could have done anything else.)

In the end I would leave with two more quotes that I came upon.

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

“There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.”

10 Responses to “Let Go”
  1. Pzes says:

    This post wants to make me weep. 😦

    I’ve always found it incredibly hard. I totally relate to your post. I hope to take away something from this post. Thank you Pat-a-cake.

  2. Sakhi says:

    Letting go is the hardest thing in the world. But its the only path to healing.

    “Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.”

    “Letting go has never been easy, but holding on can be as difficult. Yet strength is measured not by holding on, but by letting go.”
    ~ Len Santos

  3. YA says:

    True indeed, but its actually hard to do so..

  4. I think it is easier said than done. And yes, we should consider the other person’s state of being before our own feelings, but we as people are selfish in a lot of ways, including this one.

    I lost my grandmother to cancer a decade ago, when she was diagnosed at a stage when no treatment was possible. Knowing that, passing each and every day anticipating her leaving us was painful for all of us. So what, we should just attune ourselves to the inevitable, and not fight? I don’t know how these things work, frankly.

    I guess in a way the best way out of it for everyone concerned is learning to let go, but it is so damn difficult.

  5. Vyankatesh says:

    Complex thoughts. Nicely written.

  6. Alka says:

    I lost my doctor father to cancer…
    It was impossible to let go…But when he reached a stage which is beyond words for me..I prayed that he should go. Wanted to end his misery so so badly…

    However when my son recently left for hostel it was impossible to let go….Now an year later I guess I have reconciled to the fact that it was for his own good.

    Letting go is a fact of life ….a dark station in a beautiful journey called life!

  7. arpana says:

    It is the key point to understand and use it in life as it opens gate of peace to us.

  8. Purbaray says:

    Such a sweet, touching post.
    And that’s why there’s such a strong lobby for Euthanasia. It’s tough to see you loved ones suffer.

  9. Sapna says:

    Hmmm Liked the way you have linked the let go quote to the Euthanasia.

    Though I am not sure if I entirely agree with letting go people that way. I would belong to the other category. And I am not speaking theory either. The doctors had given up hope on my granny but my Dad didn’t and that was three years back. My Granny is still alive and don’t think she would want us to give up on her even now and definetely not then

  10. Smitzy says:

    Probably just the thing I needed to read to kick me out of my morose mood. Thanks for bringing a smile on my face patty! 🙂

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