I Feel Responsible for My Parents’ Deaths


I lost my father suddenly in April 2020. Due to Covid chaos, we couldnt get hospital admission & lost him after 2 days of trying to get medical care. I felt deep regret for not being in India & saving him. In Dec 2021, my mom had a heart attack. After 2 weeks in ICU & consulting top notch cardiologists, I wasnt able to save her. I feel deep regret for not seeing the symptoms sooner or taking her in for a health check up 6 months ago. I feel responsible for their deaths & living apart in USA

—alia , india


Dear Alia,

I feel for your loss on both counts of your father and mother. It is completely normal for the survivor to revisit his/her actions and to feel a sense of regret or guilt for not having done something differently. It may be normal, but ultimately, as you know, it is not helpful. With parents, children, and other loved ones the boundaries tend to melt, but notwithstanding our love, each is a soul with its own karma as to health or the timing of its departure from this world. We can only do the best we can. Sometimes we may feel it wasn’t good enough or was in error, but just as often it is our own self-judgment not borne out by the facts or the truth.

Bless their souls, wishing them well in their rebirth into the astral world. For now, each is at rest, perhaps with one another in some way but otherwise enjoying a deserved rest while awaiting the next step in their soul’s journey towards Self-realization. Be happy for them, not sad. You may naturally feel their loss, but most likely they are content and happy.

Your karma brought you to America like so many others from India and Asia. Your freedom to make such a choice is a gift given to you, perhaps even in no small part by your parents who may have wanted this for you. Yet such a migration creates obstacles of what action to take and when. It cannot be helped. Be at peace. As Swami Kriyananda would tell us during his life to reassure us: You are doing the best you can!

As Krishna says in the beloved Gita: Give all your actions to me. Rest in Me. Take refuge in Me. You are My beloved.

Nayaswami Hriman