November 29, 2022


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Essay Series: Living With Grief – Reclaiming and/or Letting Go of My Identity By Roopa Swaminathan (Part 1)

2 min read

Roopa Swaminathan’s essay takes us through her pain and grief of losing her parents as she navigates her way to deal with this loss.

I’m a daughter. I’m a writer. These are my identities. 

I’m also a woman. I’m an Indian, a doctor (okay…not of medicine and, no, I cannot prescribe meds of any kind – so don’t bother asking!). I’m also a filmmaker, aunt, niece, friend, best friend and so many more.

But…I am a daughter. I’m a writer. These two identities are what I most closely identify with personally. They form the very core of my being.

And these two identities are what I’m grappling with after my parents passed away. These identities are the ones that I have deep conflicts within myself. 

With the first one as a daughter – now that amma and appa are gone – I’m haunted by the thought. What happens to my core identity as a daughter? I’m no longer anyone’s daughter. I apologize to everyone out there who doesn’t have parents. I can’t even begin to understand or imagine what that must feel like. But I was one of the luckiest people on this planet. Every time I whine about something I don’t have – I think about the fact that I had BOTH parents and both of them loved me more than anyone else in the world. To those two people – I WAS ALWAYS NUMBER ONE. Always. 

And now I have neither of them.

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