Parents of NRIs Seek Solace in Community and Friends

When parents of NRIs see their children fly from their nest, nothing that can diminish their pride and happiness. The outward thrust of their chest and the look of satisfaction take a while to diminish. However, when it does, the throes of loneliness and longing that grip these parents can sometimes be unbearable.

Leaving this world alone

Many such parents end up leaving this world without any family by their side. Whether they suffer from a sudden heart attack or a fall, even if death does not grip them instantly, they still die alone as their offspring was unable to reach their bedside on time.

At other times, it may not be illness and old age that get to them but the loneliness and depression of having to live their last days alone. Many may wallow in self-pity, while others suffer from what psychologists call ‘empty nest syndrome.’

The loneliness parents of NRIs are subject to

  • An 80 year old father with two daughters abroad and one in Bangalore, was knocked down by a reckless biker and died at midnight, having only his friends at his side.
  • An elderly couple committed suicide in Ahmedabad as they couldn’t bear the loneliness
  • Another NRI mother from Pune, having lost her husband some years back had only friends to turn to when she suffered a medical emergency. However, the friends were able to get in touch with her daughter in the U.S. who headed down to nurse her back to health

When parents do not have close family to come to their need, their circle of friends become the first line of support and help. At times, if they are not able to get out there and expand their social circle, the loneliness can get so dangerous that it can be life-threatening.

Community Associations lending support to parents of NRIs

Though children do support their parents by sending money and gifts from time to time, material wealth is not always enough to satisfy them. The parents may be reasonably well off but they still long for emotional support and care.

Associations for NRIs are making good progress in recent years as parents of NRIs, rather than wallow in self-pity, come to lend support to one another thereby beating away the loneliness and making sure they have a support circle to turn to in times of emergencies.

When children live thousands of miles away, apart from emotional support, physical support is needed. Parents’ waning health make them susceptible to illnesses. These associations work to provide emotional and physical support to parents in their twilight years, when they need it the most. They make sure the loneliness and emotional turmoil is washed away and the parents are comfortable in their lives.

These parents of NRI are not asking their children to come back. They are proud of their successes and are happy for them. All they ask is compassion and attention and as children, regularly keeping in touch. These are all part and parcel of elderly care even if they are unseen and unasked.