The tug of letting go

By Dr. Herman M. Lagon

IT FEELS like just yesterday when she was a little bundle of joy, and now, she is all grown up, set to embark on a new career adventure abroad. As a parent, I cannot help but feel a mix of emotions—excitement, pride, worry, and a tinge of sadness. Despite everything, she is always my baby, and letting go seems like the hardest thing to do.

But life is funny that way. Before I knew it, she is now more than ready to take on the world, armed with all the values and skills I, her loved ones, and her mentors have instilled in her. The ambivalence of this moment is palpable—one minute, she wants to assert her independence, telling me to back off, and the next, she craves for more time with me. It is an emotional roller coaster for both of us.

I am torn between wanting to hold on tight and knowing that this journey is crucial for her career and personal growth. It is like watching a beautiful balloon rise higher and higher, knowing it will reach new heights but still wishing I could keep it close forever.

I have always wanted the best for her, and now she is taking a big step toward her dreams. The conflicting emotions make me wonder (although I already know the answer), can I trust that my love and guidance will accompany her across the ocean? Can she navigate a complex world without me there every step of the way?

There are no easy answers and no one-size-fits-all solution to this dilemma. Each parent faces this challenge in their own way, adjusting to their child’s departure at their own pace. It is a time for profound prayer, introspection, and reflection.

Perhaps, the key is to find strength in knowing that, with God’s grace, I have laid a solid foundation for her. As she spreads her wings, she will carry the values and morals I, her school, and her faith have instilled in her, making wise data-driven decisions based on the lessons we have taught or lived out.

It is not anymore about clinging to control or giving advice. It is about embracing the idea that she is now an uber super strong and independent woman, capable of handling her own life. It is a leap of faith, believing she will confidently find her way, despite the inevitable ups and downs, in spite of the uncontrollable variables.

I will miss her, undoubtedly, and that is okay. Missing someone we love is a testament to the bond we share. Letting go does not mean we stop caring; it means giving her the space to grow and thrive.

As I bid farewell to my daughter Psyche Mae, I hope to discover a newfound appreciation for the years of moments we have shared. I hope to cherish those memories, for they will be the guiding stars that will keep us connected across thousands of miles.

So, I choose to celebrate this moment as a parent—relish the joy of witnessing my daughter take flight. It is not a farewell forever but a temporary separation that will make our reunion aboad or back all the more special.

Letting go may be bittersweet, but it is a journey that all parents eventually take. I choose to embrace it with an open heart and a curious mind. As I release my fatherly grip, may you Psyche Mae find that, like your sister Parvane, my love for you transcends beyond time and space.

I am confident that you will soar high, knowing that I (just like Parvane and all your loved ones) have done my part, and trust that you will make me proud. The balloon may be up in the sky, but my love will be forever rooted in you heart.

Ultimately, it is not about saying goodbye but saying, “I love you, no matter where life takes you, Psyche Mae.” Whatever happens, stay driven yet grounded. I’m just a message or a video call away whenever you need a quick piece of advice, someone to bounce ideas off of, a virtual shoulder to lean on, or even if you’re dealing with another spider in your room.


Sir H fondly describes himself as a ‘student of and for life’ who, like many others, aspires to a life-giving and why-driven world that is grounded in social justice and the pursuit of happiness. He is a physics and math professor of ISUFST, an educational leadership student of USLS, a retired Principal of Ateneo, and an alumnus of UP, UI, and WVSU.