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Letting Go

Letting Go

The sudden death of a young mother lends a stirring depth to her poetry.


Pearl Simmons, died unexpectedly on August 21, 2002, four days after contracting a bacterial infection, leaving behind her husband and three young children (pictured above).

Pearl's life passion was helping children develop their potential. She taught a "Positive Parenting" series at Children's' Hospital in Pittsburgh, and wrote the "Parenting Today" column in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

She believed that every child was special, and that by treating children right you would get the best from them.

Pearl's passing at age 42 leaves a great void in her family, her many students, and the Jewish community in which she was so active.

She wrote the following inspirational poem in 1997.

* * *

"Letting Go"

I can't protect you any more.
I can't make your hurt go away.
I tell you I love you and show you I care.
I try to help out when things don't seem fair.

But my power as a mother goes only so far.
I can't always reach the places you are.
I want to be close like we were before,
But you want to move on -- to discover what's more.

When you were a baby, I'd hold you tight,
And keep you forever within my sight.
I could satisfy your every need,
It was an easy time for us indeed.

And when you were a toddler and scraped your knee,
You'd hold out your arms and run to me.
I'd kiss where it hurt and make it feel fine.
A hug and a kiss worked every time.

I was always the one you turned to then.
I wish it could be like that again.
But now when you're sad you turn away,
And I don't know what words to say.

You're my little boy, but you're growing up fast.
I feel you slipping from my grasp.
I want to hold on, but I know it's time
For me to let go of this child of mine.

I long to protect you, to shield you from pain.
But I have to remind myself time and again,
That you have to experience life on your own,
While I stand back and leave you alone.

You're still so young, but you've already found
How kids can be mean when I'm not around.
School kids tease you and call you names.
They make fun of you and play cruel games.

I tell you not to worry, that it'll be alright
I tell you to be brave, yet I can't make things right.
I try to listen and to hold you near,
To give you solace and allay your fear.

I try to be there when the going gets tough.
Sometimes growing up can be so rough.
But I also feel proud of the person you are.
I know that you're strong and that you'll go far.

I realize it's time to start letting go.
I've taught you so much of the things that I know.
As you step forward, I'll take two steps back.
It's not easy for me, but I'll soon get the knack.

I'm letting go, but I'll never be far.
You can always reach me, wherever you are.
I watch you proudly as you start on your way.
My love goes with you as we start a new day.


September 16, 2002

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Visitor Comments: 10

(10) jklarr, October 17, 2011 4:12 AM

loneliness of letting go..

I have raised 3 great kids, 2 boys and one girl, but my middle son, who is 24 has stayed home, I have always been close to him , you love all your kids but differently, he has helped me to understand and see things clearer and the good in others.. He has a very high IQ and has a hard time communicating with other, feels like he is on a different level.. so we have always been close... well its now time for him to go out and find life on his own.. this has been the hardest thing next to my brothers death .. for me to deal with. I have been the most positive around him.. telling him he will do wonders in his life.. while on the other side of the door I'm falling apart.. He is going back to our home town Utah.. We are going to try to go later if things go right.. and I know this but in this time the economy, selling our home will determine it all... Love your kids ,, take the time to read.. or just listen.. cause the time goes by to fast.. and then their gone.. I read many many poems tryin to find the right one.. and this one was it.. every thing I wanted him to know ... LOVE YOUR PARENTS AND LOVE YOUR KIDS.. AND PETS TO..♥

(9) Tia, May 25, 2010 3:30 PM

Fate works in strange ways

We grow up just to get away from our parents who gave up their "lives" to take care of us. I just turned 18. I'm graduating in 10 days! And all my life all I wanted was to just get away from my mom. Her caring was to much for me. Her protecting was like jail. She'd talk to me and I'd just yell back, why? Now here I am..about to move on my own and I already miss her. I feel like I wasted so much of my time as a "teenager" and treating my mom like crap, wanting to get away..and I don't want to go. This poem was very emotional for me. Seeing it through the mothers eyes of letting go..and now that she's gone, her children are the ones letting go..I've never cried from a poem before..but this one truly touched my heart..

(8) Katherine, November 2, 2009 12:40 PM


I too am reading this poem with tears down my face. It is just so beautiful. Your children will always be your children no matter how old they are. Thank you.

(7) Anonymous, May 16, 2008 12:31 PM


I too have been close to my daughter for 17 years, and now she is pulling away and wanting to go in her own direction. It is so difficult letting go and realizing that you children don''t need you like they did when they were young.

(6) Lydia's Mom, April 29, 2008 9:15 PM

I can relate to this poem so well

I am going through "letting go" right now and this poem touched my heart. My only daughter and I have been so close all her life. We were more like sisters. She has gone to college and has a boyfriend, whereas, we have grown apart. I know these are normal things to go through but I miss her and I miss the times we had together. I like the part, as you step forward, I'll take two steps back...Thats just what we have to do and trust God with the rest :)

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