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Each week, spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra responds to Oprah.com users' questions with enlightening advice to help them live their best lives.
Q: I took care of my mother until she died. She was never alone on holidays. I raised my daughter alone and put her through college and law school. I am always alone on holidays, although she lives within driving distance. When I was in the hospital, she didn't come. I'm scared I will die alone. Friends don't make up for family, and they have their own. How can I reach her?
— Beverly R., Saratoga, California
This is very sad. Either your daughter has no conscience or you have somehow alienated her. Call her up, tell her how you feel and ask her what you can do to bring her back. If she says there's nothing you can do, don't give up. Find somebody who has influence over her, and ask that person to plead your case. I don't mean you have to wring pity from your daughter. What you want is a realistic picture of where you went wrong and what you can do to make things right.
If it turns out you didn't alienate your daughter, maybe you alienated her husband. If so, don't try to win him over. Ask instead if you can see your daughter on her own. I know plenty of families where married children forgot to care because their spouse demanded it or coerced them into it.
If this approach fails, you may have to seriously consider whether your daughter has no conscience. Sadly, there is no such thing as a conscience transplant. You will have to turn to friends for support, comfort and the love you miss from your daughter. Yet there is a silver lining to this cloud. If you firmly decide to stop pinning all your hopes on your daughter, you can begin to look for real love from others. I agree with you that there is no substitute for family, yet many people who have no family have found love elsewhere. Can you become one of them?
Every week, Deepak will be answering questions from readers just like you—ask your question now!
Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.
What to do if your family has different beliefs than you do
Heal from your family's past
How to help a family member who won't get help
Published on July 14, 2010