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The mourning for the adult child from the perspective of mothers

The aim of the article is to discuss the mourning of mothers who have lost adult children, emphasizing on the resources used by them for coping with the process of bereavement. A qualitative research was conducted with five women belonging to the middle-socioeconomic segment in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The women, three married, a widow and a divorced one, with ages ranging from 50 and 75 years, were interviewed. Four thematic categories emerged from the discourse analysis of the interviews: strategies for coping with mourning; continuity of the bond with the deceased child; initial reactions and feelings in the face of the child's death, and marital/parental relationship. In this study we discuss the two former categories. Results point to the relevance of social support, religiosity, and the continuity of the bond with the deceased child as powerful resources to cope with loss.

Family; Grief; Mothers


Programa de Pós-Graduação em Psicologia, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas Núcleo de Editoração SBI - Campus II, Av. John Boyd Dunlop, s/n. Prédio de Odontologia, 13060-900 Campinas - São Paulo Brasil, Tel./Fax: +55 19 3343-7223 - Campinas - SP - Brazil
E-mail: psychologicalstudies@puc-campinas.edu.br