The experiences of mothers bereaved by suicide: an exploratory study

Death Stud. Jan-Jun 2014;38(1-5):118-24. doi: 10.1080/07481187.2012.738765. Epub 2013 Aug 9.


To ascertain the meaning of their loss, the authors explored the experiences of 7 biological mothers bereaved by suicide. Purposive sampling was used and 1-to-1 interviews were conducted and analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Four themes emerged: (a) silencing grief; (b) shattered assumptions; (c) constructing a narrative; and (d) the depth of a mother's grief. Mothers experienced intense prolonged grief with many psychological and physical symptoms; one acknowledged strong suicidal thoughts and one had attempted suicide. The findings suggest a need for care professionals to be aware of, and to target, this vulnerable subgroup.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bereavement*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Suicide / psychology*