The author interviewed 57 mothers who had lost children to cancer about their experiences concerning their children's illness and death. These mothers became their children's main caretakers because they felt responsible and unable to count on others. They maintained emotional stability while interacting with their children and worked to protect their children from mistakes made by health care professionals. These experiences made many mothers tougher. After their children died, they had to form a different kind of relationship to their children to overcome their grief. This process compelled the mothers to reconsider issues concerning life and death and changed their fundamental values.
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