This book relates the personal stories of 18 mothers who have lost adult children to accident, suicide, murder, and major illness. The stories trace the similarities and the levels of grief and bereavement over a time frame of from four months to thirty-five years. The mothers range from 30 to 85 years of age.
The lost children were from 16 through 45 years of age. From the responses to a common list of questions asked of over 75 survivor mothers, stories were selected and transcribed. The questions focused on changes in the grief and bereavement process over time. The stories serve as a framework for a review of prevailing theories of grief and bereavement. The book was initiated for a variety of reasons: to offer a sense of camaraderie and hope to other bereaved parents, to re-frame the losses as continuing relationships, to provide tools of understanding to professionals and friends who work with bereaved parents, and to memorialize the lost children.