Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science
Motherless mothers are women who lose their mothers to death prior to having their children, and therefore raise their children without the maternal support and guidance afforded to many women whose mothers are still alive (Edelman, 2006). A qualitative research design was used to gain an in-depth understanding of the everyday experiences faced by motherless mothers. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with 10 motherless mothers. Four major themes emerged including grief, support, absence of knowledge, and changes to self following loss. Results provide insight into the ongoing influence a mother's death can have on a daughter's life and draw distinction to specific issues faced by motherless mothers in their everyday mother roles. Results of this research also have implications for clinicians and others working with maternally bereaved women who are entering or experiencing the mother role.