There is no other relationship in your life that is like a mother-child relationship. We all have just one biological mother, even though throughout our life we may have many women who fill the role of mother. A mother-child-bond is emotionally charged. Filled with mixed emotions of love-hate charged by power plays and manipulation.maternal death rates statistics from Hglawfirm.com
First let’s focus on your biological mother and assume that she raised you and you and she had/have a continuing relationship in the traditional sense.
She conceived you, carried you in her body as you grew into a viable person, gave you life, birthed you and then the fun began. For the first 14 years of your life she fed you, nurtured you, taught you right from wrong, took you to school, kissed your boo boo’s, cheered you on to victories big and little, encouraged your curiosity, supported you in every way, and if you were lucky, loved you unconditionally.
Then you became a teenager and started to pull away and in doing so you turned away from her and perhaps against her. Boys and girls may experience this separating phonenoma differently.
When you left home to become your own person you may or may not have maintained a close relationship with you mother. Sons tend to grow more distant and daughters tend to stay closer to her mother’s family bringing their husband or partner into her extended family.
If adolescent separation issues aren’t resolved the distance grows even greater. While mothers yearn to be cherished and loved unconditionally this may never happen and a mother may be relegated to a second to even third class person in her adult child’s life.
In today’s world many children live in different towns, states, even countries from their mother. Distance effects closeness. Adult children are busy with their own careers, families and friendships and mothers may have to settle for an occasional telephone call, or greeting card. Visits on holidays are treasured times together, and may be problematic.
New boundaries must be set with considerations for in-laws. Grandchildren and revised traditions with the new family take precedence. If their son’s or daughter’s new family don’t do things the same way a mother must step aside and keep her mouth shut.
In the natural order mother’s die before her children.
The time in a child life that his/her mother dies is critically important. If a mother dies when her child is still young under seven, the child will grieve but not fully understand the concept of death and over time will have little memory of her.If a child’s mother dies between 7 and 12 years they will feel great loss and sadness. During this period the mother is primary in her child’s life and her absence could interrupt emotional development for some time. Of course everyone is different so I am speaking in general.
If a mothers death occurs during adolescence 13- 20 years her child may suppress the emotional feelings surrounding her loss. A mother death will create confusion at a time when hormones are churning and separating from her is the developmental goal. Emotions are confusing and beginning to transition from childhood to more mature feelings. Her death could affect future relationships with women for both daughters and sons. Her death may be internalized as abandonment and fear of abandonment may prevail in future relationships.
If a mother dies later in her child’s adult years after her son or daughter has established their own family she will fade into the wallpaper in a role much less important. The amount of contact, intimacy, respect that is ongoing is the key to a continuing emotional bond. Some adult children maintain a token relationship with their mother out of obligation, but not sincere love.
When a mother dies there be little grief, maybe even relief that the middle position and the consequential obligations to become a caretaker are lifted.
The grieving process under these common circumstances is minimal.
There are cultural differences of course. And family dynamics differ. A man who lives with his mother until she dies may be emotionally devastated when his mother dies. A daughter who talk to her mother daily on the telephone and maintains a strong mother-daughter bond will miss her mother terribly.