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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23--30

Seeking an adjustment from the unnatural to the supernatural: The experience of losing a child from cancer in Colombia


1 Research Group Nursing Care for the Chronic Patient, Facultad de Enfermerķa, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia
2 Department of Vocational Training, Faculty of Nursing, Universidad de Antioquia, Antioquia, Colombia

Correspondence Address:
Sonia Carreno-Moreno
Carrera 30 No. 45 – 03, Build. 228, Office 305, Bogota
Colombia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_72_20

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Aims: The death of a child with cancer can be devastating for his or her parents. This study sought to understand the way in which the process of parental grief develops after the death of a child with cancer. Methods: The research used a grounded theory approach, in which 18 participants were enrolled including parents whose child died from cancer 5 months to 5 years before. In-depth interviews were conducted, which were analyzed using constant comparisons until theoretical saturation was reached. Results: Fifteen subcategories were identified and grouped into three categories that explain what the grieving process represents to the parents over time (a) crossing a desert, (b) dying while alive, and (c) coming back to life. From the emerging relationships among the categories, the core category “seeking adjustment from the unnatural to the supernatural” arises. The results show that grief begins from the moment of diagnosis until long after the child's death. For parents, it entails understanding the disruption in the natural course of life, going through indescribable pain, and being spiritually reconnected with their child. Conclusions: These results enable nurses to design comprehensive interventions that meet the described needs of these parents.






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