Chronic Sorrow: Parents' Lived Experience

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Abstract

The article compares the literature on chronic sorrow with the life experiences, memories, and opinions of two health care professionals who are the parents of a profoundly mentally retarded adult child. Both the literature and these parents' experiences confirm the lasting nature of chronic sorrow. A lifetime of ongoing losses experienced by these parents is compared with loss resulting from the death of a loved one. This sadness without end continues to be a force in the lives of these parents even though they no longer serve as caretakers for their child. The article recommends interventions that health care workers can use with parents of retarded children

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