Twenty-four parents whose adult children had died of cancer completed a
bereavement questionnaire and the Brief Symptom Inventory an average of 2
years after the death of their children. The parents had experienced growth
in a number of areas, and although they had residual levels of grief, few
had more psychiatric symptoms than would be found in a normative
population. Factors that shaped the response to the loss included the
prolonged and debilitating nature of the illness, the sex of the parents
and children, and aspects of the parent-child relationship.