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Sánchez, G.E. (2001). Mother as Messenger of Love and Death. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 10(1):57-63.

(2001). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 10(1):57-63

Mother as Messenger of Love and Death

Guadalupe E. Sánchez, M.D., Ph.D.

For mothers, the act of giving birth also brings them close to death as well as other human experiences. The mother represents the dual structure of life and death in the mind. It was this unconscious convergence that stirred the interest in reconsidering the subject of the loss of children and its effect on individual development. This article demonstrates what happens when death triumphs over life chronologically close to birth. The author presents a clinical report on a six-year-old girl, Dinah, who suffered the effects of the mother's mourning. She illustrates the therapeutic approach to mourning over time, at moments in which the shadow of pain is more clearly present. These are moments when the loss must be brought to consciousness, because of the unconscious effects it has on the survivors. Dinah's problems were not caused by the loss itself, but rather the fact that the loss occurred in a phase of her emotional development when she was only a baby an unable to react in a mature manner.

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