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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 152 > Mother love

Mother love

The relationship between a mother and daughter can be the closest we experience – and the most complicated. Vanessa Nicolson reflects on a lifetime of love and tears
PHOTOGRAPH: ISTOCK

relationships

She is strapped into a wheelchair, head bowed and back curved, buckled into herself, staring into bony hands. The lustrous black hair she used to style so elegantly has turned pure white and is scraped back into a thin ponytail. Her gold-framed glasses hang limply around her neck. She wears clothes she once would have never considered wearing: elasticated trousers; loose, shapeless tops; practical shoes with Velcro straps.

Sitting next to this very old lady, in the sunny garden of a residential home in Italy, she is unrecognisable.

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