Following a Mother’s Journey in Heartache: “A Vow Made True” Grief Memoir Aids in Healing After Death of Adult Child

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Dolores Carruthers' new book "A Vow Made True" follows her grief process following the death of an adult son in a skiing accident. This heartfelt memoir will strike a chord in anyone who has lost a loved one, especially parents who have lost a child.

“The power of this tale is how the teller stays with the disruptive emotions of loss long enough to explore and honor her transformation from broken to remade. This is a tender, moving, courageous and strangely satisfying book.”

Dolores Carruthers’ courageous new memoir, “A Vow Made True – From Grief to Hope After the Death of A Son,” exposes a mother’s raw emotion as she works through the accidental death of an adult child (Carruthers Publishing, ISBN 978-0983384304, 2012).

On what is an otherwise peaceful winter evening, Dolores Carruthers receives the tragic news that an avalanche has killed her adult son Stephen while skiing. At first, this information is almost impossible to process. But eventually, as she always has done before, Carruthers pulls her family together, making arrangements for her son’s services and their life going forward.

Then things start to unravel. How could this devastating event possibly happen? Carruthers gives her readers a guided tour of the classic stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) and how they all eventually played out in her and her family’s life.

Her husband withdraws. Their other son, losing an anchor, struggles with an altered role in the family, now that his brother is gone. A daughter and her husband soon enough have a tragedy of their own befall them.

Carruthers makes a vow that she will experience what needs to be felt without resorting to denial, repression or anti-depressants. This brave path takes her to places unknown, including therapy of various kinds, to spiritual-seeking, through extreme anger but also into powerful creativity.

During the journey, Carruthers gets a better sense of how beliefs from her religious upbringing have limited her. She accepts that she has no control over loss, yet it’s not something she needs to blame on God. Instead, she focuses on love, in all its various manifestations in her life.

Carruthers lives her own answer to grief – that we can’t control those bad things that happen to us, but we can control how we respond. She salvages the pieces of her prior life, rearranging them in ways that make sense and thus provide a way toward the future.

Thomas Larson, teacher and author of “The Memoir and the Memoirist: Reading and Writing the Personal Narrative” said, “The power of this tale is how the teller stays with the disruptive emotions of loss long enough to explore and honor her transformation from broken to remade. This is a tender, moving, courageous and strangely satisfying book.”

For anyone who has ever lost a loved one, and especially for mothers in that situation, “A Vow Made True” is an experience one will remember and cherish for a long time.

“A Vow Made True” is available now at select booksellers online (amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com) and in Kindle version at amazon.com. The book includes a Reader’s Guide suitable for book clubs.

About the Author
Dolores Carruthers, MSW, of Palm Desert, California, is a retired psychotherapist and teacher, who has taught communication classes and leadership development courses. Her love of writing was honed, in part, as a past president of the Palm Springs Writers Guild. In her spare time, Dolores loves to read, play golf and paint. Her greatest role, however, is as a mother, grandmother and most recently as a great-grandmother.

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Jim Arnold
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Dolores Carruthers

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