Scattering Ashes: A Memoir of Letting Go

Scattering Ashes: A Memoir of Letting Go

by Joan Z. Rough
Scattering Ashes: A Memoir of Letting Go

Scattering Ashes: A Memoir of Letting Go

by Joan Z. Rough


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When her alcoholic and emotionally abusive mother’s health declines, Joan Rough invites her to move in with her. Rough longs to be the “good daughter,” helping her narcissistic mother face the reality of her coming death. But when repressed memories of childhood abuse by her mother arise, Rough is filled with deep resentment and hatred toward the woman who birthed her, and her dream of mending their tattered relationship shatters. Seven years later, when her mother dies, she is left with a plastic bag of her mother’s ashes and a diagnosis of PTSD. What will she do with them?
Courageous and unflinchingly honest, Scattering Ashes is a powerful chronicle of letting go of a loved one, a painful past, and fear―a journey that will bring hope to others who grapple with the pain and repercussions of abuse.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631520952
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 09/20/2016
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 744,449
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Joan Z. Rough is a visual artist, poet, and nonfiction writer. Her poems have been published in a variety of journals, and are included in the anthology Some Say Tomato, edited by Mariflo Stephens. Her first book, Australian Locker Hooking: A New Approach to a Traditional Craft, was published in 1980. Her blog can be found at

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Chapter 1 Mourning Dove 5

Chapter 2 The Beginning of the End 11

Chapter 3 Living in a Construction Zone 15

Chapter 4 Summer Heat 24

Chapter 5 Family Dynamics 28

Chapter 6 Just Fine 33

Chapter 7 Mom's Story 38

Chapter 8 Traveling Companions 45

Chapter 9 My Train Wreck 53

Chapter 10 And Then… 58

Chapter 11 Living with Cancer 64

Chapter 12 Finding Common Ground 72

Chapter 13 Waiting 79

Chapter 14 Help 85

Chapter 15 Breaking the Chain 91

Chapter 16 The Second Time Around 100

Chapter 17 The Ghosts of Christmas Past 104

Chapter 18 What's Next? 111

Chapter 19 Moving Day 116

Chapter 20 Settling In 120

Chapter 21 Meeting the Minds 126

Chapter 22 Seesaw 134

Chapter 23 Negativity and Narcissism 144

Chapter 24 Spring 151

Chapter 25 Finding My Own Way 160

Chapter 26 The First Burial 166

Chapter 27 The Heart of the Matter 172

Chapter 28 The Face of Denial 178

Chapter 29 The Second Burial 187

Chapter 30 Finding Compassion 192

Chapter 31 Letting Go … Again 198

Chapter 32 Changing Lanes 204

Chapter 33 Cancer and Joy 211

Chapter 34 Visiting the Past 217

Chapter 35 The Final Burial 225

Epilogue 233

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