After

After

Francis Chalifour

Language: English

Pages: 144

ISBN: 0887767052

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Nominated for the Governor General's Literary Awards 2005, (Children's Literature, Text)

Fifteen-year-old Francis’s father has committed suicide and nothing will be the same again. Suicide is ugly, unglamorous, and it is never a solution. Its aftermath is dreadful.

At first, Francis feels a terrible guilt. Could he have been a better son? What if he hadn’t left his home in Montreal to go on a brief holiday in New York the weekend it happened? Soon the guilt turns to anger and then to a sadness so profound that he thinks he can’t bear it.

After is the map of a year following the suicide of a family member. In the course of months, with the love of his mother, with counseling, and with the balm of time, Francis takes his first steps toward coming to terms with his father’s – and his family’s – tragedy. After is intensely personal, but it will resonate with anyone who has faced the loss of a loved one.

This brilliant autobiographical first novel is an acute analysis of the grieving process. Although it is steeped in Francis’s sadness, it is ultimately a story of hope.

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yoga, whatever. It’s different for each of us.” I studied the floor. White marble tiles. Bergeron’s office had been decorated with stark, modern furniture and apricot walls, as if it had been transported from a glossy magazine and plunked down in our decrepit high-school building. “Was it my fault?” The words came out of my mouth, surprising me. “Your father committed suicide. He was the only one responsible.” I hate the S-word. Could he have said it any louder? SUICIDE. Wait a second. I will

believe. You know, in life there are things that we can answer, but others we can’t. We have to let go of those things for which we just can’t find any answers. We can’t hold onto them.” I let the fries grow cold on my plate. I wasn’t angry anymore. As I walked home the same thought beat a tattoo with my steps: Why didn’t Papa talk to me? Why didn’t we ever talk? I was twelve years old when I saw my father cry for the first and only time. He was in the garage, sitting on a bench with his

believe. You know, in life there are things that we can answer, but others we can’t. We have to let go of those things for which we just can’t find any answers. We can’t hold onto them.” I let the fries grow cold on my plate. I wasn’t angry anymore. As I walked home the same thought beat a tattoo with my steps: Why didn’t Papa talk to me? Why didn’t we ever talk? I was twelve years old when I saw my father cry for the first and only time. He was in the garage, sitting on a bench with his

died. In my dream I was walking home when I saw him sitting on the porch waiting for me. “Papa? Is it you?” I called. “What are you doing here?” He smiled. “I’m waiting for you so that we can have a game of poker, son. The cards are on the table and I got here in time to clean up the kitchen so that your mother can play with us. It’s been a while.” He seemed so solid that I thought I could reach out and touch him. “Papa?” “Yes, son.” “I’ve been waiting for you, too. Did you hear me crying

calm and cool and it enraged me. “How dare you replace him like that, with freaking Green Hat?” “His name is George! Stop calling him Green Hat!” “You can’t replace Papa.” “I don’t want to.” Her composure vanished and she collapsed on my bed, curled up on her side, and cried like a baby. I don’t know how long we were frozen in place, but eventually she sat up. I handed her a Kleenex and she snuffled. “You know, I’m really angry with your father. He cut out and left me with no money and two

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