Hidden Treasures

Louise Dupont

Publisher: Trafford Pages: 53 Price: (paperback) $22.32 ISBN: 9781466922693 Reviewed: June, 2012 Author Website: Visit »

On April 7, 2003, Louise Dupont’s 21-year-old son André jumped in front of a truck on Winnipeg’s Perimeter Highway, throwing his family and friends into the long, painful process of recovering from his suicide. Nearly a decade later, the author compiled this short book as a way to share what she learned along the way, following two guidelines: that it would be uplifting and healing in nature and that it would reflect her son’s “gentle and inquisitive spirit.”

Dupont’s book has the appearance of a children’s tale, with André’s crayon illustrations swaddling the mature content. She introduces readers to André with “Lost in a Storm,” a story he wrote as a second-grader, and ends with sympathy cards drawn by students of École Christine-Lespérance, where André worked. In between, she paints a portrait of her son as a generous, imaginative young man who learned to juggle and loved to bicycle. Dupont describes the gathering storm and tragic day of his death in just three pages before moving on to her search for the consolation she found in the support given by loving friends, the solidification of her own spiritual beliefs and a few messages from the grave contained in his belongings.

The author’s prose is profound in its sparseness, giving readers a sweet, honest reflection of her decision to honor her son’s short life rather than mourn his passing. It leaves readers with plenty of room for self-reflection on the themes of life, death and motherly love. Leaving out the agonizing details about André’s depression, Dupont shares the heartbreaking questions that all suicide survivors must ask: What could we have done to prevent this? What would he have accomplished if he had lived? His suffering is ended; what more could I want for him?

While the story is too personal and specific to André’s situation to appeal to general readers, the book would be useful and recommeded for people working in the fields of suicide prevention and grief counseling.

Author's Current Residence
Winnipeg, Canada
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