The grieving process in writing

Vivre son deuil à l’écrit

Abandoning a niche that is familiar – the chicklit – to address a serious subject matter, the novelist Nathalie Roy is inspired by her own family experiences to write his new novel, I chose January. The book tells about the end of life of a man suffering from pulmonary fibrosis and the impact of his choice – to have recourse to medical assistance to die – on his entourage. This topic poignant and topical is treated with great tenderness.

Nathalie Roy has this story in his heart for several months. His father, the journalist Guy Roy, died in January 2019 after asking for medical help to die. She is inspired by her relationship with him to draw this novel.

Lili, the heroine of the novel, has had a great shock when her father announced that he had chosen January to die. Paul, suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, wants to receive medical help to die.

How to get through this ordeal ?

In the interview, Nathalie Roy explains that what she and her family have lived is “so exceptional, so out of the ordinary,” she said : why not make it a novel, since that is what she likes to do. “It has become, finally. “

History fictionalized

Apart from the character of Paul, inspired of his father, who was a journalist at the Journal de Montréal for several years, the other characters are fictional and the story is fictionalized. “It allowed me a greater freedom. “She changed her style, and this is the first novel that she has not written” I “.

“Relive all that I have lived with my father, it led me in areas that are quite intense. However, it is always with me… it allows me to live a mourning for an extended period. “

She cried in writing some of the passages, but she remembered the cheerful disposition and good child of his father, his joy of living. “He dealt with the death of a very particular way. Sometimes, I’m laughing, because I said to myself : my God, people are going to believe that it is greater than nature, this character. But it could be. It was my father. It has been a roller coaster of emotions. “

His opinion

Nathalie Roy has made an opinion on the medical assistance to die. “At the time when my father made the request, it is a subject that was really in the news. I made this reflection at the same time that I experienced the situation with my father. For me, medical help to die, it is really essential to our society. It will be necessary, too, that we find ways to make it even more accessible, because I have seen how this could be liberating for the person, and also for the entourage. “

“My father gave us the gift of from while he was suffering, of course, but not in a state where it would have been extremely difficult to see. He left with all his head, serenely, and for us, it is a tremendous gift. “

This is the message she wanted to convey in this book. “There is a way to experience a grief so serene, sharing memories. We need to think about to make this act even more accessible, in my humble opinion. “

“I’m not a professional, I’m just someone who has lived it, and who is extremely grateful, especially at the present time, because honestly, I look at people who lose their loved ones currently. It must be extremely suffering from not being able to be there, to not be able to celebrate the lives of these people. It’s going to take care of these people. “

► Nathalie Roy is the author and director.

► His first series, The Life, the spicy Charlotte Lavigne, has seen much success and has been sold in France, Poland and the Czech Republic.


I chose January
Nathalie Roy, Éditions Libre Expression, 288 pages”>

I chose January
Nathalie Roy, Éditions Libre Expression, 288 pages

“Françoise is back with a rectangular box and she places it in front of her husband. It opens solemnly and he distributes to each a bookmark… on which appears his / her photo wearing the title : Died on 8 January.

Lili stifled a cry of surprise, Xavier feels his heart tighten in his chest, and Yasmine is terribly uncomfortable.

— It is true that it surprises. But read the back, it will make you happy.

Lili is unable to take his eyes off of the word “Died”. A word that means death, the end, the extinction, the disappearance… final and without appeal. A bookmark that advertises the mourning in advance. “

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