Northwestern professor writes book about love and grief in the wake of suicide

Dr. Robert Hubbard, professor of theatre at Northwestern College, is the author of a recently published book titled “Scenes With My Son: Love and Grief in the Wake of Suicide.” Cover of Dr. Robert Hubbard's book

The book is a poignant tribute to his son, Auggie, who took his life at the age of 19 after struggling with clinical depression for more than five years. On Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m., Hubbard will read from and talk about his book in Northwestern’s England Proscenium Theatre. Copies will be available for sale following his presentation.

Hubbard’s purpose in sharing his family’s story is twofold.

“I wrote it because I felt called to celebrate the life of my son and to let other people know about him,” he says. “I also hope the book is helpful both to people who have experienced great loss and difficulty, as well as to those who haven’t but who would like to understand more of what it’s like to endure suicide.”

Nicholas Wolterstorff, a philosopher, theologian and professor at Yale University, wrote the foreword for “Scenes With My Son.” He describes the book’s vignettes as “vividly written, story seamlessly blended with reflection.”

“Hubbard has an extraordinary gift for noticing the telling detail,” Wolterstorff writes, “and he is amazingly candid and forthcoming in exposing his heart and soul to the reader.”

Kay Warren, cofounder of Saddleback Church in California and—like Hubbard—a parent who lost a son to suicide, also has high praise for the book. “It’s almost impossible to find words that explain this complicated journey for any unfamiliar with mental illness, but Robert Hubbard has done it,” she says.

Hubbard structured his book into three sections. “Beautiful Boy” introduces the reader to Auggie, “The Family Monster” chronicles his battle with clinical depression, and “The Life After” recounts the aftermath of Auggie’s suicide.

“Scenes With My Son” isn’t a work of apologetics tackling the problem of pain. Instead, it’s a story of great loss and hope.

“On a good day, I live in the hope of the resurrection,” Hubbard says. “I choose to live that way, even when I don’t often feel that way.”

“Scenes With My Son: Love and Grief in the Wake of Suicide” is available on Kindle or paperback through Amazon and via the website of Eerdmans Publishing Co.