This Is How We Got Here

Keith Barker's play This Is How We Got Here is a the story of a close-knit family dealing with the fallout of a suicide.

Keith Barker

It's been a year since Paul and Lucille's son Craig committed suicide, and their once-solid family bonds are starting to break down. While the now-separated couple tries to honour their son, Lucille's sister Liset and her husband Jim refuse to discuss their nephew. The ties that keep the four together as sisters, best friends, and spouses are strained by grief and guilt — until a visit from a fox changes everything. 

Simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming, This Is How We Got Here follows a close-knit family as they deal with an unexpected loss. A mother, father, aunt, and uncle must learn how to move forward after the trauma and re-learn how to interact with one another with forgiveness, humour, and love. (From Playwrights Canada Press

This Is How We Got Here is on the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award shortlist for drama.

From the book

PAUL: You never let him stand on his own two feet.

LUCILLE: He was suffering from depression. You never took the time to understand what that means.

PAUL: Don't give me that. I supported him. When he was struggling I got him into hockey; I signed him up for baseball. I went to every one of his games.

LUCILLE: You gave him a hard time about taking medication.

PAUL: Why is it always about medication?

LUCILLE: Because he needed it!

PAUL: No, he needed his family, and instead he pushed us away.

LUCILLE: It's a disease, Paul.

PAUL: Don't give me that. If I had spoken to my father that way, he would have beat me into the middle of next week.

LUCILLE: Yes, well, that says a lot about his parenting skills.

PAUL: Well he must have done something right because I'm still here.

LUCILLE: You see? That's exactly what I'm talking about. After all that's happened you're still hard on him.

PAUL: No. He gave up, and I can't forgive him for that.

LUCILLE: That's a healthy way of looking at it.

PAUL: Well it's a lot better than sitting at home in the dark feeling sorry for myself.

LUCILLE: Or maybe I should start drinking my face off every night and pretending like nothing's happened.

PAUL: Or maybe I'll go break all the china in the kitchen and maybe I'll feel better!

LUCILLE: I was upset!

PAUL: No, you were unstable! And you wonder where Craig got it from!

She slaps him. Silence.

We'll talk in the morning.

He turns to walk out.

From This is How We Got Here by Keith Barker. ©2018. Published by Playwrights Canada Press.