The Perks of Being a Wallflower

We learn more about Aunt Helen. How was her life and how did she pass away?

the Perks of Being a Wallflower p. 45-102

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December 26, 1991

Charlie is overwhelmed by feelings for Aunt Helen. He and his mother visit her grave, and he tells the story of her life and death. Molested as a child, Aunt Helen frequently fell into abusive relationships. She began living with Charlie's mother and father as a way to heal, both physically and mentally. She left the house on the evening of Charlie's birthday to buy him another present - she was the only person, other than his mother and father, who bought him two presents for Christmas and his birthday - and later on a policeman arrived at Charlie's house and told his family that there had been an accident. His Aunt Helen had died while driving, and Charlie has always felt that he was to blame. He writes, "Despite everything my mom and doctor and dad have said to me about blame, I can't stop thinking what I know. And I know that my aunt Helen would still be alive today if she just bought me one present like everybody else. She would be alive if I were born on a day that didn't snow. I would do anything to make this go away. I miss her terribly. I have to stop writing now because I am too sad" (220).