Three days later, on the eleventh day AG (after Gus), Augustus’ father calls Hazel. He leaves a voicemail telling Hazel he found a moleskin notebook in the magazine rack next to his hospital bed. Unfortunately, he says there is no writing in the book, but there are a few pages torn out. He says she is in their prayers, and the message ends.
By saying A.G., Hazel suggests that Augustus’ death has split her life into two time periods, before Augustus and after. This comment also connects Augustus’ to Christ (modern timekeeping is split into before and after the birth of Christ), alluding to her expanding belief that just maybe Augustus’ spirit still exists somewhere after his death.
Hazel tries to think of where he would leave the pages. She thinks maybe they are in the Literal Heart of Jesus, so she goes to support group early. She picks up Isaac and they listen to a band The Hectic Glow on the way to the group. Hazel realizes Augustus will never hear their new album. She looks everywhere in the Literal Heart of Jesus for the writing, but finds nothing.
Hazel and Isaac listen to the Hectic Glow, Augustus' favorite band, as a way to remember him and cope with his death. She realizes the permanence of his death as she realizes he will never hear the album.
When the group starts, Patrick asks Hazel if she would like to share anything about Augustus. She says she wishes she would just die, and asks Patrick if he ever feels that way. He says that sometimes he does, and asks Hazel why she doesn't die. Her stock answer was that she stayed alive because she didn't want to hurt her parents, but she realizes this answer isn’t exactly true anymore. She says she doesn't know. She begins thinking about the universe wanting to be noticed, and that she owes a debt to it that she could only repay with her attention. She also realizes that she owes a debt to everyone who no longer gets to be a person, or who hasn’t been born yet.
As Hazel attempts to share in the group, she realizes that her stock answer is no longer sufficient, which suggests she is having a change of perception with regard to life and death. She begins to suspect that the meaning of life is to recognize the universe and remember and honor those who are no longer here or haven’t been born yet. This moment shows a drastic shift in her philosophy, and the idea that living life may be the meaning of life.
When Hazel gets home from the support group she argues with her mother about eating. Mrs. Lancaster says she can’t just stop eating because Augustus died. She tries to walk away, but her mother grabs her, telling her she needs to eat to stay healthy. Hazel lashes back, saying that she is not healthy, and she is dying. She tells her mother she is going to leave her alone in the world and there is nothing she can do about it. Her mother realizes that Hazel heard her say that to Mr. Lancaster in the hospital. She apologizes and tells Hazel that even when she dies she will still be her mother. She asks Hazel if she has stopped loving Augustus since he died. Hazel shakes her head no.
Hazel’s mother just wants her to be healthy, but in the face of Augustus’ death, Hazel can no longer ignore the fact that she is dying. Hazel reveals the way she feels about being a grenade to her parents. Mrs. Lancaster realizes that she made a mistake when she told Mr. Lancaster she would no longer be a mother after Hazel’s death, but in that moment of grief she was speaking from a place of fear of losing her daughter. Now that Hazel has had an experience of love and loss, she is able to understand where her belief that she is a grenade is wrong.
The conversation continues and Hazel tells them that she is worried that her parents will not have a life after she dies. Her mother tells her that she is studying to be a social worker; she wants to counsel families dealing with cancer. Hazel thinks it is a great idea. She begins crying, and thinks of Anna’s mom. Later, while watching television as a family, Hazel asks if they will stay together after she dies. They swear to God they will stay together.
Hazel’s belief that she is a grenade, and also her belief that all adults are miserable is destroyed when her mother tells her that she is planning a life after Hazel dies. Her mother will find meaning and honor Hazel by working with kids living with cancer. This news provides the answer Hazel was looking for in An Imperial Affliction, and her parents promise to stay together confirms her belief.