When Lee and Low Books contacted me and asked if I’d review a book for them I was glad to do it. Children’s book author Lulu Delacre has written Alicia Afterimage after the death of her daughter, Alicia. Alicia was 16 when she was killed in a car accident. Ms. Delacre interviews Alicia’s friends and wrote this book with their input.
The first thing I did was google Lulu Delacre. And I found out she lives about 15 minutes from my house. And the local library is having an exhibit on this book. Such a small world.
This book is primarily a book for teens about teens grieving the death of their friend. I could see how the process (the interviews and writing of it) would be healing for Alicia’s family, friends, and classmates at school. It is written in 3rd person, which makes the mother seem a little detached, but it also makes for a kind of separation which is probably easier for a grieving teen to read and deal with. A book like this would have been very helpful for my teenage friends and I when we found out a week after graduation our friend Scott Boland had been killed in a car accident. I remember acutely the pain and confusion we felt. And how going to his funeral was the saddest thing I had ever had to do in my 17 years of living.
As I read through the book I noticed that many similar themes with those of us dealing with the death of a smaller child. Seeing or hearing messages from our lost loved ones. Anger- and I was very curious how that would be resolved as to the driver of the car, who was a student at the same school. Not being able to say goodbye. Time too short with our child
And then I came to the final chapter, the perspective of Mama. And was struck once again with the fact that the death of a child is the worst thing a mother can go through. No matter what age the child. And I felt I related to the changes the mother describes.
“She had gone through an event that shattered life as she had known it, and her priorites had shifted…She was no longer afraid of being hurt, for there could not possibly be any pain depper than that of losing a child. Her empathy grew…”
“In time Mama began to recognize the signs of a spiritual connection to Alicia- a ladybug in the most unlikely of places…And more vivid dreams. Mama became acutely aware of all these surprising occurrences that seemed to carry messages. So she began to heed her inner voice: She learned to act on her instincts, following her heart instead of her head.”
I am glad for the chance to review this book. I’m glad I didn’t just discard it as a book for grieving teens. I’m glad to have read it; to again realize that our children are our children and their leaving us too early causes pain that a mother feels no matter how long she has with her child.
Click on the linkto see an interview with this author, Lulu Delacre
I hope today is gentle for you.