It’s easy to write a book about a baby’s death; the minute we hear or read “a baby’s death,” the subject matter alone will evoke the stock emotions we know that come from something so traumatic – heartache, despair, tears, senselessness, depression…the list goes on infinitely.
What’s not easy is writing that story in a way that gets at the heart of the true emotions beneath the ones we so easily rely on. What Elizabeth McCracken does so wonderfully in her memoir “An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination” is unflinchingly real and will break your heart and make you hope all in one breath. It’s not just the painful story of her baby’s death; it’s also the true, minute details of thought, of feeling, of reaction that most people don’t talk about. It’s not just the painful story of her baby’s death; it’s also the story of moving on yet holding on, of loving but learning to let go, of learning to accept the new beautiful things in your life (like the birth of a beautiful baby boy) while learning the ongoing process of forgiveness. It is the epitome of how LIFE GOES ON and how we should never forget what we’ve lost but embrace it, accept it, and take pockets of it for good memories to help us when the sadness and heartache invades.