“Tragedies are often dispatched in short order, and most of life is aftermath” (“Letting go; New fiction” 1). Tragic events often leave the victim and those close to them seeking closure. The journey of discovery is filled with many obstacles that everyone reacts differently. The novel The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold shows how the journey to get through emotional trauma caused by death of a loved one, and life that can never be continued affects everyone in different ways. The Salmon family embarks on a journey through life with struggles while trying to discover themselves without Susie Salmon in their lives after her murder, at the age of fourteen. Lindsey, Susie’s sister, has difficulty finding her own image in Susie’s shadow after her death. Likewise Susie’s father, Jack Salmon, fights with his emotions to separate the loss of his daughter with the reality of the life he lives. Susie Salmon struggles the most with her journey, letting go of life on earth to transition to a new life in heaven. Although each family member is on the same journey they take different paths to one common goal.
Lindsey Salmon struggles to find an identity separate from Susie. “Lindsey had to deal with…the Walking Dead Syndrome – when other people see the dead person and don’t see you” (Sebold 66). Lindsey’s family along with herself see Susie in her; Lindsey has avoided mirrors and showers in the dark. Since Lindsey is suffering with her identity she tries out make up to create her own image and physically changes her appearance to separate herself as much as possible from her sister. Lindsey’s boyfriend Samuel is her emotional crutch and offers support with out shadowing her in the death of Susie. Lindsey rarely allows her emotions to get the best of her. She does not openly express her grief, and decides to handle the situation on her own. “Like someone who has survived a gut shot, the wound had been closing, closing – braiding into a scar for eight long years” (Sebold 275)....
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