SUFFERN, N.Y. (PIX11) — Brave and poignant. Courageous, too. That’s how some moviegoers describe a new movie, Life After You, the true story of one New Jersey family’s struggle to deal with the loss of their teenaged son to drugs.
“It’s been very difficult but I signed on for this,” Linda Lajterman, whose 19-year-old son died of a drug overdose, told PIX11 News.
It’s been more than eight years since Danny Lajterman of Ramsey New Jersey died of a drug overdose. He died of a heroin overdose laced with fentanyl. A month after his death in 2014, his mother, Linda Lajterman, shared his story on Facebook getting close to 900 comments and 9,000 shares.
Lajterman then wrote a book titled “Life After You: What Your Death from Drugs Leaves behind.” And now, that book has been made into a film, which is available on Amazon, Apple TV and iTunes.
“It’s actually surreal,” Danny’s mother, Linda, told PIX11 News. “When I wrote that book, my intent was to scare a few kids to make better choices than our son did.”
Tito Lajterman, Danny’s father, told PIX11 News the movie is “tough.”
“It’s very important for teenagers to see if they are not thinking about what they are getting into,” he added.
A screening of the film at Lafayette theatre in Suffern for family and friends was followed by a Q&A session. Audience members applauded the courage of the Lajterman family in telling their story.
“I would absolutely recommend this movie,” Brian Lyman, the Ramsey police chief, told PIX11 News. “Especially if you have children, to know what to look out for.”
PIX11 News’ Mary Murphy, who attended this screening, was one of the first to cover the opioid crisis in the tristate area.
“Back when he died in 2014, we didn’t even know what fentanyl was,” Murphy said. “It wasn’t until Prince died of fentanyl that it started getting attention. And Danny Lajterman was one of the first that we knew of to die of fentanyl a few years before.”
The Lajterman family is hoping this movie will save lives.