In the beginning, it was such a surreal experience visiting my newborn baby at the cemetery. In the movies, you see people having poignant conversations with their loved one’s headstone. In reality, it wasn’t like that. I would sit there, crying in pain and disbelief. I wanted to talk to my son but I didn’t know how. So I bought a children’s picture book and read to him instead. I found this softened the experience, and it also gave me such pleasure to be able to do a ‘normal’ mum activity with my son.
Over time I bought many books and built up a collection of special titles. But in all my book shopping, I was unable to find one that was written specifically to a child like mine. I found books for children about grief and loss (even baby loss). I found books for the living siblings of a child who had died. But no books written to/for children that live only in their parents’ heart.
So I decided to write 'You Could Have Been'
to my little boy, and to all the babies and children whose lives end far too soon. I have always loved Morrie Schwartz’s quote, “Death ends a life, not a relationship”. It is my hope that this book is a special way for bereaved parents, including those who suffer early pregnancy loss, to continue a relationship with their child that they are unable to hold in their arms.