Baby Loss Awareness Week: New picture book aims to help young bereaved siblings

PUBLISHED: 11:38 15 October 2020 | UPDATED: 12:46 15 October 2020

Emma with George and Henry. Image: Copyright Emma Poore

Emma with George and Henry. Image: Copyright Emma Poore

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Claygate mother Emma Poore created the book to help her sons following the death of daughter, Lydie

Emma Poore with her book Where Are You Lydie?. Image: Copyright Emma PooreEmma Poore with her book Where Are You Lydie?. Image: Copyright Emma Poore

A Claygate mother whose daughter sadly died ten years ago has released a picture book to help other families through the journey of bereavement.

Where are you Lydie? is a sensitively written and illustrated book for children between three and seven years old that aims to help them and their parents to explore death and bereavement together, to start those difficult conversations and explore the questions that may come up after the death of a baby.

Emma Poore created the book, which tells the story of bereavement through the eyes of her young sons, George and Henry, in honour of her daughter Lydie, who died on April 1 2010.

“Ten years ago our baby daughter Lydie died. Ten years might seem like a long time to some but I still remember everything as if it were yesterday,” Emma says. “When your child dies your world changes forever. Your life, your dreams, the way you think, the way you live and those of your family are never ever the same again and grief becomes your shadow.

“As Lydie’s parents our grief was raw and all-consuming but we also had our three-year-old son, George at home and he was grieving too.”

At such a young age, George didn’t know what death meant and whichever way Emma and her husband, Tim, explained it to him, there were understandably more questions and fears.

“We said Lydie had “gone to sleep” but then George wouldn’t go to sleep. We said she was “ill”, then if George was unwell he’d worry he was going to die,” Emma explains.

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Emma hoped there might be a children’s book on the market that could help help ‘soften’ George’s pain but struggled to find anything suitable. Eventually they sought help through stillbirth and neonatal death charity, Sands, bereavement helpline.

“I learnt about cognitive development of children under five, their inability to understand or be aware of the finality of death or what the term “dead” means, that life functions stop when someone dies,” she says. “I learnt why George was very upset one minute and then would go out to play and seem fine the next.”

Emma and Tim went on to have another child, Henry, but it was on what would have been Lydie’s sixth birthday that the premise for her picture book, which is endorsed by Sands charity and recommended by the Miscarriage Association, Child Bereavement UK, Shooting Star Children’s Hospices and Marie Curie, was first ignited.

“George asked if we could send Lydie a piece of cake on her birthday and if a balloon would take it to her,” Emma explains. “I reflected on those first conversations we had and continued to have as a family after Lydie’s death and the need for a picture book to help grieving siblings. This was the first image I drew for the book several years later.

“It is my sincere hope and wish that Where are you Lydie? might help families in finding hope in their grief journey together following the death of a child.”

Where are you Lydie is £9.99 from emmapoore.co.uk. A percentage of all sales will be donated to Sands.

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