When I'm Gone

When I'm Gone

A Picture Book About Grief

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When someone you love has died there will be sad days and angry days but also happy days and fun days.

Nobody lives forever ... and some wish they could have stayed for longer ...

This sensitively-written and deeply-moving picture book will help children grieve, celebrate and learn how to live and love life when a parent is gone.

Praise for When I'm Gone:

"Beautiful, humane and deeply moving, with illustrations that made me gasp out loud.." Phil Earle

"Marguerite McLaren writes so beautifully and directly about the subject of loss. The reader is given permission to feel all of those difficult feelings that come with grief and also to celebrate happiness and life. Hayley Wells's illustrations are a perfect match. The love in this book makes it shine, I was left with such a warm glow." Polly Dunbar

"This is such a beautiful book - heartbreaking and kind and gentle and wise." Alex Latimer

With expert advice from the charity, Child Bereavement UK.

About the authors

Marguerite McLaren

Marguerite lives with her husband and two daughters as well as two very beautiful and very pampered cats. She has worked as an editor in children's publishing for over twenty years. When I'm Gone was inspired directly by her life and was written one sunny afternoon during the first Covid lock down in 2020. At the age of 38, when her girls were one and six, Marguerite was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was treated and life went on. However, two years later, she discovered that the cancer had spread and was now incurable. Marguerite lives with this disease and all the ups and downs it and the treatment of it bring, but she refuses to be defined by it or to let it take over her life. And although her diagnosis has forced her to face her own mortality rather sooner than she had anticipated, it has also given her a heightened appreciation of how wonderful life is and a desire to stay alive and live well for as long as possible. When I'm Gone is Marguerite's love letter to her daughters. She hopes that it will help them and others in similar situations.
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Hayley Wells (Illustrator)

Hayley Wells is a UK-based illustrator and author. They have an MA in Children's Book Illustration from Cambridge School of Art and work with publishers around the world. When Hayley is not illustrating they can be found growing vegetables at their allotment or falling over on roller skates.
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