On sale now!
'You Could Have Been'
by Annie-M

  • Front cover of the book 'You Could Have Been' by Ann-Maree Imrie
  • Back cover of the book 'You Could Have Been' by Ann-Maree Imrie

You Could Have Been

About the book

‘You Could Have Been…’ is a children’s picture book for bereaved parents to read to their child who died, or didn’t survive a pregnancy. It’s filled with a parent's wonder of who their child could have been if they’d had the chance to grow up. The book is written to the child, so a parent can talk to them about their lost hopes and dreams, but most importantly, their love.

“You could have been an astronaut, up among the stars
And you would have been a pioneer – the first to go to Mars”… 

 …“You could have lived much longer, but this was not to be
Not among the human world – instead you’re flying free”…

You Could Have Been girl stencilThe watercolour illustrations are by artist, Zheng Qu, and beautifully depict the essence of our very special children who are no longer with us.

About the author

My name is Ann-Maree Imrie.
I live in Sydney and practised as a Social Worker for 10 years working with children, young people and families, including grief and bereavement work. 

Sharing in people’s stories of love and loss was very special to me. I learned a lot about grief this way, but I didn’t realise its full impact, and the total devastation of its heartbreak until Friday 30th January 2015. On this date, my husband and I heard the words every parent dreads - “I’m sorry. There is no heartbeat”. Our beautiful boy, Xavier Rocket Imrie was stillborn the next day.
Ann-Maree Imrie - You Could Have Been


Inspiration behind 'You Could Have Been'

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.

You Could Have Been boy stencilSo 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.

Buy the book!

Great news! 'You Could Have Been' is ON SALE NOW!

Price of the book is $24.95 AUD
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50c from each book sold will be donated to Stillbirth Foundation - An Australian charity dedicated to reducing stillbirth through research, education and advocacy
Ann-Maree Imrie - You Could Have Been