The Coat I Wear follows the story of a child grieving the death of a sibling and uses the analogy of having to wear a very big, heavy and uncomfortable coat to symbolise the weight of grief that covers the character. The book then moves through the many emotions we all feel as we grieve a loved one and uses the coat to express the sadness and the loneliness but also the warmth and comfort we take from our precious memories over time.
I have written The Coat I Wear in the manner of a children’s book because I wanted to relay the simplicity that analogy brings but more-so because I want it to be read by children – children who need words of comfort in a situation that is incredibly hard to come to terms with and who often find it hard to express their feelings.
I don’t limit the feelings expressed to children alone and believe anyone, any age going through this sad time can take comfort from this book.
My hope is that The Coat I Wear will be shared to unite in the grief that we all find ourselves immersed in when someone we love dies.
With great thanks to everyone who has read the book to date and your fantastic responses to it.
Mel Maxwell x
As a young person who has been through losses, I felt that this book was not only sensitive but very powerful. It described emotions that I myself had problems putting into words, in a simple and visual way. It seemed to convey the perspective of a child, the confusion, pain and often the helplessness without being condescending or confusing. I think it could reach not only children but teenagers and young adults as well. I loved it.
Bridget Molloy, Cruse Bereavement Care Youth Advisory Group
It is rare to find a book that truly captures how a young person feels following the death of someone special. This story combined with the illustrations does just that. Mel’s metaphor of a coat perfectly illustrates the grieving process in a way that will appeal to a bereaved child, helping to normalise their grief. It is already on our essential reading list.
Dr Shelley Gilbert, MBE. Founder and CEO Grief Encounter, working with bereaved children.
What a beautiful and vulnerable story. In its simplicity and with the use of metaphor I think that it allows the reader to sit alongside loss. It is still sad, yet there is the hope that memories can become less painful.
Julie Reilly, senior psychotherapist, (Msc,Bsc,(Hons).PG Dip. Cert. M.B.A.C.P. (Reg) AFT. UKCP.)
Over the years in my clinic, working with people suffering all types of loss, I have never seen a book so touching and close to the heart, highly recommended.
Chris Boardman, Reg Acupuncturist, The Rosedale Clinic