I started it when my daughter was about 6 months old. She and I took a walk one sunny afternoon through some fields near our house. It had rained recently and the normally easy path was muddy and overgrown with weeds and thistles. I had to hold her over my head in places so she wouldn’t get scratched. In the distance, I could hear what sounded like a big dog barking and it got me thinking about this story.
Being a new parent is strange. Having a small new life who is totally reliant on you really got me thinking about death rather a lot. My death, my daughter’s death, my son’s death, my wife’s death: Death. DEATH. I’d obsess about it. I still do to a certain extent, even though my kids are now far more independent. It is both terrifying and wonderful being a parent.
Carry Me is a story about death and coming to terms with the inevitability of it all. It was drawn in about 3 weeks. I set myself rules - no planning beyond writing down a brief synopsis, no penciling, no correcting mistakes, just jumping straight into my sketchbook with ink and watercolour.
Since the book was published I’ve met people who have suffered bereavement, a miscarriage or the death of a child who have said that reading Carry Me helped them in some way. This completely kicks all the air out of me.
If you’d like to do a good thing after reading this, please consider donating something to Severn Hospice. They looked after a friend of mine last year who left behind a daughter about the same age as my own.