This is the Velveteen Rabbit. The same picture hangs in my house.
I've never bought any artwork in my life previously. I've never really "got it".
I walked past the picture in a shop window most days back from the gym, and something kept reaching out to me. I'd stop and just look at the picture for several minutes before continuing my journey.
One time I even passed the picture, then turned back to spend a few idle minutes contemplating what it was that I drawn to.
My wife, Julie, eventually told me if something was pulling me so strongly, I should buy it. So now it hangs in my house.
I realised quickly what it was.
We lost our daughter, Tia to stillbirth on August 31 2010. My wife, after 9 months was finally in labour, and between the hours of labour and getting to hospital, she was lost. She never came home with us.
I have no proof that she exists. There were no baby clothes, no balloons, no happy photos.
It was like she didn't exist at all, and that somehow her existence was invalid.
I struggled with this a lot. I still do at times.