“Love You Forever,” the heartbreaking book from your childhood, just got sadder

Love You Forever is one of those timeless books from our childhoods about a mother’s love for, and bond with, her child. It’s a perfect book for Mother’s Day, and every day. Written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Sheila McGraw, the story is about a mother and her son. From when her son is a baby to when he’s an adult (but still, metaphorically, her “baby”), the mother rocks him to sleep and sings, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.” Even when the woman’s son is all grown up and leaves home, she still goes to see and sing to him. She rocks him until she cannot anymore — when she’s too sick and old. Then, the roles have to be reversed. The son not only sings to and rocks his mother, but to his baby daughter, too. Pass the Kleenex, please.

The book’s always been a tearjerker, but now it’s even more so since we discovered the meaning behind the lyrics and words. It turns out, IRL, Love You Forever started as a song by Munsch… which was a tribute to two stillborn babies he and his wife had. Munsch wrote on his website:

Awww. Are we ever glad he did, but if that doesn’t make your heart cry…

Love You Forever is about parenthood, but also childhood, and children parenting parents. Overall, it’s about love. Munsch’s book is super popular and has touched millions. Seriously, more than 30 million (!) copies of Love Your Forever have been sold.

If you’ve never read the book or feel like reliving it, you can “watch” it here and listen to Munsch himself narrate it (a treat in and of itself with his animated voice), but get your Kleenex ready.