When we lose a loved one the pain can be unbearable, but they say time is a great healer.
The memories of times we shared with that special person can be a powerful healer and can be triggered by the most random thing: a smell, a place, a song.
Now a woman in the U.K. is helping those who have lost a loved one by creating a teddy bear out of their favorite item of clothing and her idea has gone viral.
Mary MacInnes hopes her Memory Bears will breathe new life into the no longer worn garments of people’s loved ones and bring huge comfort to those in pain and grieving.
The talented 21-year-old not only uses the favorite clothes of people who have died but can also include their jewelry and even ashes, according to a report by British newspaper Metro.
A special pocket can be added where letters and photos can be stored and while they’re not meant to be toys, Mary says she does create them for children to help them through tough times.
Mary, who has been making the comforting teddies for six years, told the Metro that the process can be emotionally draining.
“Recently I had a 37-year-old man pleading with me to make his two daughters aged 10 & 12 bears before Christmas. He insisted on paying in full and gave me £10 extra asking me to post them to his girls,” Mary said.
“It turned out he has terminal cancer and won’t see Christmas. I cried the whole time I cut out, sewed and stuffed those two little bears.”
Turned down requests
Mary had set her sights on creating wedding dresses and studied fashion tech at a U.K. university. She made her first memory bear five years ago as a favor for a friend and was inundated with requests to make more.
“I turned them down because I wanted to concentrate on university and a career in bridal,” she told the Metro.
But since she decided to change direction and focus on making more of these adorable bears, she hasn’t looked back.
“I love seeing their faces take on character and I’m absolutely loving life. I really enjoy meeting my customers when they collect bears – 80% burst into tears. I think that’s because garments arrive as sad reminders of the past then it’s almost as if new life is breathed into them,” she said.
“They become something that’s much more acceptable to cuddle and talk to, and the feedback is they definitely can help the grieving process,” she added.
What a simply beautiful way to keep your lost loved ones close. Thank goodness for kind and creative people in this world like Mary.