Keeping the memory of loved ones alive with teddy bears

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — “She has brought a beautiful orange shirt that her husband wore,” said organizer, Angelina Brittle. “This shirt he wore because it attracted hummingbirds.”

This is just one story one memory bear will tell once it’s sewn together.

“This is a special heart she found on the beach as she was walking up the stairs,” said Brittle. “She actually met her husband with this heart in her hands.”

A story that Lea Davis never wants to forget – “Even though I’ve got the memories,” said participant, Lea Davis. “It’s nice to have something tangible to see each day.”

Vidant has been running this program since 2009 – a bear workshop, where people bring clothing from someone who has passed away and then get to see memories stitched back to life.

Those who volunteer to spend their Saturday with needles and pins are not only seamstresses for the day, but listeners for those who need an open ear.

“The attachment that they have, you hear Lucas with some of his stories,” said Sammy Modlin, volunteer seamstress. “So you know this shirt is going to remind him of his granddad. It’s a tangible way to reinforce some of those memories.”

Helping to reinforce times when their loved ones were still around.

“Lea’s story is the reason we keep doing this because they come and they come with these beautiful keepsakes and share their story and to know that we are helping them know they are not alone, in their loss, their sadness, and their grief. And helping them heal,” said Brittle.

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