Sunday, November 11, 2012
To help someone who is grieving feel close to someone they have lost in an artistic way, Carrie Pike creates what she labels Carrie Bears. I met Carrie years ago at a Compassionate Friends national conference where she displayed her bears. I thought they were cute, clever and could mean something special to those who have lost a loved one, particularly a child.
Carrie started creating these bears in 1999 for bereaved parents, so parents can feel close to the child they lost. "Every family has a story and as hard as it is, I feel that many have found comfort in having Carrie Bears to hold onto," she said.
How it works is this: the bereaved parent sends a favorite article of clothing to Carrie and she turns it into a soft, huggable 20 inch stuffed bear.
Carrie has done bears out of shirts, blouses, prom dresses, uniforms, skirts, baby blankets, infant outfits, levis, vests, pants, pajamas and flannel sheets. She warns that knits tend to stretch but can make for a very soft bear. Silky and thin materials can be used but don’t work quite as well. Cotton and denim fabrics hold the shape of the bear really well.
Bears can also be made to match a baby nursery or a bedroom set. If a loved one is confined to a hospital bed or has moved far away, cuddling a bear can make home feel so much closer. Every bear is different and every bear can be personalized with pictures or writing, according to Carrie.
“It is up to you to decide what you want to have on the bear,” she said. “Personalize it any way you want.”
Each bear is $49.95 plus tax and shipping. To put a message or poem on the bear is an additional $5. A scanned picture onto material is an additional $8. For more information or to place an order, call Carrie at (801) 467-7395 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She can send you pictures of her bears.
The bears can be plain, or here are some examples of what can be said on the bear.
In Loving Memory of
Laura Ray Jones
Dec. 24, 1998 – Aug. 13, 2000
To My Beautiful daughter Melanie,
I will love you always.
Jan. 27, 1970 – Oct. 2, 1999
I have always been proud of you
For all your accomplishments
Your inner beauty, your laugh
Your friendliness, your smile
I remember it all and always will.
Eric William Macy
March 2, 1968 – May 4, 2009