Uplifting
Mary Mac / Facebook

21-year-old Woman Preserves Memories Of Lost Loved Ones By Turning Their Clothes Into Memory Bears

It's the subtle details that make the loss of someone we love feel challenging. It's the way they smelled, the way they drank their coffee in the same mug at the same time and said good morning to you, the way it felt to hug them, the memory of their signature shirt... There's a reason we say goodbye to them dressed in their best outfit,. This is the way that we want to remember them, celebrating them at their best.

While a 21-year-old may be too young to understand the cycle of life and the impact of death, she has made a mark in the grieving process of many, returning to those who lost someone they cherish, a piece of them back. She has found a heartwarming may to keep their memory close forever.

Memories Are Triggered By The Senses

bear sewn foot that says "daddy"

Mary Mac / Facebook

The mind and body connection is powerful. The body is often a step ahead of the mind, with nothing more but the familiarity of a smell triggering a whole floor of memories associated with it. The same can be said with touch and sight, which can allow us to relive forgotten memories even if those we once shared them with are gone.

This is why memory bears are so impactful. By being able to hug closely the clothing of a lost loved one, the innocence of the bear can momentarily bring back the person we lost, making the transition to a life without them a little bit easier.

Meet Mary Mac

Mary with pink hair, smiles at the camera

Mary Mac / Facebook

Mary Mac is only 21-years-old, barely out of her adolescence, but is already leaving her mark in the world through her compassion and creativity. A report by Metro tells the story of how she turns the clothes left behind by cherished people who left this world into cuddly teddy bears, that those who lost them can hold closely. Her creations include jewelry and ashes all meant to preserve memories in beautiful ways.

Grief then turns into a proud display and instead of simply getting rid of a lost one's clothing, it becomes recycled into a physical entity that can be passed on, keeping the memory of the person it celebrates alive for generations.

It All Started As A Favor

"Dougie" bear sits beside a framed picture of a man

Mary Mac / Facebook

Mary gained her sowing skills from studying fashion and working in the bridal industry. She made her first bear when she was only 16 years old when her friend asked her to as a favor.

At the time, Mary had no intention of making a business out of it despite many pleading with her to make more. Mary would turn them down because she wanted to concentrate on school and her still beginning a career in bridal. But the universe works in funny ways, and at 16 she already earned an award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year, pushing her towards this path after all.

The Memory Bears Are Personalized

old man holding a baby, a display of clothes hung up, and the final product of te bear

Mary Mac / Facebook

The Memory Bears can be customized with a special pocket in the back where you can store letters and other mementos. The bears aren't considered toys but they are meant to help the person who holds them cope with their grief. They can especially be beneficial to children who can't wrap their heads around loss but still feel the absence of the person who left them.

Now leading a page with over 75,000 followers Mary is at the service of the world writing: "Hi, I'm Mary MacInnes, I make bespoke keepsake memory bears." Requests flood in every day by the hundreds with many looking for a way to hold on to their lost loved ones and hoping Mary will create that bridge for them through her work.

It's An Emotionally Draining Task

baby clothes on the left and resulting pink bear on the right

Mary Mac / Facebook

Making these bears is hard work, not only do the bears take 5 to 6 hours of planning, cutting, and sewing, but it takes a lot of emotional strength. Mary told Metro: "I gave in to requests for bears and once I uploaded photos to my page it just exploded – so at the moment I’m fully committed to making them... It can be emotionally draining some days."

The Memory Bears are priced at about $64 but can vary depending on the customer's specifications. While the reaction of receiving them can make it all worth it, it's still hard for the young woman to deal with death on a daily basis. Still Mary focuses on the positive: "I really enjoy meeting my customers when they collect bears – 80% burst into tears."

Mary Sometimes Can't See Through The Tears

young army man on the left and bear in camo material on the right

Mary Mac / Facebook

Mary speaks of one experience in particular that left her in tears: "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. 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."

Despite the hardships, Mary feels grateful to be trusted with such meaningful personal possessions and even sees it as a privilege.

Each Bear Holds Its Own Character

Mary smiling as she sows a pink ear

Mary Mac / Facebook

Browsing through her work, it's easy to notice how curated every single memory bears becomes, holding aspects of the personality of the person it now embodies.

"I love seeing their faces take on the character. Garments arrive as sad reminders of the past then it’s almost as if new life is breathed into them. They become something that’s much more acceptable to cuddle and talk to, and the feedback is they definitely can help the grieving process."

Understand Your Grieving Process

if you're looking for more information on how grief takes its toll on you specifically, then you'll need your own zodiac reading. We're each on our own unique path and what some struggle, might not be applicable to you too.

Take a quick zodiac reading here to find out what your universe has to say about you right now. Understand your purpose and your potential so that you can take control of your emotions, your life, and your future by clicking HERE.

Uplifting

The World's Oldest Person Just Turned 119, But What's Fascinating Is How She Spends Her Days

The oldest person in the world just recently celebrated her 119th birthday in a nursing home in southwestern Japan. Now if you're picturing an immobile old lady who does nothing bt spend her days in bed, think again. This woman may be at the end of her days, but she is still full of life.

The way that she spends her every day should be an inspiration to all of us that we're never too old to put in the effort everyday to live it to the fullest. After all, what's the point in living if we don't actually feel alive? Here's how she does it.

She Has Watched The Whole World Change

Black and white photo of Tanaka in her youth

@Elizabeth_Ruler / Twitter

When you've lived almost a century and a quarter long, you're bound to probably feel like you're in your own science fiction movie by the end. The world has drastically changed over the years. When Kane Tanaka was born, in 1903 in Japan, life was much simpler. This was the same year that the Wright brothers powered their first flight. Kane grew up around her nine siblings before she married a rice shop owner when she turned 19 years old.

Since then she has lived through wonders including two world wars, two pandemics, the rise of technologies, and more life changes than we could possibly imagine.

Today, Her Routine Is Quite Unique

Recent Photo of Tanaka

@Elizabeth_Ruler / Twitter

​Just because she has lived a long and meaningful life, doesn't mean that she's done living each day to the fullest. What's really fascinating about Kane's long life is the way that she chooses to live every day.

It turns out that even at her nursing home, Kane wakes up every morning bright and early at 6 a.m. and spends part of her day studying mathematics. She keeps her mind sharp and alert by spending the day solving number puzzles and playing board games. She has gotten so good at this that in 2019, she became an expert in the game of Othello, a strategy board game, even beating the nursing home's younger staff.

She Has Broken New Records

"Happy Birthday" candles on cake

Annie Spratt / Unsplash

Kane is now part of the Guinness World Records and has been since turned 117 and became Japan's oldest living person. On her birthday, Guinness even tweeted her a happy birthday and shared a video of her from 2019, when she was officially given the title.

Unfortunately, while Kane has adapted to much of the modern world, she hasn't made it as far as setting her own Twitter account to reply. Nonetheless, everyone who saw the tweet was inspired by her will to live as well as the way she chooses to live.

She's Got The Right Attitude

close up on puzzle

Sigmund / Unsplash

Tanaka sounds like a delightful woman who emits all kinds of positive vibes. Her personality exceeds her intelligence and love for math because just like the average person, Tanaka also shares a strong love for fizzy drinks and chocolate. In fact, when she was gifted a box of chocolates during her Guinness ceremony, someone asked her how many chocolates she wanted to eat, she replied, "100." And why shouldn't she? When you've lived that long there is no reason not to indulge and maximize life's little pleasures.

Tanaka carried the same attitude when she was crowned Japan's oldest person at 117 and celebrated with a coke. Tanaka's positivity is radiant and comes across in all her gestures. When she was sent flowers on Respect for the Aged Day, she expressed her gratitude by making a peace sign.

Maybe Chocolate Is The Key

fancy chocolate displayed with chocolate sauce on a silver plate

Universal Eye / Unspash

Tanaka has another three years to go until she breaks the all-time record for the oldest person that has lived, which right now is held by Jeanne Louise Calment from France, who lived to 122 years. Currently, she holds the record for the world's oldest currently living person since Jeanne has since passed.

What's interesting about these two women is their love for their chocolate. They say that Jeanne ate two pounds of chocolate a week! Could chocolate be the new fountain of youth? The answer is probably in how these two women carried themselves in their youth and the way they're able to see the good in the everyday. However, Japan is known to hold one of the longevity rates in the world which have increased significantly in the last 60 years.

How Much Longer Do You Have left?

hand holds levitating leaf in its palm

Ravi Roshan / Unsplash

​No matter how old or young you are in this moment, you are still alive for a reason. Make every moment count, have no regrets. Live every day to the fullest and find within it a reason to be happy. If you're still looking for a purpose, take a quick zodiac reading here to find out what your universe has to say about you right now.

Understand your purpose and your potential so that you can take control of your emotions, your life, and what's left of your future by clicking HERE.