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

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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

Mary Mac / Facebook

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 / 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

Mary Mac / Facebook

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

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

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 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

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.

Higher Perspectives Author

Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives