Your Family

Jun 17, 2010 2:39 PM by Carina Corral

'Beloved Bears' help residents cope with loss of loved ones

A new program at Hospice of Santa Barbara is providing families an opportunity to turn a piece of clothing into a memorable keepsake: a teddy bear.

The bear provides a way for memories to continue, in a gentle and even interactive way, as it is appropriate for both kids and adults.

The first Beloved Bear was made for a woman who lost her husband to cancer.

She chose a hawaiian shirt of his that he wore during their last vacation to Hawaii.

"The bear means so much to me. My grandsons come over and they pick it up and hug it, and tell me 'look, it's Grandpa's shirt'," said Julie Boller.

Hospice of Santa Barbara asks for two cotton shirts and a brief description of the deceased, and the organization takes over from there.

It is complimentary to those who take part in organization's grief counseling program.

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