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Teddy Bear Stuffed With Baby's Ashes Comforts Grieving Mom

 
 
Reyn
 
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 11:28 am
I'm still mulling over what I think of this business with the huggable ashes thing.

Certainly some clever entrepreneur has come up with a good money-making scheme, but somewhere in the back of my mind I'm thinking that this is just maybe a bit ghoulish.

To take this everywhere? What do you think? Ghoulish or comforting for family members?


Teddy Bear Stuffed With Baby's Ashes Comforts Grieving Mom
Lori Lemons says the teddy bear will help her through the trial of her daughter's accused murderer.

Wherever she goes, to a restaurant, to visit family and friends, or to court where her husband faces a murder trial in August, Lori Lemons takes her dead daughter with her.

NaKita Faith Lemons was two-and-a-half months old when her father, Milton Lee Lemons, allegedly shook her violently while watching her in the couple's apartment in Wayne on October 10.

NaKita died the next day, and Lori Lemons knew right away that she didn't want to visit a grave. She wanted her daughter cremated so she could keep her ashes at home.

But while surfing the Web for a suitable urn, Lemons came across Huggable Urns, a site for a California company that sells urns shaped like teddy bears.

"I thought it was perfect," Lemons said this week.

"Now I have something to be able to hold on to. She can join me in parties. I can dress her up for the holidays. It's as soft as a baby, almost."

Lemons chose a 14-inch-tall, plush white teddy bear from Huggable Urns. With a zipper in the back and a sturdy, plastic-lined velvet pouch inside, it is designed to hold the ashes of a loved one or cherished pet.

"My son has taken naps with her, and I dress her up for the holidays like she's still part of the family, she's just in a bear form," Lemons said.

Huggable Urns is just one of many new ideas being marketed as ways to preserve, display or even make use of a cremated loved one's ashes. Ashes are being incorporated into jewelry, duck decoys, shotgun shells, fireworks, even Michael Jordan-model basketballs.

Putting ashes into teddy bears that can be hugged or carried around is the brainchild of Alexandra Lachini of Redding, CA. But she credits her father, John Romero, who died in 1998, with coming up with the idea, post mortem.

"My dad was not a spiritual guy," Lachini said this week. "When he passed, he started talking to me. 'Get me out of the closet,' that's what he said. I'm serious."

She went to her mother's home in Pollock Pines near Lake Tahoe and said, "Mom, where's Dad? She made this funny look and said, 'He's in the closet.' I said, 'Well, he doesn't want to be there.' "

Lachini said she took her father's ashes home, and "he started ... talking to me about the energy of the ashes and how important it was to keep them and hold them."

She said her father told her he wanted to go places with her, so she put his ashes in a nylon purse. Later, he suggested a teddy bear.

"My dad guided me to this company, Plush Creations in San Mateo, in the same building where my dad used to play bridge," Lachini said.

With her design ideas, the company helped create the bears, which come in a standard size and can be personalized in various ways, including with angel wings with rose petals on them and a halo.

The bear holding NaKita Lemons' ashes currently is outfitted in a pink dress her mother bought for Easter.

"I've taken her to restaurants, out to dinner, over to family members' houses," Lori Lemons said. "Actually, the majority of the people I come across say, 'Oh, that is so cool. That is just perfect. I would've never thought of that.' "

Lemons took the bear with her to the preliminary examination for her husband and plans to take it to his jury trial on a first-degree murder charge, scheduled to begin August 2. Lemons also brought it with her to court when a referee recommended that Milton Lemons' parental rights to the couple's other child, 2-year-old Milton Jr., be terminated. A judge agreed.

Milton Lemons told police he was angry and depressed when he shook his daughter to get her to stop crying. Detectives said he demonstrated using a stuffed animal.

"He's seen the bear," Lori Lemons said of her husband, whom she plans to divorce, though she is not sure he realizes his daughter's ashes are inside it. "I honestly don't know if he understands."

In addition to the 14-inch teddy bear urns for cremated remains, Huggable Urns sells 18-inch-square pillow-shaped urns and a plush 14-inch cat or dog to hold the remains of pets.

http://wfmynews2.com/assetpool/images/06622103226_203x152_teddy%20bear%20urn.jpg

Prices range from $85 to $99. The company also offers various ways to personalize the urns, including with blankets and caps for the bears or bear-sized T-shirts with the insignia of the five military branches.
 
tin sword arthur
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 12:04 pm
I'm torn. It's sweet that they offer a service like this, but it's a little . . . creepy. There's just something about a teddy bear stuffed with a relative's ashes. It sounds like the plot of a horror movie.
"Then one night, she was woken by a noise. She listened, then heard it again. The soft sound of a footstep. Then another. And another. Suddenly, she felt the bed shift slightly. She opened her eyes and looked at the edge of the bed. There stood the teddy bear, its claws glistening in the moonlight. It pounced." Cue music and splash the blood.
See now why I'm contributing to the "Worst Novel" thread?
Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 12:23 pm
The article alone is harmless enough... it's a strange thought, but hey, whatever floats her boat.

But the photo makes it extremely disturbing.... *shudder*
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 12:40 pm
Did you guys check out their website?
0 Replies
 
bsingh5
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 12:41 pm
I agree with Shapeless.....it is a bit drastic....she should just move on and let the poor dear RIP but I guess one would have to be in her shoes to know how one would react....but still *ewww* Confused
0 Replies
 
tin sword arthur
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 12:44 pm
If nothing else these will make interesting conversation.
"Can my child play with that teddy bear you have there?"
"No, I'm sorry."
"Why not?"
"My husband is inside. It's stuffed with a little pouch containing his ashes."
"We're leaving."
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 12:57 pm
I think it's a nice idea...what's so different about a bear filled with ashes versus just having a bowl of ashes in your house?

What I find creepy and weird is the fact that she carries it around with her.

She will never let go. She will never heal. This service is for people who don't want to accept the death of a loved one.
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 01:01 pm
Ok, the pillow that says "Hold Me" freaks me out.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 01:06 pm
OK - I have to ask the obvious here....Why would someone shell out $95.00 for a teddy bear that has a zipper in the back, and some stuffing pulled out to make room for a zip lock bag full of ashes?

I'm just sayin'.


Below is a cut and paste from their website....


Maintaining the loving Connections
********
Founder of Huggable Urns TM
Alexandra, is passionate about maintaining the loving connections between the
living and their loved ones who moved on.
"Our society really doesn't deal well with the whole dying process" she says,
"and it can make it very hard for people who are grieving, when they are
forcibly separated from the remains of their loved one. When my own father
died, his ashes were put into a plastic urn which was stored in my mothers closet.
All I wanted to do was hold him again,
but the urn was hard and impersonal."
Alexandra's search for a way to keep her father near and able to hug and feel
close to him led her to develop these unique urns which are extremely soft and
comforting to the touch, perfect for holding, and discreet and stylish enough to
keep visible in the home without causing discomfort or embarrassment to visitors.
"I just love to sit and hold my father" she says. "Even though I know that
he as moved on, I feel as if he is still watching over me in his own way. It gives
me great comfort to know he is physically close and a part of my life, instead of
being hidden away in a closet or scattered somewhere."
Huggable UrnsTM has become Alexandra's life's passion. She hopes that
Huggable Urns TM will help break down the mystery and fear surrounding the
natural process of death and grieving. Anything which makes it easier and
can give a little comfort when you need it most, has to be a good thing!
Sincerely,
Alexandra Lachini

-----------------------

Our society doesn't deal well with the whole dying process......Jesus, and THIS is a good way to deal with it?

On the testimonials page, there's a photo of a toddler sitting next to the bear with the remains of his twin, who died at 2 or three weeks old....

You can see in the picture that Maud loves the bear and so do we. It looks like she understands that her brother is in there. I've given him a place in our living room.

Personally, I think this appeals mostly to women who spend their days collecting Care Bears and, what the hell were they called.....oh yeah....Beanie Babies.......You know, the one's who belong to Elvis fan clubs and have a vial of his sweat somewheres.

Death is the saddest of things, but it's not about stuffed animals. These women aren't coping at all, and need some grief counseling....worst of all, are these people who are taking advantage of their grief.

Personally, I think the dead should be treated with dignity, and an urn is a fine way to do that.
0 Replies
 
bsingh5
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 02:20 pm
Bella like you pointed out there is a difference between carrying a stuffed bear around hand having an urn .....even if you have an urn you may have gotten over the fact that the person has died its just that you want to still feel connected to them but you don't want to go somewhere just to see them....a teddy bear with the contents of a loved one inside is one step closer to never letting go and one step farther from the healing process....but then again that's my opinion
0 Replies
 
Tico
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 03:47 pm
You people are talking out your collective asses. When someone you love as closely as a spouse or a child dies, there is no "healing". This is not a scraped knee or a cold.

"Get over it", "Move on" ... it doesn't work that way.

"Ghoulish" ... ha! wait until it happens to you. I won't tell you where my husband's ashes are, I don't need your judgement, but let me assure you that it's with the full encouragement of accredited grief counsellors.

The mother in the article has "accepted the death", believe me. That's why she's able to find comfort in the bear. Had she not accepted it, that bear would be anaethma to her.

Whether or not a teddy bear is tasteful enough for me or you is beside the point. It is not about aesthetics, it's about pain, loss, finding some peace. For those who want to put a price tag on it, $95 is a lot cheaper than most funerary urns that are untouchable and look like ****. And have you priced a good-quality normal bear recently?

BTW there are a lot of widows out there with rings and necklaces that contain tiny vials of their loved ones ashes. Next time you're admiring someone's jewellery, I hope your delicate sense of propriety isn't upset.
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 03:48 pm
Bella Dea wrote:
What I find creepy and weird is the fact that she carries it around with her.

She will never let go. She will never heal. This service is for people who don't want to accept the death of a loved one.

I think I tend to agree with you. The carrying it everywhere you go thing isn't healthy, I think, not the container itself.

I also agree that this makes it (in my opinion) more difficult to heal.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 03:54 pm
I see where Tico is coming from, myself. While I haven't been there, and sincerely hope I never have to be there, it makes a certain amount of sense to me. The death of a child is ghoulish and depressing, period, there's nothing that will pretty it up -- whatever helps, helps.
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 03:56 pm
Tico wrote:
You people are talking out your collective asses. When someone you love as closely as a spouse or a child dies, there is no "healing". This is not a scraped knee or a cold.

"Get over it", "Move on" ... it doesn't work that way.

"Ghoulish" ... ha! wait until it happens to you. I won't tell you where my husband's ashes are, I don't need your judgement....

First of all, I doubt very much that anyone's interested in judging anyone here, you or anyone else. So relax, okay?

I posted this story due to the somewhat unusual nature of the content, as is my wont.

Obviously everyone grieves in their own way, and it is a process. No, you "never get over it", but it does become somewhat less painful (in my situation anyways) with the passage of time.

I lost a parent suddenly many years ago, so I am familar with grieving.

I think you've over-reacted to our conversation here.
0 Replies
 
bsingh5
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 07:12 pm
True Reyn...i have also seen lost first hand and it depends on the person but like you also said....it may not be healthy to carry a reminder around with you always
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 07:27 pm
.. Agreeing with Tico.
0 Replies
 
Tico
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 09:06 pm
I've come back to apologize for my language. I could have said it better. But the gist is true. The tragic thing is that few of us will get through life unscathed by deep loss, and each of us will need every tool possible to deal with it -- maybe even teddy bears filled with ashes.

Tonight, I would wish that everyone gives their significant others and their children an extra hug.
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 09:25 pm
How about we give you a big hug?

{{{{{Tico}}}}}
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  2  
Reply Fri 23 Jun, 2006 06:46 am
Tico, I don't think any one is saying to "get over it". They are saying move on, as in get on with living.

Having the bear itself doesn't seem weird to me. We remember them they way we want to.

Carrying it around, taking it to resturants and what not seems a little creepy. I also think that a necklace with a vial of ashes is kind of creepy too. But it's my business to feel that way, as it is yours to feel as you do. If it brings you comfort without any "side effects" (interrupting your life more than it already has by not allowing you to fully get on with the rest of your life) then I think its fine.

I don't, however, think many of the people that get these are looking for closure. I think they are looking for that way to eternally keep that person, even if its just their body. I don't know aboyt any of you but it's not my husbands body that I love. If I could suck out his soul, maybe I'd carry that around. :wink: That was a joke...laugh...

I liken this carrying the bear around and sleeping with it to that guy who mummified his wife and kept her body for 5 months before someone noticed they hadn't seen her in a while. It just isn't normal nor is it healthy.

Mummified

And personally, I wouldn't want to be sitting next to someones ashes while enjoying a nice steak.

But that's just me.

My father has requested he be creamated. I am sure that his ashes will stay at home with my mother. I don't find that weird or gross.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  3  
Reply Fri 23 Jun, 2006 07:45 am
Tico....I don't have to wait to have someone near and dear to me die....I've gone through that a few times already. You're not the only one who's been through it by far.

The thought of an adult woman carrying a teddy bear around with her is a far cry from hair jewelry or ashes incorporated in a piece.

They don't scream out...."look at me! I'm carrying a teddy bear around," which is weird enough...but which also encourages others to ask about it, thus promoting the person to tell all about it.

A piece of jewelry with a memento can be worn, and when someone compliments it, the answer would be a simple "thank you"...and you can keep the meaning private.

I don't want to know where your husbands ashes are, that's too private. Just as you don't know if I carry something from a loved one...that's too private...

this stuffed animal thing is just a method to call attention to yourself, if you're planning on carrying it around. That's just going overboard.
 

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