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Just last week, Anna got in touch with me to share the below heartfelt and uplifting story which can only be described as “the ultimate teddy bear’s picnic”. Anna’s mum sadly passed away with cancer quite recently, and given the family’s rather creative history, the picnic served as the perfect tribute to Anna’s mum...
A teddy bear’s picnic
Recently my mum passed away from cancer after only finding out about it 5 months ago. It was a very tough journey and opened our eyes to the suffering of what sick people go through, especially with cancer. We were strong all the way through but sadly lost the fight.
A brief history of the family - we are all creatives, and my mum and dad loved teddy bears. For 50 odd years or so my dad has been designing our Christmas cards with teddy bears hand-drawn on them. As the family grew, so did the number of teddies on the Christmas cards. First by adding the family dog, then my brother (first-born), then my twin sister and I, all represented by teddy bears. Because of this and my parents love of teddies, dad wanted to hold a holistic service for mum which is what she wanted, but asked that it be a celebration of life! And what else did my mum love, but always a cup of tea!
So, we held the service in a beautiful hotel suite, and kindly asked everyone to buy a teddy which represented their relationship with mum, followed by afternoon tea - creating the ultimate teddy bear’s picnic!
Later, we then donated all 60 teddy bears to Great Ormond Street Hospital, to the children who suffer from cancer, each labelled with ‘Enjoy your new teddy…With love from Sue to you'.
This story is a story about giving. A story about humanity. A story about charity. What a beautiful way my dad decided to celebrate my mum’s life through afternoon tea, teddy bears and giving to the poor sick children at Great Ormond Street. I wanted to write to you, to hopefully touch the souls of the people out there in the world, that something good can come out of something so terribly sad. That giving isn’t always about donating money, but to donate a smile on a little boy or girls face. That there is love in the world when sometimes nothing makes sense, whilst you are desperately grieving the loss of your mother. Hopefully this story has put a smile on your face, and has reminded you to celebrate YOUR life, whilst you are still blessed to be living in the joys of your friends and family’s hearts.
If you've been moved and inspired by Anna's story, and would like to donate a bear to Great Ormand Street in honour of Anna's mum, Sue, then please contact the Community team at email@example.com. We'll put you in touch with Anna, who'll arrange for the bears to be sent to GOSH.
If you’ve recently lost a loved one to cancer, in our Bereaved family and friends and Bereaved spouses and partners groups you’ll be able to find and talk to people who understand what you’re going through.
What a lovely way to remember but also a lovely gift to all the sick children in Great Ormond street cancer unit, just to see a smile, a giggle is uplifting enough when your having a bad day during treatment, the after effects it has on all the family and ultimately to see during a time of great suffering. I send my condolences to you and your family for your lose of your Mum, but especially thank you for sharing such an uplifting story.
Sending you a big hug
Thank you so much for your comment - it's really nice to know that we can find a smile of happiness in such sad times. Here's love and bear hugs to the little ones at GOSH. Anna x
I so feel for your families loss.
I go for my first 3 monthly screening tomorrow and I’m a bit nervous to say the least.
However I’m helping to run a coffee morning tomorrow before going which makes me feel I’m helping others as well as me! Alison x
im so very very sorry to about the sad loss of your mum. It’s so painful, I lost my mum to cancer in 1996.
Ive just read your story about teddy bears picnic so very moving.
I would like to donate a bear please to help. Please can you let me know how I do that, thank you.
My husband was diagnosed with kidney cancer last August, it’s been a emotional rollercoaster. One day at a time. The McMillan team are amazing people. Very caring and lots of support. So grateful. Just would like to help by donating a teddy bear.
Take care Anna your not on your own keep going one day at a time.
Thank you for your comment and wishing to donate...this must be a sign because my mum was also called Sue.
Sorry to hear about your mum, and now your husband - it's a total roller-coaster as you say, and all you can do is take one day at a time - that's what we did. Also, finding time for yourself is vital. I'm a yoga teacher so it was so important for me to help find time for myself as I, along with my dad, became mums main carers, and it's exhausting. Sending bear hugs to you.
I'll PM you with further details. Many thanks and again lots of bear hugs!
Good morning Anna.
Thank you so much for your lovely encouraging words. They mean so much,
you just want to give something back, even if it’s only small. I will look foreword to hearing from you with details about donate a bear
take care have a good day big bear hugs to you.
Oh Anna, this made me cry a little. I’m so sorry for your loss, I lost my Dad to recently. He also had a wee bear, that went on every rally that he had, his co-driver now has this bless him.
I held a coffee morning this week & im running the London Marathon for team Macmillan next year. I’ve been trying to think of different ways of fundraising to honour his memory. This is such a wonderful story, I’m so glad that I stumbled across it, on a day, that I just can not be bothered at all!
Sending all my love
thank you all for the messages x
how are you doing? I saw that you requested me as a friend, thank you. I’m struggling to reciprocate. I’m so rubbish at tech.
Been thinking of you, I would still like to donate a it’s such a lovely idea, to bring a smile on someone’s face it’s such a warm feeling.
Sending you a big bear hug.
One day at a time
take care sue. Xx
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