Teddy Bear Tins

June 5, 2009

Teddy Bear Tins

I just sent an email to the Neonatal Bereavement Coordinator at a nearby hospital asking if she'd be interested in what has become my first "Aiden Act," and now I am obsessively checking my inbox waiting for a response lol.

I am awaiting the response to my email in hopes that I can bring to life my first Aiden Act. I've been working to put together some cute little hand/foot print imprint kits that can be included in the memory boxes that I know many hospitals give to parents whose babies grow wings. I want it to be something practical and easy for the nurses. So far I've determined that the kits will basically be made of small white tins that I put clay/plaster into. I like this idea because some imprint kits I've seen are just intended to make a tile or stone and I think those could break over time. The tin is small and durable, and it can be closed when needed. Because the nurses are busy and don't likely have time for arts and crafts, I'm testing out some plasters and clays that I can premake inside the tins and then vacuum seal them to keep them pliable until they are simply opened and the imprint is made. Also, I want to work with local artists to have the lids of the tins painted. I think they will be beautiful! As I test things out to find out what kinds of things will work well for this I have put together a quick test tin (pardon my painting abilities, I'm definitely not an artist! :-P)

I don't know why, but I really like the image of a teddy bear for the lids of these tins. Teddy bears just seem so comforting and innocent. I want these kits to be a comfort to parents, something that they can physically keep with them. The hospital where Aiden was born gave our family a stack of ink footprints that we could all keep. I thought that was such a great idea! I hold mine dear. It's kept locked away in my safe, but I think of it often and I can take it out to touch and see whenever I need to. I hope that these kits can be like that. A mother or father may not be able to hold their baby's hand again, but they can touch and feel the details of each little finger, visually soak in a tiny perfect 3-D footprint, anytime they need to.

I've mentioned my idea to a few people and several have offered to help me. God bless them. The goal of this is to bring peace and healing to bereaved parents and families of angel babies. I haven't even finished the first tin and already my heart finds joy that other people want to participate. For me somehow I feel like, by painting a lid or making some clay or helping in any way with this effort, that someone else is acknowledging Aiden's spirit. It means so much to me.

I found this poem today, and I think it helps explain a lot of how I feel:

“You can shed tears that he is gone,
or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he'll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all he's left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see him,
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him only that he is gone,
or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what he'd want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.”
~David Harkins (modified)