How distressing. So distressing I can’t ‘bear’ to stay silent.
Yes, I know they have too many. And yes, I know I’m ridiculously sentimental. And I can see that turning the excess into parts of a memorial make sense. But turning teddy bears into bricks? OUCH. UGH. Those poor bears.
My approach would be entirely different. I would ‘pass on’ the unused bears and items. Sure we know about the families and children involved in the shooting. But what about the ones we don’t know about? Are there no other grieving families there, whose children were lost to accident or illness? What about in neighboring counties? No children in hospitals that would appreciate them? No kids whose families are hard up and could use the school supplies or toys?
I know the logistics sound difficult. But ‘passing on’ the gifts to those with nothing would be a tribute in itself. It would honor the fallen and help the living too. There are plenty of other ways to ‘build’ a memorial without the bears.
For that matter, how about a ‘teddy bear auction’ with proceeds donated to a charity of the families choice? I bet that $5 Wal-Mart teddy would go for a lot farther if put up in a charity auction.
Must we resort to ‘cremating’ unused teddy bears into bricks?
How heartbreaking. Don’t ask me to explain why I hurt over a threatened teddy bear, or one abandoned in a thrift store. I just do. And I hurt for a real animal that is driven from it’s home by human encroachment. And yes, I can still have room to hurt for those families too. Better too be too sensitive on these subjects than not sensitive enough. I think our hearts are meant to be like Doctor Who's TARDIS: bigger on the inside than out.
So, visitors, what would you do with the teddy bears in a memorial? Any creative thoughts?