SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – For almost 20 years, Carrie Pike has been listening to and sharing stories with people who have had a need for a Carrie Bear. She started Carrie Bears after her Dad died and she and her mom were trying to figure out what to do with his clothes. She made little teddy bears for her grown siblings out of his shirts. The impact on them having something to hold of their dad’s was more than she imagined it would be. Carrie’s journey of creating bears to hold began. She now averages making 500+ Carrie Bears per year. One recent year, surging to nearly 900 bears.
“Tears stream down my face as I listen to someone tell me their story of loss,” Carrie (author of the book) said, “My heart connects to them immediately. The sting of my own loss fills my thoughts and I hope that I can help ease their burden in some small way. These shared experiences has changed how I live—and grieve.”
“Something to Hold Onto” is a collection of a few of these stories. As Carrie interviewed families to get details for this book, she felt as if heaven and earth met together to make a connection. Carrie said, “An overwhelming feeling of love for dear ones that have gone on filled my heart.” From a teenager with cancer to a husband killed in a car accident, these stories create a bond to each other in personal and mournful ways.
The last chapter of this book describes an experience when the community came together to help during September 11, 2001. Carrie Bears teamed up with Caring Connections, A Hope and Comfort in Grief Program through the University of Utah, and many, many volunteers to make a personalized Carrie Bear for each New York fire fighter, police officer and Port Authority officer’s family. Delivering these bears to New York for Christmas that same year was an amazing experience that had to be shared.
“Everyone has a story—-everyone. I am grateful we share together in loss to build each other up in hope. My hope is that these stories will help heal in your journey of grief.” ~ Carrie Pike