Someone emailed me recently to say…
‘I have had my teddy bear since I was very small, and I am now 26. She gave me support when I was feeling sad or angry. I feel as if she is alive in some sense. I have now moved her from the top of my dresser to inside my closet. I can’t seem to get rid of her, because she feels alive to me. I don’t know what to do. She is more than a stuffed animal but I feel like I have moved on from needing the type of supports she gave me when I was younger. She is too old and worn out to donate. How can I let her go?’
I’ve received many emails like this over the years. Of course teddy bears are not alive, but they do become imprinted with all the love and affection they are given and are certainly more personalized than most other belongings.
Throwing a teddy bear in the trash when you are done with it feels heartless and just plain wrong. If it’s still in good condition, donating it to a children’s charity or a child you know is an excellent solution. But what to do about a one-eyed bear that’s had all the fur hugged off it and really wouldn’t appeal to anyone but you? Do you bury it, burn it (ouch), keep it until you die because you can’t decide what to do (and then someone else will throw it away), or what?
One of the sweetest ideas I’ve heard is to take your soon-to-become-ex-teddy bear to a forest, sit it in the branches of a tree, and leave it there for the elements to reclaim it. Of course this would probably infringe litter laws in most public forests, and it would also be a bit spooky if this became common practice and there were ghostly teddy bears staring at you from every tree in every forest you visit.
So what is the solution? Email your suggestions and I’ll post the best I receive to my blog.
Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd, 2007
Like to read more articles like this?
Subscribe to my newsletters to receive news, articles and information about upcoming online courses by email. And I promise you – no junk mail ever.