Some years ago, a sad event shattered the lives of a small family. A loving wife and three small children lost a wonderful husband and father.
Honoured to be asked to conduct the farewell ceremony, Bethany took the family under their loving care. Understanding the confusion of the small children, Vince took them to the local shops and told them they could have anything they desired. The little girl responded by asking if she could have an ice cream? Such a simple request was immediately granted and Vince and the children feasted on the treat.
After the funeral, Vince received a visit from the little girl and her Mother. She had brought with her a thank you gift; a small shaggy Teddy Bear, a little worn but well loved. It was precious to her and she wanted Vince to have it. Today that original shaggy bear graces the sideboard in the Bethany reception room of their new building. Its meaning and sentiment have never been lost.
In the face of darkness and disenchantment, love had shone a new light of hope allowing them to move forward and Teddy was a way of saying thank you. This simple, beautiful gift of a child reminds us all, that small things mean so very much, especially in our time of grief.
That is why today, in all the Bethany’s reception rooms sits a basket full of little bears for anyone to take. Young or old are welcome to take a Bethany Care Bear, all of which are labelled with the following words:
“I’m a Bethany Bear. I have big ears to listen with and I don’t answer back. My body is soft to cuddle. I won’t break if you get angry. My clothes are made from special tear absorbent material – but most of all I care for you.”
And so the little bear lives on to comfort and care for all of us, adult and child alike.