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Bears help to keep granddad Ray's memories alive for heartbroken girls

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Ray with his granddaughters Megan and Annie

Ray with his granddaughters Megan and Annie

Ray with his granddaughters Megan and Annie

Two children who were devastated by the death of their grandfather from Covid-19 will have a little bit of him at school each day.

Mum Sarah Kelly has described the White Robins Memory Bears as being a "tremendous help" to her girls Megan (10) and Annie (5), who are grieving after the death of their grandfather Ray Kelly (70) in April.

Kells resident Wendy Coyle started White Robins Memory Bears after she made bears from the clothing of her mum and young sister who passed away within three weeks of each other at the end of 2018.

Wendy decided to try and help others after she discovered the comfort she received from making the bears.

Cancer

"A friend of mine saw them and asked me to make a few bears for her - from clothes of a loved one who died," Wendy said.

"She shared the pics on Facebook and before I knew it, I was inundated with requests."

Wendy made two special bears for young Megan and Annie after their beloved grandfather died.

"My dad Ray was just finishing treatment for stage two throat cancer and we thought he had beaten it when sadly, he contracted Covid-19 while in hospital," said mum Sarah.

"He was in hospital and no-one could visit because of the restrictions. When he got Covid-19, he was transferred to the Mater Hospital where the staff were amazing.

"After he took a stroke, they allowed me in to see him. To lose your dad at any time is shattering, but to lose him to Covid-19 when his body had to be double-bagged and placed in a closed casket was surreal.

"None of his friends could attend the funeral because there were only ten allowed in the crematorium.

"He had a load of friends but none of them got to say goodbye.

"Megan and Annie were heartbroken as dad only lived five minutes away from us in Navan so used to call to the house every day.

"When I saw the memory bears through a friend, I knew I had to get them for the girls.

"They have been a tremendous help. You have no idea the comfort that it gives them. Megan was really struggling with my dad's death and I told Wendy about it.

"So she made a little backpack with pen and notebook for her bear so when she feels sad, she can write it all down in the notebook and her granddad's memory bear will take the burden away.

"We were all bawling in Wendy's sitting room when we got them.

"I also asked Wendy to make two keyring bears which I've attached to the girls' schoolbags so that they can bring a bit of their granddad to school with them when they return."