My name is Elaine Douglas. Owner and designer of GRANNIES MEMORY BEARS.

My business was originally named Grannies Bears, but with the sudden, horrific and unexpected death of my daughter Wendy, December 14 2003, I found that I could not function during the day or sleep at night. I miss her so much! How could she be gone? Is she really gone? My thoughts became scattered. Making decisions was next to impossible. The pain in my heart was so intense that it was difficult to breathe in and out. Night and day were the same.

I kept making teddy bears trying to fill up daytime hours but found that I could not design their faces (my favourite part because it made them come alive, as if they could talk to me). My artistic talent was on hold. I didn't know or care if it would ever come back and I couldn't complete any orders. I felt numb and monotone. The words "JOY and HAPPY" no longer existed in my vocabulary. It felt like my purpose in life had ended. Even though sleep was not easily accessible and the nights seem to last forever, I found myself not only hugging the teddy bear that held Wendy's picture all night long but also during the day when coping was impossible, I would lay in the fetal position sobbing and trying to get through the next hour. How long could I do this? I didn't and couldn't care.

I reached out to the Canadian Mental Health Association for help. With counselling, group therapy and interaction with many parents who had experienced the pain of losing a child, I found that my coping skills were strengthening as my journey with grief continued. I began to bring into focus my other daughters Christine and Becky as well as my 6 beautiful grandchildren. I was starting to enjoy and love them completely again counting my blessings as they gave me a reason to get up each day.

In what seemed like an eternity later, I had a great idea! I thought of how much nicer it would be to hold a teddy bear made from clothing Wendy wore; something that she loved herself and still had her smell, an item of clothing that I could readily recognize. So with that, I designed the first teddy using her bunny, patterned nightgown. It did comfort me, in a way that is unexplainable. It became a special keepsake that I could cherish forever. The teddy holding her picture sits beside my bed and when I need comforting, it is there. I cannot or will not give up the "Wendy" bears. They will be a part of me forever. It was at that time I changed my business name to GRANNIES MEMORY BEARS. I believe that from my own tragic experience, God has given me this talent to share, in the hopes I can offer some comfort to others.

This gift of comfort comes from your heart…I'm only the humble messenger.


I may be contacted by email or telephone at 519-734-7903.

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Elaine 'Grannie' Douglas busy at working making one of her treasured bears.
This is the bear I slept with every night - and still do when I need to - before I designed the one made from Wendy's nightie - below.

The Grannie Memory Bear I made from Wendy's bunny, patterned nightgown.

Christine, Becky & Wendy