CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico (AP) – In a small home workshop in this Mexican border city, Eréndira Guerrero makes teddy bears from the clothes of COVID-19 victims so that her relatives have memories to cuddle with.
Years ago, when Ciudad Juárez suffered shocking levels of violence, Guerrero began making bears out of clothes worn by the deceased. The pandemic has created a new group of grieving clients looking for ways to keep in touch with a suddenly dead loved one.
He estimates that he has made about 200 bears for families of COVID-19 victims.
According to Guerrero, because of the pandemic many people could not say goodbye to their relatives and they need to close that circle, something that bears help them.
Relatives bring him a favorite shirt or other piece, and Guerrero carefully pins the patterns for the bear’s arms, legs, torso, and head onto it. He charges the equivalent of about $ 30 for each one and attaches notes that say something like this: “This is a garment I used to wear, every time you hug it I want you to know that I am there. With love, dad.
Araceli Ramírez showed on Monday a photograph of her father wearing a shirt while she held his bear made from that fabric. Lorenzo Ramírez died so quickly from COVID-19 two months ago that he couldn’t even say goodbye to him.
Ramírez pointed out that now she can speak to the bear, tell him what she cannot tell him and feel that she is with her.