Something to Bear in Mind this Mothers' Day

Don't forget grieving mothers this Mothers' Day.

Comfort Cub Founder, Marcella Johnson

Comfort Cub Founder, Marcella Johnson

SAN DIEGO, April 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Mother's Day celebrations throughout the United States today bear little resemblance to the events of the past.  Originally formed in 1868 after the Civil War and called Mother's Friendship Day, the occasion served to comfort mothers who had lost sons in the war and to help reunite families divided by the war.

When you think of Mother's Day now, what comes to mind?  According to the National Retail Federation, if you are among the many who contribute to the $19 billion spent on moms each year likely flowers, gifts, greeting cards and dining out are top of mind.

How about a therapeutic teddy bear?

For the 25,000 pregnant women who lose a child each year in the U.S. due to numerous causes and complications, a Teddy Bear, instead of flowers or cards, is likely what the doctor will order. 

When Marcella Johnson, founder of the Comfort Cub lost her son in 1999, her heart ached and she craved the feeling of wanting to hold her child.  She learned through research that many grieving mothers experienced similar perinatal bereavement symptoms including depression, aching arms and stress-induced cardiomyopathy dubbed the "broken heart syndrome." Johnson recognized her symptoms subsided when she held onto a weighted object.

"I wanted to prevent mothers, who recently lost an infant, from experiencing the same symptoms that I did and from leaving the hospital with nothing in their arms," said Johnson.  "The size and weight of the Comfort Cub is designed to mimic the shape and feel of a newborn and is one of the first steps in helping mothers manage their grief." 

Finding comfort with a stuffed animal has a long history that continues today.  The most common examples include babies and victims of trauma; however college students and adults can also find relief of stress in sleeping with a stuffed toy.  A study by the American Psychological Association said stuffed animals have proven to serve as sources of comfort and stability.  Surprisingly, a 2011 study of 6,000 British adults conducted by Travelodge found that 35% of adults still sleep with a teddy bear.

"These Comfort Cubs are priceless. They have been found to be most helpful in the grieving process for my patients who have lost a baby," said Scripps Clinic physician Kevin McNeely, OBGYN. "We are grateful we have this resource available to us when words fail."

"In the spirit of the original Mother's Day celebration honoring lost family members, consider buying a Comfort Cub in the name of your mother to be given to a mother in need," said Karen Anderson, Clinical Supervisor at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns.  "I know firsthand how powerful this teddy bear can be—the comfort it provides is immeasurable."

Nearly 7,000 Comfort Cubs are in the hands and arms of grieving mothers and other people who have experienced a sudden loss of a loved one.  Each therapeutic Comfort Cub retails for $49.95 and can be purchased directly through the company's website at  Grieving mothers can also find resources on the website to help cope with the challenges of their loss.

Media Contact: 
Allison Ward Moore
Ward Group PR
Tel: 941-961-3708

Photo -

SOURCE The Comfort Cub


Grief, Stress, and Feeling Rudderless

Five months plus six days ago, life was good.  I felt safe and secure, cherished and protected by a husband who smiled at me with hearts in his eyes every time I walked into the house.  While money was not exactly pouring in, we had two incomes and could live quite comfortably, never really having to forgo a night out or a new pair of shoes, watch, or other small extravagance.  My career was very stressful, but knowing I would be able to relax in the evenings with the man who made me feel like royalty made it bearable.  Our time together was, (while not perfect... we did have disagreements...) meaningful, joyful, and loving. 

Then the unthinkable happened.  I awoke on the morning of November 3rd, 2014, to find my husband lying lifeless in bed, gray and unmoving.  In that instant, my heart, my security, indeed, my world, shattered. 

Winslow Homer's The Gulf Stream

Winslow Homer's The Gulf Stream

Since that day, I have at times felt adrift; a rudderless boat in a violent storm.  On the surface, everything is fine.  Underneath, I am trying to find a new normal- a new course, identifying what is important and beginning to live intentionally. Sometimes I feel like the man in the boat picture- alone, trying to stay afloat and steer clear of the hungry sharks while being buffeted by chaotic waves and being chased by the tempest on the horizon. 

I do know that the shore and safety are reachable, and there are rescuers in those who love me, but a few of the gales are meant for me to survive with my own knowledge, heart, wisdom, courage, and God's guidance.  Some lessons cannot be taught, only learned, and while I know my loved ones would strive to protect me from those, they are my own to bear and work through.

Positivity, love, creativity, and optimism have long been my hallmark traits.  They still are.  Grief, bereavement, loss, sadness, and fear of the future are also a part of me now, and I know I can work to incorporate them without damaging my body, mind, spirit or soul- breath by breath, step by step, day by day. 



The Bravest Writer

Firefighters everywhere are called "The Bravest" but that doesn't mean that they are immune to the effects of grief and loss they encounter every single day.  Murphysboro firefighter Jonathan Glenn Travelstead copes with his experiences through poetry, and is now a published author.  We are sorry for his losses, but admire his creativity and resolve in following his heart and wish him luck with his book!

Read the article here : Jonathan Glenn Travelstead publishes book.

ANOTHER Casserole?

I read somewhere a tip about receiving food in the days and weeks after a loved one dies.  This is something I experienced in force, since my husband was a chef, and that apparently means I had no idea how to cook.  LOL… And I have a lot of friends who LOVE to cook, so my fridge was quickly filled, and I wondered how on earth I was going to eat all that food!

The tip I read was to accept all food that people deliver to you.  You don’t have to eat it; it can be packaged and frozen for later use, or even thrown away if it’s something you wouldn’t eat.

When somebody dies, the people surrounding the bereaved want to do something to ease a pain that is really impossible to soothe.  Friends and family feel helpless as they see their loved one cry, sit in shock, and try to put one foot in front of the other, and cooking and delivering food to the bereaved is a concrete action they can take. 

If you look at the casserole, pot of soup, crock of beans, or other meal and feel overwhelmed by the amount of food coming in, invite the cook to join you in eating it- that way you get the benefit of some physical and also emotional nourishment, and you’ll both reap the reward of the kindness.  Them by seeing you eat what they made for you with love, and you by connecting with someone at a time when you feel so alone.

An Important Mission

... communicating with people who, like me, have lost someone very dear to them.  My husband died a little over 3 months ago and sometimes it seems that the time has flown; other times it seems that it has been an eternity since that awful day. 

  As Robert Frost put it, "The best way out is always through," and I am learning that grieving is a process- one that cannot be hurried or predicted

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