Franklin mother creates teddy bears to help others heal after losing her son

Posted at 4:32 PM, Sep 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-27 19:22:31-04

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Middle Tennessee mother has turned her heartache into a hobby after losing her baby boy.

Amber Armistead, of Franklin, taught herself how to sew after her son Noah, passed away in his sleep in 2011.

"I was a fire fighter at the time. Walked in, started CPR and they found out later with the autopsy --- he actually falls in this very strange world as sudden unexplained death in childhood (SUDC)," she said.

Years later, Armistead said she wanted a memory bear of Noah but wanted to use his clothes to create one.

"I didn't intentionally do it just organically happened and I think it's an amazing testament to my way of looking at grief. I think you can either let grief define you or you can take it and fold into who you are and weave your own story with it," she said.

After word spread of Armistead's hobby, she now chooses to help others who have lost loved ones by creating bears for them as well.

Armistead has made more than 90 bears for people across the country all for free. Families who have lost someone in combat, cancer, or natural causes have asked her to make a bear for them.

"I can't tell anybody no. I want my son's memory to be remembered. I want his legacy to be live on through him. He had a very short life and he didn't get to make his own way. So as his mom, I feel like it's kind of my job to include him in the rest of mine," she said.

She hopes to one day start a non-profit called Noah's Bears.

Anyone can make a donation through her website.