Mum and dad take teddy bear everywhere with them because it contains ashes of their baby boy they lost at 17 days old.

A grieving mum and dad placed their son’s ashes inside a teddy bear and take the toy everywhere with them after he died from meningitis 17 days after his birth.

Laura and Mark Elliott insist the teddy is helping them create memories with Cowen and their children from beyond the grave.

Laura 27, created a scrapbook of memories with the bear after her son Cowen died from a deadly strain of the illness last October.

The family outings – with husband Mark daughter, Skyla , 3, and Ethan, 6, – have included bike rides, family parties, holidays, trips to the shops and the park.

And they are all documented in the scrapbook.

The Derby couple, who have two younger children, insist it is helping them create memories with Cowen from beyond the grave.

Now, with their first abroad holiday with teddy bear, Cowen, booked, the family are looking forward to their biggest adventure yet.

Laura, a former supervisor at Starbucks, said: “Cowen the bear has been by my side ever since we lost our baby last year.

“I’ve bought a big handbag so he fits in it and we always take photos of him out and about.

“He has been on so many adventures and having him around has helped us with the loss of Cowen.

“Our daughter, Skyla , three, and Ethan, six, can now make memories while knowing their little brother is with them.

“We’ve been on so many family days out with the teddy now that it wouldn’t feel right if he wasn’t with us.

“If we are on a bike ride, going to parties or school, Cowen the bear is always there.

“Cowen the bear wears a different outfit every day and is even coming on a family holiday with us to Lanzarote.

“I started a scrap book of his adventures last year and I’ve been updating it with photos every week.

“It’ll be lovely for Ethan and Skyla to look back on when they’re older too.”

Laura and Mark were left heartbroken when their son, Cowen, was stuck down with meningitis in 2016 – at just 17 days old.

It took just three and a half hours for the illness to ravage his tiny body and despite the best efforts of hospital staff, he died on October 29.

Laura added: “Cowen had colic and was always a little restless so when he started to refuse any milk, I didn’t think anything of it at first.

“But the following morning his whole body turned grey and when I went to change his nappy, I saw the purple pin pricks on his body.

“I rushed him to hospital but it was already too late, his organs were shutting down and his heart was no longer beating.

“After being ventilated and watching the rash spread all over his body, we were told there was nothing more that could save him.”

Laura opted to have Cowen’s ashes placed inside a memory bear as she knew it would be easier for her young children to understand.

She said: “The last few months have been a complete blur but slowly we’ve come to terms with the loss of Cowen.

Such a touching story. What a beautiful tribute to a dearly loved little boy.

Share your comments below. 

This post originally appeared on The Mirror

Image via The mirror

  • that is beautiful and a unique way to represent your child’s spirit


  • Touching story and lovely tribute – but at some time they have to get over this grieving and live for their children – they are setting up a problem for them in years to come.


  • It is a wonderful tribute to the beautiful little angel they lost but I don’t think I could keep physically carrying it around with me. I wonder what will happen when the teddy has to go through security cameras.(what will show up). I strongly suggest they get permission to take it on a plane or ship and countries they are visiting, have it scanned and photos produced before they take it with them or it may be confiscated – or worse still even be cut open.


  • How sad. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss.
    How beautiful you can carry Cowen everywhere with you, in your heart and in your bear. It’s a beautiful symbolic and better to grasp for your children indeed.
    God bless you with peace, love and hope when you grieve your wee boy.


  • How beautiful to preserve the memory of your son Cowen. I am so sorry for your loss. My cousin lost her son to the same terrible disease and he passed within 24 hours being 15 years of age at the time. Their loss was deep as he was a wonderful young man. May Cowan rest in peace and may all of you find comfort in knowing that he is always with you in every way every day. God bless and may love and peace reign in your hearts and household forever.


  • All our love and big hugs go out to this beautiful family, so sad. Its a beautiful touch, we all have our ways of grieving and the pain is still very raw with them. No one gets over losing a loved one we just learn to live with the pain.

    • Your comment is so touching and so accurate and you never ever do get over it and you do manage to cope one day at a time.


  • A memory bear is so very touching and beautiful. Grief has no timeframe and however a family finds some solace and copes is the key. No one knows how they would cope in this same situation.


  • It’s a lovely idea to have your baby’s ashes put into a bear. But taking it out to create memories is maybe a bit too far


  • If this comforts the family and helps them to be able to survive each day, I can’t see anything wrong with it. Maybe after some time they will be able to move on and not rely too much on taking the bear everywhere with them. My heart goes out to them.


  • I don’t even know how I would cope with the loss of a child. If this teddy is what this family needs to cope then its best everyone shows a bit of support.


  • Hoping nothing happens to this bear in their travels. It is a lovely way to honor their son. Sometime in the future they will have to decide what really is going to happen to this bear as he can not really go everywhere year after year. Will need to find a safe spot for the bear.


  • Oh my god. This family needs councilling. nothing wrong with putting the ashes in the bear, but then he should be left at home – not “creating memories with their dead brother”


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