Widow With Dementia Hears Her Late Husband’s Voice Through A Teddy Bear
He recorded it a month before his death
83-year-old grandmother-of-five Jean Walters suffers from dementia so every day is a battle to keep her memories. But one person she’s never forgotten is her husband of 50 years, Dennis, who passed away from lung cancer in 2005. A month before Dennis passed away, Jean’s granddaughter, Abbie Webb, now 27, had him record a very special message for Jean which was placed inside of a teddy bear and would play whenever it was squeezed.
Over the years, the recording of Dennis’ voice began to fade until the electronic voice box had broken completely. Jean urged her granddaughter to fix the recording for fear she’d never hear her husband’s voice again. But Abbie didn’t know if there was anyway it could be fixed. “She had been asking me for it back every day and I had to keep lying, saying I hadn’t sewn it back up yet,” Abbie says. But after searching the Internet, she finally found a company to repair the broken voice box.
After the teddy bear was fixed, Abbie thought her grandmother may have forgotten the recording’s significance. “With her dementia, she gets quite confused with emotion and sometimes she loses track of things, so I imagined she was just going to say ‘thanks,’ ” Abbie says. But when they gave her the bear, Jean was ecstatic. She squeezed it joyously and heard her husband’s voice tell her something he always wrote in the letters he sent her while in the Army: “You’re the best girl in the world for me.” After getting her prized bear back, Jean picks it up every morning and gives it a hug to hear the voice of her husband.