Bear comforts grieving mother and educates children

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WARTBURG, Tenn. (WVLT)-- A Morgan County mother said a special teddy bear made to remember her son is keeping his memories alive.

Sawbear's adventures are chronicled in four books (Source: WVLT)

Tracy Bradshaw, an elementary school teacher, lost her son Sawyer Webb when he was 19.

"It's my way of keeping Sawyer alive in a sense because Sawyer didn't have children," Bradshaw said. "If he had had children, I probably wouldn't be doing this I would be watching him through them."

He was shot and killed near UT nearly 10 years ago.

"He was a very talented guitarist and fun and loving and so, so sweet," Bradshaw said.

A family friend made 'Sawbear' out of Sawyer's t-shirts, hoping to help comfort her loss.

"So I took him on vacations and it was kind of like having Sawyer as a child again," Bradshaw said. "And I sat him up in different spots that Sawyer had been."

She began writing books about Sawbear's adventures. In one he goes to a wedding, another he's at the beach, camping in another and undergoing surgery in a fourth. Bradshaw said she has written about all the things Sawyer had done, even getting a tonsillectomy as a child.

"So when I share him in books, it's really sharing things that Sawyer did. And kids don't realize that, but they love Sawbear, which heals my heart," said Bradshaw.

As a teacher, it's about helping kids read and have a relatable character. Bradshaw visits schools and hospitals sharing Sawbear's legacy and coping with grief.

"People said we love Sawbear, we want you to get these out there we'd like other teachers and students were very positive," explained Bradshaw.

You can buy the bears and books individually for $15 each.

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