Real Life

Grieving mum decorates grave of stillborn daughter to help her come to terms with her loss

Caroline Evans was inspired to start a business decorating the graves of babies after her own tragic stillbirth

A grieving mum has set up a business decorating the graves of babies to help her accept her daughter's death.

Mum-of-two Caroline Evans tragically suffered a stillbirth at 37 weeks in August 2013, and has been decorating the grave of her daughter, who she named Hope, since then.

The 28-year-old dresses up the grave at different times of the year with seasonal decorations to comfort herself.

Caroline with husband Mark and daughters Faith, two, and Cleo, one (Credit: SWNS)

Caroline, who is mum to Faith, two, and Cleo, one, with husband Mark, 25, described how Hope's pregnancy was "perfect" and "textbook", but at 37 weeks, the baby was not moving anymore.

She said: "I woke up on my 37th week of pregnancy to the day and my baby wasn't moving."

Caroline was 37 weeks pregnant when her daughter tragically died inside her (Credit: SWNS)

"After going to the hospital that morning, I found out she had sadly passed away. There was no proper explanation to why she died, but medics told me that they believe her heart skipped a beat and it just didn't start again.

"I was absolutely devastated after I found out the news."

READ MORE: This petition is calling for babies born sleeping at 20 weeks to be counted as stillbirth rather than miscarriage

The decorations on Hope's grave on what would have been her first and second birthdays (Credit: SWNS)

Caroline, who spends between £20 and £40 on the decorations, finds it therapeutic to visit her daughter's grave, but is very aware that other parents may not want to - or may not be able to.

This realisation has caused her to set up a business in which she would decorate other babies' graves for £10 an hour in any way that the family would like.

She said: "When I go to the cemetery, there are so many baby beds that are not looked after.

"It really makes me sad, so I had a bit of an epiphany and realised that if other parents can't do it, or can't bring themselves to, I will do it for them."

Caroline's daughters help her dress Hope's grave (Credit: SWNS)

Caroline, who has not yet had any clients, revealed that it was actually another family that inspired her to start decorating her own daughter's grave at the Kingston upon Thames Cemetery.

She said: "When I went to the cemetery, I noticed a little boy's grave was done up really nicely, and I thought that's something that I want to do for every occasion.

"My first decoration was for her first Christmas in 2013, and ever since then I've done it for Easter, Halloween, Valentine's Day and her birthday - August 28."

She even uses seasonal decorations (Credit: SWNS)

Caroline, whose two daughters accompany her and help her to "jazz up" Hope's grave, said: "Everyone in the family gets involved, my mum helps buy the decorations, and my kids help me decorate the grave. It's comforting for all of us. Now I want to help"

Would you consider letting someone else decorate a loved ones grave? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

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