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 Widow builds children a life-size cardboard cut-out of their dead father

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PostSubject: Widow builds children a life-size cardboard cut-out of their dead father   Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:44 pm

Widow builds children a life-size cardboard cut-out of their dead father

Paul Challis, a father-of-two, died from cancer at just 38, weeks after being diagnosed with two brain tumours.
His wife Maria, 36, was determined that their two children – Jack, seven, and Molly, nine – would not forget his memory so has installed a 6'1" cardboard model in their living room.
The 2D father was a guest at his own funeral and even attended his friend's wedding weeks after his death.
He is pictured at one of his happiest moments holding a bottle of champagne and laughing while on-board a QE2 cruise to Bruges, Belgium, with Maria.
Paul's death had been so shocking to his family and friends Maria decided he was still going to be the heart of the party even in death.
The cut-out was made for Paul's funeral but afterwards his grieving wife could not bear to get rid of it.
She said: "Paul was always the life and soul of the party and it seemed only fitting for him to be there for the final party, his final farewell.
"I think he would have loved it, he would have said, 'why didn't I think of that?;
"When you lose someone you love, you worry you'll forget them and this is our way of remembering Paul and keeping our precious memories of him alive.
"The children have even dressed him up in a Santa outfit at Christmas and as Dracula on Halloween.
"He was due to go to a friend's wedding some weeks after he died. He didn't make it but his cut-out did and it was nice to think he was there.
"Some people might raise eyebrows but who is anyone to say what is the right and wrong way to deal with grief?
"Paul had an absolute zest for life. He loved his garden, he loved a barbecue, he loved going out on his bike with the kids.
"Everybody knew when Paul arrived in a room. He was a larger than life character, forthright but mischievous who could be naughty and exasperating but very, very good fun.
Maria and Paul met 15 years ago while working for a window company in Kent before moving to Ness, Cheshire where they were married in 2000.
They started a successful business together, but by Christmas 2008 Paul had begun to suffer headaches and was prescribed Prozac and beta-blockers.
On February 7, 2009, he suffered a fit and underwent neuro scans before doctors discovered he had two inoperable brain tumours and he was given just weeks to live.
Maria said: "When Paul was diagnosed I turned to him and said,? bloody typical, you have to have two, don't you? but I was utterly shocked to the core.
"On the way home we stopped and Paul wanted two Big Macs. He said,? why not, I'm dying anyway?
"Paul never wanted to be pitied and he never was. Throughout he was utterly accepting of the situation. He said:? I always knew I wouldn't live to be old.
"Telling the children was hard, they wanted to know why doctors couldn't make him better. Molly said? can? t we go on bike rides anymore? That? s sad.?
"He was in hospital and friends would be bringing champagne and gin and tonic, smoked salmon and lobster. We were determined to make each day count."
They bet on the Grand National with their horses of choice being, Comply or Die and My Will and by the end of April celebrated his birthday with a huge party at home.
Maria said: "He was home from hospital and by that stage speech was difficult and he had to use a wheelchair but we got him outside in his garden. There was beer and wine, music and kids playing.
"It sounds strange but we had super days. There were some very tough times, but we had 15 years of great times and were determined they weren't going to be overshadowed by the last five months of his life."
"I remember him telling me how he'd like me to remarry. I said:? get lost, you're not dead yet!? That was how we were with each other, full of banter, and that's how we stayed.
"There were no grand farewells. We never felt the need to say goodbye because I always felt loved and so did he; there was nothing more to add."
Paul died in July 2009 and true to form he had organised his own funeral in a funny, memorable way.
A white camper van was organised to drive him to church and Paul planned the ceremony to include the songs Queen's 'Another One Bites The Dust' and Monty Python's 'Always Look On the Bright Side of Life'.
Maria is now running the Wirral Race For Life on July 4 in a bid to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

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PostSubject: Re: Widow builds children a life-size cardboard cut-out of their dead father   Sat May 01, 2010 10:02 am

Bringing it to certain events that he were to attend, like a wedding is strange yet acceptable, especially because the pose of the cut-out is friggin awesome. But keeping it in the livingroom is a little too much for me, it goes from honoring the dead to an inability to accept the person's death. I think it might prevent the children from completing the grieving process, which isn't very good.
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PostSubject: Re: Widow builds children a life-size cardboard cut-out of their dead father   Mon May 17, 2010 5:32 pm

I like the idea. Smile

Maybe I'm just a little bit spooky?

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PostSubject: Re: Widow builds children a life-size cardboard cut-out of their dead father   Tue May 18, 2010 2:06 am

At least she didn't mummify his body and kept it around for her sexual gratification.

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