Widow mum keeps life-sized cut-out of her husband for her children

Mum Maria Challis keeps the memory alive for her children with a cardboard version of their dad

After losing her husband to cancer at the age of 38, Maria Challis decided to go an extra mile to ensure her two children Jack, 7, and Molly, 9, didn’t forget their dad’s memory – by having a real life cardboard cut-out of him made!


Over 6ft tall in height, the 2D cut-out features Paul Challis holding a bottle of champagne during a happy time in his life. Since his death in 2009, his cardboard alter-ego has attended his friend’s wedding and even made an appearance at his own funeral. “Paul was always the life and soul of the party and it seemed fitting for him to be there for the final party, his final farewell,” his wife told the Telegraph.

Cardboard cut-out Paul was made for his funeral, but afterwards his grieving wife couldn’t bare to part with it, so it’s now a permanent feature in the Challis household. “The children have dressed him up in a Santa outfit at Christmas and as Dracula at Halloween.”

Although some people may find the cut-out of a deceased loved one uncomfortable, Maria believes that everyone is entitled to deal with their loss their own way. “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.”


If you need advice on how to help your children cope with the loss of a loved one, take a look at MFM’s guide here.

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