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After baby's death, stranger's act of kindness brings mother to tears

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HuffingtonPost has picked up a story from FOX 9 about a random act of kindness that brought a Minnesota mother to tears.

FOX had reported that Valarie Watts' baby boy was stillborn in July after his umbilical cord had become pinched in the womb. But she had a hard time letting go of the crib she had readied for her son.

At a garage sale, the Cokato mother agreed to part with the crib after chatting with a soft-spoken tinkerer named Gerald Kumpula, whose workshop is filled with repurposed furniture projects.

Watts had confided in Kumpula's wife that she lost her son at birth, and Kumpula's wife told her husband about it on the drive home.

"We decided on the way back that this bench was going back," Kumpula told FOX.

Kumpula made the crib into a bench, transforming a piece of furniture that had been a reminder of something painful into a comforting tribute. Watts said she "cried instantly" when she saw it.

"It's fun to be able to do something," Kumpula told FOX.

Watts called the gesture "amazing." "There are good people out there – there's proof," she said.

The story captured the attention of other mothers on social media. The story was posted to Reddit and generated more than 300 comments, many from other people who had lost children.

The parenting and pregnancy blog The Stir picked up the story:

"What Valarie Watts has been through is something that we all too often want to brush under the rug. It makes us uncomfortable and feels too heart-wrenching to even discuss. But there are times we do need to talk about it -- and face it however we see fit. It's an act of solidarity. And that's exactly what Kumpula did for Watts by building this bench, which is nothing short of a beautiful symbol of comfort and hope."

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