If you visit the Riverside Cemetery in Hastings, Michigan, you'll find something very strange.
Some - but not all - of the grave stones are topped with small painted rocks. The bright and colorful stones are decorated with little hearts, and carefully placed on each stone.
It turns out this is the work of Nicole Wieringa, a local woman who uses the rocks to honor someone very close to her. Nicole was 17 weeks pregnant with her 3rd daughter, Finley, when her child's heartbeat stopped.
Wieringa sadly remembers seeing her daughter's "ten perfect fingers, 10 perfect toes, just too small,” and since then she's lived with the heartache of losing a child.
But Wieringa realized she's not the only parent to live through the heartbreaking experience, and leaving the rocks on the tombstones of children is her way of silently comforting their parents.
"I place a rock on there just to let that mom know that I see they are grieving, I see your baby's name, and I know they existed," she told Fox 17.
But Wieringa isn't the only one leaving these special Kindness Rocks in public.
Learn the uplifting story behind the rocks on the next page!
Wieringa says placing the rocks on children's graves is "therapeutic" for her, and that's exactly what the founder of Kindness Rocks had in mind.
Megan Murphy's parents passed away when she was still very young, and like many people who lose their parents she searched for someone to talk about her life with, the way we only can with our close family.
Her way of "communicating" with her parents was to walk the beach and look for signs from them.
“I had this whole system," she explains. "A heart shaped rock would be for my dad and a piece of sea glass would be for my mom.” When she found one she felt supported and comforted by "something bigger" than herself.
But when Murphy realized she had everything she needed, she noticed other people were walking the beach with the same expression she once wore.
To uplift and inspire them, she started writing heartfelt messages on rocks and leaving them for others to find, which gradually became the Kindness Rocks project and spread around the world.
Like Murphy's project says, Wieringa is proving that “one message at just the right time can change your entire day...outlook...life!”
Share this story, then go out and make your own kindness rock!