Mourning Woman Left In 'Shock' After Finding Out Husband Let Mother-In-Law Steal Her Deceased Son’s Ashes

Sep 15, 2023 by apost team

Everyone deals with grief differently. It gets increasingly difficult when the pain is from losing a dear one. At such times, support and understanding from family and friends would go a long way, even if the pain remains. In the case of Reddit user Throwaway3405330, she didn’t get this understanding from her husband’s family. The woman lost her son, Tom, four months before her post on Reddit in 2020. Tom was just 6 when he died from a heart condition that prevented him from having a normal childhood, 

“He was such an angel and he loved food so much,” the original poster (OP) said of Tom. “I tried to feed him as much as I could because he was so thin and didn’t have enough energy to run around and play because of his condition.”

Her husband’s family was involved in Tom’s care in the hospital to some extent. However, they kept their kids from him and never stayed the night to allow OP to catch some sleep. After Tom’s death, they grabbed all his belongings, including his clothes, toys and blankets. OP’s mother-in-law also wanted a burial service, but OP refused. 

“I chose to have him cremated and kept his ashes in an urn inside my bedroom,” she wrote. 

After Tom’s death and cremation, the mother-in-law began to frequent OP’s house, contrary to her behavior when Tom was alive. She then proposed to make pendants with Tom’s ashes for her, OP’s husband, her other son, who she claimed loved Tom very much, and OP herself so they could remember Tom.

“I was stunned and I didn’t know what to tell her, I remember telling her that this was never gonna happen, and that all those family members have their kids with them and that I was the one who lost a son,” OP recalled.

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However, the mother-in-law didn’t get the fuss and argued with OP, insisting that they all cared for Tom. She also claimed that OP’s husband would support her idea and allow the family to grieve with them. 

Nevertheless, OP stuck to her guns, and her mother-in-law grew upset. She expressed her anger and disappointment at OP’s seeming refusal to let them support her. After that day, they never spoke about the matter again.

OP went on a six-day road trip with her family, who wanted to make her feel better. When she returned, her son’s urn was gone. Her husband then showed her two necklaces, one in the shape of a cross, and told her they were made from their son’s ashes. 

He also revealed that his mom and brother had one each, and she paid good money to get it done to remember Tom.

OP was livid. “I was in a shock,” she recounted and asked her husband why he allowed his mom to take their son’s ashes. Her husband answered that Tom was important to his family, too, and they deserved to have the necklaces for a memorial.

“I yelled at him that this was my son not theirs, she had no right to take the urn and do what she wanted with it especially when I told her no,” OP recalled. 

She packed her things and moved in with her family. She also refused to take the necklace regardless of the amount the mother-in-law claimed to have spent. 

OP also called her mother-in-law and “told her she was selfish and inconsiderate for taking my son from me like that.” She added, “My husband is trying to apologize but I can’t accept he did this and betrayed me.”

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Redditors expressed their condolences to OP. They assured her she was right to react that way, and most asked her to consider a divorce or legal action against her in-laws.

“I’m so sorry for your loss NTA: I would be livid , I would be looking into legal action against MIL and I would be filing for divorce. I’m so sorry they happened to you, what awful people,” someone advised.

Another person wrote: “I’d call the home that put all the ashes into the necklaces and ask them if they have any advice on the theft and what there (sic) verification procedures were before they took the ashes. Then I’d go and get the ashes back, with the threat of the police. She stole from you, that was theft, and you have a right to press criminal charges.”

A third person shared: “I just looked up some legal facts about turning ashes of children into jewelry. From what I gathered, funeral homes are required to have the signed permission of the parent/parents in order to do that. And based on the way OP wrote this, I am going to assume that husband wasn’t Tom’s dad. This means husband, hopefully soon to be ex-husband, & MIL committed a crime along with the funeral home. Unless husband forged OP’s signature which would him even more disgusting. OP should contact a lawyer first as the funeral home may very well try & stonewall her once they realize they screwed up.” 

However, some Redditors thought OP didn’t have a chance with legal action.

“Technically the ashes are just as much her husband’s as they are hers so he would have a right to do something with them. This isn’t as cut and dry as everyone here seems to think because clearly they’re not attorneys,” a Redditor asserted.

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What do you think of OP’s situation? Do you think she overreacted? Do you think she should consider a divorce or press charges? Let us know, and be sure to pass this on to friends and family.

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