My fiancé vacuumed and threw out my dead mother’s ashes

I’m 26F and my mother passed away almost 3 years ago. It’s was a car crash that took everyone by surprise. She was amazing so of course my sister (23F) and I were devastated. Our dad left when my sister was still an infant so it was always just the 3 of us.

I currently live with my fiancé Ben (28M) who I’ve been with for over 4 years now. I wish I could say he was amazingly supportive after my mom’s death but that’s not how it went.

He’s always been a blunt guy who’s not great at dealing with emotions (especially if it’s bad ones from someone else). This stems from his childhood. His dad was convinced any strong emotions that actually make you feel something are for “ladies and homos, not real men” (his words not mine).


Ben has said he disagrees with that statement now and has been no contact with his did for several years at this point. Though that mindset still influences a lot of his reactions. 

He temporarily moved out of our apartment not even a full two weeks after my mom died. He said it was all just “way too much” and his awkward attempts at comfort would only make things worse. He would send a “hey hope ur doing ok love ya babe” text every couple days or so. My sister temporarily moved in with me so we could support each other. 

I’ll admit I was pissed for awhile after. I didn’t need him to be my therapist, I just needed him to be with me during the darkest time of my life. The second things got intense he ran for the hills. 

He came back to the apartment almost a month later to talk face to face. He had been staying with a friend and one day his friend’s gf came to visit. She asked why he was staying there and he gave a rundown of everything. She seemed disgusted and called him a sociopath. Apparently that inspired some self reflection and he started to see things from my perspective. 

I wanted to break up at first and my sister agreed, but he begged for a chance to make it right. I was so incapacitated from grief at the time I didn’t have the energy to fight. He took the initiative to get individual therapy for himself and couples therapy for us. I could see he was making a real effort to change so overall we stayed together and eventually got engaged. 

My sister was against it at first, but eventually said she thought he was putting real effort towards everything so staying was a good choice. She moved back out around a month and a half after Ben came back. I offered to let her stay but she said she wanted space since the issue with Ben had been worked out.

Things have been overall peaceful since then and we’ve begun wedding planning. Then I found out what Ben did a few days ago. 

My sister and I weren’t sure what to do with mom’s ashes. We thought about getting some put into necklaces to wear but the thought of wearing one made us both cry so we didn’t do that. She didn’t have a super special place so we didn’t want to scatter them either. We thought of splitting the ashes into two urns (one for each of us) but my sister didn’t want that. 

A couple months before mom died a roommate of hers stole some of her favorite jewelry (she was a broke college student at the time and had a lot of roommates, some who she didn’t know to well). She said she knew there was a very low chance of someone messing with ashes but she has anxiety which can cause her to fixate on possibilities like that (no matter how unlikely). 

The whole thing made her nervous so right now the urn is in my apartment. We thought about burying it, but it’s in a little separate area surrounded with pictures of her. I know it sounds weird but it brings me comfort to think she’s close by. 

We planned to get another urn once she had a place of her own but with the wedding planning and everything we’ve just been putting it off. 

My mom was religious. Not “holier than thought” but she enjoyed church and attending some prayer meetings. My sister and I grew up like that but as we got older we just went with her on holidays. 

She had a rosary she really loved. Actually she had a full collection with some really fancy ones, but the one she really liked was a little plastic one. I’m not sure why, but she said she was nervous she’d lose one of her fancy ones if she took them everywhere. So she left those at home and took the plastic one to church most of the time. 

When she passed we put the rosary in the urn with her ashes. We had plenty of her things/jewelry and thought she would’ve liked that. Then, a few days ago my sister called to tell me she wanted the plastic rosary as well. She thought about it and really wanted it as a memento for both of us. We talked for a little while and I agreed. 

I hadn’t looked directly at the ashes in awhile but I decided to just get it over with. After I got home from work I immediately opened the urn to grab the rosary. 

Imagine my surprise that instead of finding my mother’s remains all that I saw was a bigger ziploc bag full of sand. The rosary was next to it. I opened and closed it 3 times hoping I was seeing things. Ben got home a little after me and caught me staring into the urn. 

He immediately got pale and I just knew he had something to do with it. I went ahead and asked what he had done. I was actually pretty surprised when he didn’t try to lie and just dumped the truth in this big monologue. 

Though I’m pretty sure his story is a lie. It doesn’t add up. 

A few months ago he wanted to do a deep clean of the whole apartment. He’s a very neat person who likes everything sanitized. He gets nervous with dust on things. I helped him but he’s very specific about cleaning. No matter what I do apparently I’m doing it “wrong” and he has to go back and re clean whatever I had just finished. 

I don’t know what came over him but one day he texted me during a business trip about how he was planning to dust my mom’s whole memorial area. This sounds bad but I don’t really like people other than my sister and I touching and moving things around there. He’s had deep cleaning moments before but never asked to clean it before. I brush things off every now and again so it isn’t absolutely covered in dust but apparently it didn’t meet his standards. 

I said I’d personally do it once I got home the next day. He kept texting saying I was no good at dusting and he could finish it quickly so I wouldn’t worry. I told him not to do anything and I’d take care of it. He stopped responding. 

When I got home things looked the same as I had left them. He apologized for being ‘uptight’ and said he didn’t touch anything. He said he was just feeling anxious before so there was no need for me to clean the memorial when it wasn’t even dirty. I didn’t think about it after that. 

I’ve noticed he was acting weird in the months since then. I thought it was him being nervous about the wedding planning. 

Now he’s confessed that he actually did touch the urn. He tried to ‘resist’ as long as he could but just wanted everything to be clean. He did it only around an hour before I came home. It’s just all so weird. He claimed he wanted to clean it so he took out the bag of her ashes along with the rosary inside (why he even wanted to clean it instead of just dusting some pictures around it I don’t know).

He said he finished, put the urn back on the memorial, and carelessly grabbed the bag to put it back. He couldn’t clearly explain what happened, but said the plastic somehow ripped and the ashes went all over the carpet. 

It’s a shaggy carpet I hate and have been wanting to get rid of for years. We’ve been trying to find a house together to move into with the wedding coming up. I’ve never wanted a hard floor as much as I do now. Maybe it would’ve gone differently. 

He got scared at how I’d react. I’m already so “sensitive” about my mom he didn’t want to “push me over the edge”. I would be home soon and the ashes were all in the carpet so he couldn’t just brush them into a pan or whatever.

This man grabbed a vacuum and sucked up my mother. Then instead of returning them to the urn he dumped the vacuum contents into the trash. When I asked why he didn’t just return them to the urn after vacuuming he stared at the floor. 

He panicked and when I got home he reassured me so I wouldn’t pick up the urn. The next day he literally stopped off at our local park and grabbed some play sand in a baggie so it was roughly the same weight as the original ashes. 

He started to cry and asked for my forgiveness. That made me mad and I asked what did he think would happen, did he think I’d never find out? I guess he thought I’d keep the plastic rosary in the urn and not look in because of the grief. 

His whole story is so weird. He’s no Einstein but I never imagined he could be this stupid. The details just don’t add up and when I asked follow up questions he starts crying again and stares at the damn carpet.  It’s already fucked that he would do anything to my mother’s ashes but why lie about it?? I’m scared to imagine what the truth is.

It’s been a couple days now and I’m in a hotel. I packed the urn along with all my stuff I brought. I told Ben I need time to think and blocked his number. I told my sister I was just busy and would talk later. I can’t imagine looking her in the eye right now. 

His whole story is so stupid and weird, but if it isn’t true where is my mom? I need her. Why would he do this to me?

The ashes were a little coarse with bone fragments. He didn’t even try to grab some?? He put my mom in the trash. I really hate him right now. I have nothing left but some play sand a 4 year old probably pissed in. 

TLDR: My mother died and I keep her ashes in an urn at my apartment I share with my fiancé. One day he asked to clean the little memorial I have the urn on but I said I’d do it. He ignored my request and for some reason decided to take the ashes out to wash the urn. Somehow he broke the bag and got ashes all over our carpet. He panicked, vacuumed them up, and dumped my mother into the trash. He replaced the ashes with sand inside the urn so it would still feel normal. Until I discovered what he had done.