‘I feel complete again’: Urn keychain with mother’s ashes returned to woman

‘I feel complete again’: Urn keychain with mother’s ashes returned to woman
The urn has been returned. (Source: NBC12)

CAROLINE CO., Va. (WWBT) - A woman has been reunited with her mother’s ashes after a Caroline County man found her urn keychain at a gas station.

It was a family reunion made possible by the shares on social media as Mary Lou Samuel waited to be reunited with a loved one.

“I was headed down to the Food Lion to do some shopping, and I figured I better get gas and I did. I had no idea that’s where I had lost her,” Samuel said.

For Samuel, it was like losing her mother all over again.

“I hadn’t noticed I had left it off of my keychain, and when I did, I was kind of devastated,” Samuel said.

The small heart-shaped urn filled with her mother’s ashes went missing from her key chain.

“I had figured I would never find it because I didn’t know where I had lost it,” Samuel said.

The necklace was found by Dustin Cornell at the Caroline Supermarket and Gas station on Ladysmith Road.

“(I found it) right there on the ground as I was getting in the truck and it caught my eye, and I picked it up and I knew what it was,” Cornell said.

Cornell then set out to find the rightful owner.

“(My daughter) called me right away and said, 'mom, it’s yours’ and I said, ‘no, it can’t be,” Samuel said.

Thousands of people shared Cornell’s search on social media, which helped lead up to a moment filled with hugs.

“I feel complete again,” Samuel said.

The two live six miles apart from each other, only now crossing paths.

Cornell lost his mother years ago and says when he found the ashes and took it home, something strange happened.

“Dustin told me that when he first brought it into the house the lights flickered on and off.” Samuel described. "Evidently it was my mother telling him ‘you need to find me’ and he did,”

Dustin kept the urn in his truck to keep it safe, taking it with him everywhere and now Samuel is grateful to once again, do the same.

“He’s in my debt forever,” she said.

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