Unable to deal with the loss of his beloved wife, a Vietnamese man has unearthed her remains, sealed them in a plaster sculpture with which he has slept for the past 16 years.

When Le Shock’s shocking story started circulating a few years ago, most people thought it was a hoax. After all, it’s hard to believe that anyone can truly unearth their spouse’s remains from the cemetery, bring them home, build a plaster statue to house them, and sleep there every night.

Still, the truthfulness of the story seems confirmed, and the man plans to continue sleeping with the remains of his wife for the rest of his life, despite the opposition of relatives and fellow citizens.

Mr. Van and his wife were married in 1975: it was an arranged marriage and the two barely knew each other, but since they got married the two have soon sincerely fallen in love and lived happily. The two had seven children, leading a frugal but peaceful and happy life until one day in 2003 when the woman suddenly died. Van, who was working far away at the time, rushed home but could barely see his wife’s face for a few minutes before she was buried.

Deeply impressed, Le Van began to spend most of his time at the cemetery, even sleeping on his wife’s grave, but after a few months bad weather and rain began to pose a serious problem. But instead of trying to “get out” of mourning, he thought that the best way to stay close to his deceased wife was to dig a tunnel that would lead to his grave, so that he could sleep next to her.

As soon as his children found out, they forbade him to spend the nights at the cemetery. But the man didn’t want to let his wife go forever: Le Van thought that if he couldn’t sleep in the cemetery, he would bring his wife’s remains home. First he unearthed her bones and put them in a bag near the cemetery. Then he started making an empty statue in the shape of a woman, made of plaster, cement, glue and sand, inserting the remains of his wife. Then he put the statue on the bed and has been sleeping next to it ever since.

When Le Van’s children found out what he had done, they were furious claiming that he would bring his mother’s body back to the cemetery, but he refused, saying he couldn’t go on without her. Neighbours refused to enter his home for years after discovering he had brought his wife’s bones there, and some even warned authorities, accusing Le Van of spreading disease. The police tried to convince him to repeatedly bring his wife’s body back to the cemetery, but the man always stubbornly refused , so in the end they gave up.