Woman Checking Late Fiancé’s Phone Pictures Makes ‘Beautiful’ Discovery

Grief is a heart-wrenching journey—but not without surprises.

A post to Reddit’s Last Images community captured the heart of thousands after a woman shared the unexpected photo she found of her late fiancé who had passed away last June. As she was going through his phone, she came across a picture of some items in a shop the day he died—on closer inspection, she saw his reflection in a piece of glass. The original poster, Juls Budau, 40, spoke to Newsweek about the discovery and what it meant to her.

“I always thought the last picture of him was one I took of him carving an axe handle in the living room while my dog was at his feet, two days before he died,” Budau wrote in the post. “I went through his phone again recently and zoomed in on a picture he took the day he died…I was at once filled with both grief and joy. It was a beautiful surprise.”

A woman cries while looking at phone
A woman cries while looking at her phone. A post on Reddit has gone viral after a user shared the discovery she made while looking at her late fiancé’s cell.

AntonioGuillem/Getty Images

Budau told Newsweek that her fiancé Andy’s sudden death left her reeling. She had had a feeling he was going to die on the day that he passed—but she could have never anticipated the circumstances.

“I used to manage an overdose prevention site. Andy and I met doing that work; he has spent years in and out of addiction,” Budau said. “The weird thing about the day he died is that I had a premonition that he was going to die, but I thought from an… overdose.”

When Andy died, he had been experiencing what the two had believed to be withdrawal symptoms from a treatment course he was on. The reality, though, was dire: “We spent all day fighting because I couldn’t shake the idea he was going to die,” Budau said. “We finally made up, and he went to go clean the kitchen, and I was watching TV in bed. He had an aneurysm in the next room.”

Budau said that losing her fiancé was the hardest thing she has ever experienced. The cause of his death made it all the more heartbreaking.

“He was working really hard to not die of an overdose, and methadone and suboxone are not easy to access, even in parts of Canada,” Budau said. “But he worked so hard to stay alive for me and then just died from a different thing.”

One Year Later: Acts of Remembering

Budau had been looking through Andy’s phone for the first time since he died when she made the photo discovery. She was preparing to give the phone to someone who needed it.

It has been nearly a year since Andy died, and Budau said the anniversary is bringing her face to face with her grief all over again.

“At six months, I had to put away the grief for a while so I could settle into a new life, start a new job… but as his death anniversary has approached, it has all rushed back so hard,” she said.

One way Budau moves through the loss is by bringing digital memories to life in new ways. She said she makes TikTok videos with photos of Andy, turns static images into “live” ones and uses voice messages from him in digital collages.

These make it possible for her to remember Andy for who he was: “Such a nice guy, so supportive of other people, really empathetic, despite everything he had gone through,” Budau said.

“He especially supported me, would walk my dog every morning, bring me breakfast to my desk while I was writing my thesis—and he would pick me flowers every single day.”

As Budau prepares to mark the anniversary of Andy’s passing, her poignant story is making waves on Reddit and bringing comfort to other people navigating grief.

“Hi, Andy. Wherever you are, thanks for touching someone’s life one more time,” u/welpmart wrote. “You’ve got good people missing you here.”