A Nova Scotia woman who was devastated when she lost a special ring made in her husband’s memory says it turns out the ring wasn’t really missing after all.

“I am so excited,” said Margaret Burke. “The stress of the ring has had me thinking about it off and on so much.”

The Tidnish, N.S., woman met her soulmate, Barry Burke, when she was just 16 years old. Two years later, he gave her a special diamond to symbolize their love. The couple married in 1970 and marked 48 years of marriage in 2018.

When Barry died of a heart attack in March, Margaret decided to find a new home for the precious diamond he had given her when they were teenagers.

“He always said, ‘I’d like you to get a nicer ring, a nicer diamond and setting and everything,’ so I decided after he passed away that’s what I would do.”

With the help of a jeweler, Margaret handcrafted a new ring with the sentimental stone.

“I was so excited. Just felt so, like part of him was with me,” she told CTV Atlantic.

Margaret put the ring on her finger for the first time on Dec. 23, but four days later, after a day of shopping in Amherst, N.S., it was gone. 

“An empty feeling came upon me and it was terrible. It reminded me of when I lost him,” she said.

She retraced her steps, posted on Facebook, contacted the police, and called all of the stores she had visited that day, but the ring was nowhere to be found – until Thursday evening.

Margaret says she was lying in bed thinking about the missing ring when she had an urge to check her closet, where she keeps some exercise bands.

“I pushed back in the corner, spreading my hands out straight to push them in, and it’s a slanted wall and tight quarters,” she explained. “I guess when I pulled back my hand the ring must have caught on the shelf.”

It turns out the ring had been in the closet all along.

“I wish there was a more exciting story,” she said. “Still a mystery to me to have gotten up from bed thinking to check there in that exact place.”

After several stressful days, Margaret says she’s relieved to have the precious ring back on her finger. She says she is also touched by the number of people who reached out to ask if the ring had been found.

“I never would have thought that many people would care if I had found the ring,” she said. “I am so thankful I found it.”

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kate Walker