Archive for July, 2008

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

One of the questions which comes to mind when you lose your spouse is whether or not you wish to remove your rings. You may also question when is the appropriate time. And you may also hear advice from family and friends about how to handle these deeply personal questions.

The night my husband died I was told by the mortuary to remove his wedding ring. Wow. OK. I was in shock. I did it. For security purposes, they said. Not sure what that meant, but I had no energy for questioning. I did what I was told.

I placed the ring on my finger, but I was afraid I would lose it. I had to keep it close to me. It was a symbol of our love. It now became a tangible way to stay close to him while at the same time feeling so very lonely.

I decided to put his ring on a chain around my neck, very close to my heart. it helped me feel close and it brought comfort.

A couple months later my ring finger began to itch beneath my own rings. There was no physical reason for this irritation. Intuitively I sensed it was time to remove them. But taking them off brought up so many feelings. There seemed to be a new finality to our relationship. There were feelings of guilt. There were feelings of disloyalty.

After several days I was actually able to remove the rings from my finger. It seemed appropriate to add them to his ring on the chain around my neck.

Surprisingly, within a couple weeks I felt like it was time to remove the necklace of rings. I placed the rings in a special heart-shaped box where they remain to this day. I open it on occasion and smile in gratitude for the shared life represented by these rings.

Removing the rings is a milestone that we each must handle in our own way. Trust your feelings. You will know what is right for you.