What do widows do with his wedding ring?

It was a perfectly normal summer evening when everything changed and I became a widow. We always sat on the beach across the street with our friends. We always used the bathroom in the clubhouse. Mike always left the party to go home early.

This was unreasonable and should not be happening I kept thinking.  I was present but not really understanding what was going on.

Somehow I got home from the hospital that night and some family and good friends were with me.

At 2:00 in the morning the detectives came in to tell me what they had decided happened.  I kept trying to convince them that this was ridiculous.  I explained how this was a typical evening.  Mike had been fine when I last saw him on the beach.

The one man who had been talking promised to keep in touch and gave me a card. The quiet detective who had been standing by the sliding glass door then approached me.  He offered his condolences then handed me a ziploc bag.

In the bag were Mike’s eyeglasses and his gold wedding ring.

All of my convincing didn’t work.  They still wanted to tell me that Mike died.

I wouldn’t touch the bag.

Someone else took it.

Days and weeks went by before I wondered what happened to that bag.  I looked in the cabinets where that man had been standing but never found it.

Eventually I asked people if they knew what happened to that bag.  No one really knew.

I joined a bereavement group and some Facebook pages with fellow widows and widowers.  I did find support in the groups but I was always a bit forlorn when others would share what they had done with their spouses rings.

Some were worn around necks.  Some were molded into new rings.  There’s even something called a widow’s ring.Well, this past week I was cleaning out an old dresser that I had sold on line. I was in a rush to meet a friend for dinner but I had a few minutes.

Somehow I felt compelled to just be sure the drawers were empty of old papers and tags and pennies before the people came to pick it up in the morning.

Wasn’t I surprised when in the back of one empty wooden drawer I picked up a shiny gold wedding ring.

I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face and tears of joy filled my eyes.

That was last year and I am still so happy that I found that ring.

It had always been a mystery. But now, what should I do with the ring?

I am in the process of making some changes to my home.  I think a new kitchen and bathroom may be in the works. It may also be time to put away some photos. I think the renovations will help me pack up the memories and mementos, and try some new design ideas.

When we first moved into our home with our 4 and 7 year old, we bought new couches.  But we saved money on some expenses.  We bought a sturdy dining room set from local second hand store.  We put in some elbow grease.  After sanding and staining the table, painting the chairs and buying new cushions we declared it our own.

It was always going to be a temporary thing but here I am putting pumpkins on that table in an effort to celebrate the season of Fall.

After 3 years I have started to let go of a lot of things.  Some are physical, like old clothes in his closet, and some are emotional, like crying all the time.

I am so glad that I found his ring, but I am not sure what to do with it. It is special, just like our marriage was. Creating a new piece of jewelry, just like renovating parts of the house, may be the way to go.

The house was something that we loved. We pinched ourselves all the time that we were so lucky to live here.  We were also so lucky to have had a good marriage.  We may not have always realized it, but we were happy and in love until the end.

I’ve debated moving, but this is a house and location that I love.  The positives still outweigh the sad parts and this is where I want to be right now (when I’m not traveling).

Last year I finally did take off my wedding ring.  I kept it on my left hand for 2 1/2 years. I moved the engagement ring, which had also been my grandmother’s, to my right hand.  It is the right place for it to be now. I have taken off my wedding band and it is in a drawer.

See my post Do widows wear wedding rings?

Moving forward is not a steady road, but it is a path I am stumbling along the best way I able. Maybe I will give the ring to one of my sons if he wants it for his wedding band.  Maybe I will sell it and use the money for a bench or a brick or a donation to a worthy cause.

For now, I will keep it safe in a spot I can find it easily.  

widows what to do with his wedding ring

runawaywidow

At the age of 51 I unexpectedly became a widow. For the first 6 months after my husband died, I was in shock and numb. I journaled and with the help of friends, family and therapists was able to get back to living my old life, even if it is now very different. Before I was married, I had spent a semester in England and backpacked around Europe. My husband and I moved from New York to California for 8 years and started a family. Travelling took a back seat to raising a family and going to work everyday. Since the loss of my husband I have visited a lot of places with family and friends and took a solo trip to Thailand. I am enjoying sharing my stories and adventures as well as some of my insights to how I am traveling the path of being a widow. I hope to share my stories and adventures as well as some thoughts on being a middle aged widow. While I have some great experiences traveling to Thailand and cruising to Central America, some of my adventures involve a trip to see a Broadway show in nearby Manhattan and a shopping trip at Bed, Bath and Beyond. If I can inspire anyone to go out and continue to live a good life that would be my greatest accomplishment.

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55 Responses

  1. What an amazing find! I hope it brings you comfort.

  2. Kristen I’m crying for you as I’m so happy.
    Gifts from above

  3. twocans1 says:

    Awesome! Such a comfort!

  4. How wonderful to find Mike’s ring. I smiled at your intuition telling you it was there before it left in the drawers. I am so happy for you.

  5. So glad you found it. A piece of him you will always have.

  6. Addie says:

    I think God saved I it and waited for the time you were able to deal with finding and then rejoicing in all the good you shared together sand how happy and proud of yo that he is knowing. You are still walking on the path that shares goodness and JOY too others.

  7. Melissa Moccaldi says:

    That’s unbelievable! So glad you have that part of Mike with you.

  8. Tara says:

    So glad you found it!!!! So beautiful! Although I like to believe that you didn’t as much “find it” as Mike led you to it <3

  9. cedar51 says:

    I wonder how it slipped from the bag with I think you said eyeglasses and remained waiting for you to find…

  10. adventures says:

    I lost my husband too suddenly. It was comfort to keep wearing my ring. 3 years after he passed is when I finally removed it. I’m glad you found his!

  11. lori says:

    Kristen, its Lori we met in a bereavement group 2 years ago ( woodbury hospice) and our boys went to cornell
    My older son got married in January and he took his dad’s ring . Such a honor for him to wear it.
    love your blogs!!!

    • runawaywidow says:

      Hi Lori. I remember you! That’s a nice idea. Congratulations on your son’s wedding. Hope you are well.

    • Ann says:

      Right now I’m wearing my husband ring on a necklace. Our son is just a year. But when he gets married I’m going to give him the ring if he wants it as his wedding band.

  12. Ann says:

    My husbands ring is in a necklace I wear. I lost my ring the week before he died. We looked around for it and couldn’t find it. I think it may have fallen off. It kills me inside that 5months later I still can’t find it.

  13. Ericka says:

    It’s been 18 months today, since my husband passed. I’ve been wearing his wedding ring on my right middle finger. I love the presence of his ring. It gives me peace.

    • runawaywidow says:

      I completely understand. I keep my wedding ring on my right hand now and it gives me comfort as well.

  14. Sandra Robken says:

    I will always wear my wedding ring and I had my husband’s resized and I wear it on my right hand so feel he is still close.

    • runawaywidow says:

      That’s wonderful. I keep thinking I should do something special with his ring.

    • Carol a Bender says:

      I lost my husband 1year ago and I wear both his and mine on a necklace. My fingers swelled up and I can’t get them on again

      • runawaywidow says:

        What a great idea. My fingers swelled too so I had to cut off the ring, the I had it resized for my right hand. Thanks for reading

  15. Karin T Jackson says:

    I had my husband’s wedding band sliced in half and attached to the sides of my wedding band. Mine has a pattern, his is plain, and now I wear a beautiful wide band. On my left hand for now, but is sized to be able to fit my right hand, when I’m ready.

  16. Karyn says:

    My husband died January of this year. I still Wear my wedding rings on my left hand. I keep my husband’s gold wedding band on my keychain.

    • runawaywidow says:

      That is so awesome and it helps you stay connected. I wore mine for 3 years. Still wear my diamond on my right hand now.

  17. Catherine Evans says:

    I lost my husband of 27 yrs suddenly the end of April. I’ve been trying to think of what to do with our wedding rings and my engagement ring. I may get a bracelet made from them. I was thinking the melting of the rings together as a symbol of our marriage and I would have the diamonds set in it. Also, the bracelet is a still a circle like the symbolic rings.

    • runawaywidow says:

      Sounds nice. I did bring mine to a jeweler thinking they could melt them into something new and was told they can’t do that. I hope you find someone who will.

  18. Tammy Sanders says:

    My husband passed suddenly also. I wore my ring for about 6 months. I turned my ring into a pair of diamond earrings, which I wear every day and the main diamond into a necklace. His ring still sits in drawer and I am going to pass on to my son when he marries. My sincere condolences on your loss.

  19. Cynthia Kipp says:

    My mother recently passed away from COVID. She always wore her wedding ring and my father’s around her neck on a change. I had saved some flowers from my fathers casket and my mother’s, which I have dried, and am planning to secure them in a shadow box with the rings and pictures. That way my children will have something to pass on.

  20. Loretta says:

    My dear husband of 26 years died March 2020 of cancer. I wear his ring on my middle finger of my left hand next to mine. Our gold bands have the same design he chose so many years ago. I really believe I won’t ever take them off. It brings me great comfort to look at both of them together like we always where.
    😇❤️
    I do enjoy your post. Blessings to you.

    • runawaywidow says:

      That’s wonderful that your husband’s ring fits on your finger and has the same design. It must look beautiful and give you such comfort. Thanks for reading!

  21. Eugenia Lutes says:

    When my husband of 54 years passed I chose not to wear them for fear of losing them somehow. Now they sit on a shelf in the living room in a picture frame. I got a special pretty frame and then added the rings with crafting design of rhinestones, lace, and ribbon holding the rings together. It is beautiful and a joy to walk by and see every day. I have given permission for one of the great grand kids to take apart and use some day.

    • runawaywidow says:

      What a wonderful idea. I love that you see it everyday and of course will let a family member one day use the rings. I still wear my grandmother’s ring and plan to leave it to a girl in my family – a granddaughter or a niece ❤️

  22. Sylvia says:

    I worked for a jeweler many years and he would reshape wedding rings into hearts so they could be worn on a chain……beautiful remembrance!

  23. April says:

    I wear my husband’s ring on my middle finger on my right hand.

    • runawaywidow says:

      That is so nice that it fits. I am sure it brings you comfort. Thanks for your comment.

  1. March 15, 2018

    […] I started my blog when I decided to “runaway” by myself to Thailand and write stories about my trip to share with family and friends.  I enjoy writing and have received such supportive feedback this year so I kept writing about big and small travels and adventures.  I even shared some challenges like when I misplaced my husband’s wedding ring. […]

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