Yesterday I took off my wedding ring.
I wasn’t ready but I had a minor medical procedure done (all is well) and it needed to be removed. So off it went. Vance’s ring, too. (I’ve been wearing his on my right hand since my sister took it off his body in the ER and handed it to me. I’ve always had giant man hands, so it fits.)
Yesterday I felt naked.
I know that there is no right time to stop wearing your wedding ring after your spouse dies. Days, weeks, months, years, never. All are legit options. But that hasn’t stopped me from wondering when the right time is. It hasn’t stopped me from asking at least two widowed friends when they stopped wearing theirs.
I guess for me, the answer is not yet. Yes, my vows were “until death do us part,” and I know that I’m no longer legally, or even scripturally, bound to Vance, but I still feel married. I can’t really explain that.
It’s likely that one day the rings will come off. Maybe they’ll go in a drawer. Maybe I’ll have them remade into a new piece of jewelry. Maybe one of my kids will want them just as they are. That remains to be seen.
But on that day something will have changed in me. I don’t yet know what that will feel like but I do know that it won’t mean that I will love Vance less. It will not negate the twenty plus years we spent loving each other. It will simply mean I am moving forward. One small step at a time.
Just not today.