Saturday, April 24, 2010

One Step Forward

one step forward, two steps back
Originally uploaded by

On April 13th, 7 months to the day, my wedding ring travelled seven fingers to the right, and landed on the equivalent finger on my right hand. On April 21st, the anniversary of our meeting, my wedding ring travelled seven fingers back to my left. Tonight it sits here next to my laptop, trying to find it's place.

I have never been one to wear any jewelry. I don't own a watch, and other than my wedding ring, prior to getting married, I never wore a ring. So why have I continued to wear it? I know that I was very proud to wear the right when we got married. It came to symbolize so much, as wedding rings usually do. Aside from the usual meaning, it reminded me of an enjoyable trip Michael and I had in Provincetown, a couple of years ago. I had to travel to Maine on business, so we decided to make a vacation out of the trip. I left on my business itinerary, and Michael and our son, Remy, met me at the Boston Airport. The three of us had a great time together, the highlight of which was to shop for our wedding bands.

Michael's wedding ring sits among the small treasures that makes up the alter like display in front of his urn. For a short time I wore both rings, but soon decided it was overly burdensome. With my recent choice to try moving my ring off of my ring finger, I came to realize that perhaps, in a small way, I am trying to hold onto something that no longer exists. What exactly would that be? I think maybe it was my attempt to still feel married. A nice secure thought, but likely motivated out of insecurity.

The fact of the matter is, that I am no longer married. I am either single, or widowed, but definitely not married. So why do I continue with this dance of the traveling wedding ring? I think it is time to return to me, and what I am most comfortable with. No ring. Besides, it will likely give me more comfort to see my ring along side Michael's on the bookshelf. They symbolize our union, so let them be joined amongst the small treasures.

This doesn't need to be seen as a big step, or a monumental decision. It's just where I am today. Today I want to feel like I am, once again, moving forward. Lately I have been caught in the two steps back mode, so one step forward is refreshing.


  1. I wore my wedding rings for about a year - I think they gave me security to face the outside world. But then I realized I wasn't married and felt stronger/comfortable in not wearing them. When I reached the point where I wanted to start dating again (New Year's resolution) I bought a sweet ring with my birthstone and a lovely ring in white and yellow intertwined gold to symbolize my desire to form a new union to wear on my left ring finger. Now I'm on the search for a new ring for this new period of my life. I saw a pretty, inexpensive one in the Signals catalog.

    Although you don't care to wear rings, your recent tattoos symbolize your growth and life changes. This is a good post topic because I do believe that the little steps we take in regard to how we present ourselves to the world do demonstrate that some significant inner work/healing has taken place and that is a step forward. It is also worth noting that these are decisions we are making solely for ourselves, not based on someone else or the past. And I think all of us need to focus more on our own needs.

  2. You may decide to put the ring back on for a day or a week or to not wear it again. After all these years I sometimes put my rings back on my right hand - especially when I need some extra "mojo" in my life. Your choice and removing the wedding ring is a significant step forward on the grief journey. All on your time schedule and your heart. Love and light.....

  3. This is an issue that I am starting to struggle with and I appreciate your point of view on the topic. I haven't taken off my engagement or wedding ring since Austin died because I still felt married and it made me feel secure in the crazy world of grief. But lately I'm feeling like a bit of a fraud, as I start to feel less married and more single. I wonder if people are judging me still wearing my rings - not that I really care but I do wonder about it. Somedays I think I will never take them off, and other days, I think I am close to putting them away. I guess when the time is right, I'll know it in my heart.

    By the way, I love the pictures at the beginning of each of your posts! I've been meaning to tell you that for a long time now, and I finally remembered. Interesting pictures!