Note: This was originally posted in April 2013 at FHA stands for “Fun Has Arrived”, my husband’s self-given nickname.

Last week, I moved my wedding band from my left ring finger to my right ring finger. For many, this may not be a big deal, but for me it was. It was a decision I have not taken lightly. A wedding ring is a symbol of love and commitment.

There is no set “time” to stop wearing a wedding ring. In fact, some widows wear them on their left hand for the rest of their lives. Others will wear it on a chain around their neck. Still others will melt it down and create another piece of jewelry or put it away in a safe place for posterity. On the other hand (no pun intended), I remember a widow telling me the ring she wore BROKE, like, split. She saw that as a message from her husband. Some feel not wearing a wedding ring means a widow/er is ready to date. Um, no. There is no set protocol or time frame. Thank heavens.

This part of widowhood has been a very interesting, ponderous experience for me. The decision to remove my wedding ring was something that has been coming to my mind for a while. At first I thought, “No! I am going to wear this ring, right here, for a L O N G time! I am still married to FHA because my religious beliefs are he and I will be married after this life. I will not remove this ring!” As time passed, I kept feeling that there would be a time when I would switch hands. I thought, “Maybe at the one (or two or three) year mark.” I worried about what others may think if I did it, such as, “Wow, she ‘got over’ FHA’s death really fast”. (I will never “get over” his death-the pain isn’t an illness. I am learning to fit it into my life.) or that somehow my love for FHA is less now that he is gone.

After much thought, I found changing hands is one way I continue to reconcile FHA’s death in my mind and heart. I will always love FHA and he was and will remain a huge part of my life. But as FHA has reminded me, I have a new life now. This hand change is symbolic of my decision to follow his advice and “Get Living”. I don’t know all the whys, but I feel it is what I need to do now.