When Things Are All You Have Left

Today I lost my husband’s wedding ring. I am grieving this loss and reliving the moment when I lost him. That ring is not just a ring to me. If I had lost my husbands wedding band and he were still alive I would feel awful, but it would be just a ring. A very special ring, but just a ring. But he’s not here and it’s not just a ring. It’s one of the few things I have left of him. It wasn’t just a ring. It isn’t just a ring. There will never be another ring to be worn on his finger. That ring was his. He wore it every single day since the day we were married. Two years, nine months, eight days. He wore it every single day, I don’t think he ever took it off. And since the day of his funeral when the ring was returned to me, I wore it on my finger. Every single day since it was given to me. I never took it off. I played with it on my finger a lot, but I never took it off. And now today it is gone. And it’s like losing him all over again. It gave me comfort to wear his ring. It was like I was carrying a part of him with me. Kind of like a security blanket, I just knew that having that ring kept him with me in some way. And I know that most people will tell me that he is with me with or without the ring, but those people don’t know. When you lose someone, when the person you love dies, all you have left of them in the physical world is their things. And maybe one day it will become true that I don’t need his physical things, but right now I still do. Because the physical world is the only place that we, as people, are experienced in living. And when someone you love dies, when the person you shared your life and your world with is gone… You suddenly find yourself holding onto them in ways that even you can’t understand. And it takes practice. And it’s hard. It is so hard. Learning to live without the one you love is excruciating and trying. It starts out as a constant struggle to simply keep from drowning. And as time goes on you get a little better at keeping your head above water, but every once in a while a wave hits and pulls you back under.

Today this wave hit me. And I am sitting in my living room amid all of my things hoping to God that this ring will miraculously show up in front of me. Maybe it will be found, maybe it won’t. Tonight I will cry. I will let it be ok to cry myself to sleep and wake up in the morning and cry some more. My daughter will see me cry and she will hurt for her mommy, but she will be ok. And I will be ok. I will piece myself back together on another day. For tonight, though, I’m not ok. Tonight I’m broken.


Published by

Becky Nolan

I a widowed mom to my young daughter. I lost my husband suddenly at the age of 29, leaving me with a one year old child to raise on my own. I live in Connecticut, where I met, married, and lost the man that I am still proud to call my husband. Every day I struggle. Every day I learn. Every day I am grateful for the time I had with him, and for the little girl he gave me before he left. I have found comfort and healing in writing. I have found purpose in sharing my story, knowing that so many others have been through it, too. Knowing that everyone has experienced loss and struggle. Words can be healing when they come from that deeply honest place within the soul. Grief is too lonely a road to walk alone, so I aim to give comfort and company on that lonely road.

7 thoughts on “When Things Are All You Have Left”

  1. I’m so sorry, Becky. I hear you and completely understand. I am wearing my wife’s ring on the gold necklace that I once gave her. Just thinking about losing the ring makes me feel panicky. Sgivo often I need to touch the ring because feeling it gives me a feeling of connection. I’ve been wearing her T-shirts almost every day since she passed (December 20, 2015) as well as a zip-up sweater. Now that it has gotten hot I can’t wear the sweater anymore and every day I don’t it feels like I am missing another part of her. Take good care.

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  2. I completely understand your reaction to this yet another loss. I too wore my husbands ring when it was given to me at the funeral. I woke up one morning and it was gone. I was devastated to say the least. I asked God and Tom, my husband why they didn’t want me to have it. I cried so intently my children worried and helped to look but couldn’t find it. The next day I sat on the edge of my bed and cried. For some reason I felt like I needed to check my closet. There laying on the side of a wooden hanger was Tom’s ring. I felt like he saw my anguish and pain and helped me to find it. I will pray you find your husbands ring also. I know how important it is to you and how things like this are how we keep that connection we so desperately need. Bless you…

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  3. I am so sorry. I have worn my husband’s ring since the day he passed away(11/12/15). I wear it on the same finger as my wedding band and engagement ring because to me it symbolizes our bond and connection and it is a piece of him that I have close to me. I worried about losing his ring and just thinking about that would leave me feeling the loss and pain again as well as panicky. I touch and spin his ring on my finger often and have found myself doing that without realizing I was. Take care and treasure the beautiful gift he gave you; your beautiful daughter.

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  4. In 2016 I lost mymother , a month later her youngest brothat passed . The following April , the baby sister of my family passed . I’m terrified to lean into this pain , it’s horrific every single day . What I did read scared me but at the same time , gave me ideas that may start my healing . I thank you so very much !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tina, you have experienced so many losses back to back to back. What you are going through is so hard to go through! I’m sure it must feel as though (to some extent) that every time you turn around your heart is breaking yet again. I can understand if this starts to bring you anxiety, or if it gets difficult to cope. Do not hesitate to seek out help. Bereavement groups, a grief counselor… whatever you need to help you heal. Follow my blog or my Facebook page if it brings you comfort. Grief can be very scary… but there is no way around it, you have to walk into it. Facing the darkness with the help of a therapist can ease the difficulty and ease the burden to an extent. That can make it feel a little easier.

      I wish you peace and comfort as you navigate your way through this. It’s a difficult journey but you will heal and life won’t always seem so dark and daunting. Thank you for reaching out.


  5. I hope my words don’t come off insensitive or cruel, but the very first thing I felt reading your opening statement that you lost your husband’s wedding ring was that this was his sign to you he wants you to reclaim love. He’s watching you and can hear you, and feel your pain from where he is, and the ring was “taken” from you – if you will permit me – in order to signal you your husband feels it is time for you to remember his love for you and make it the template and benchmark for love from a second man: one he may in fact help you to find.

    I don’t believe in love for myself as it has never happened. I’m in fact suicidal and planning an early departure because of it. But love does work for other people and I have WITNESSED it work. I also experienced the death of my mother. I know for a fact she can see and hear me, and that the dead somehow, in ways science cannot yet explain, live on. They’re not gone from us; they are simply in another room, on another level of consciousness and existence similar to our own but overlaying it like an acetate. From that plane, your eternal husband and soulmate definitely sees you. And you may trust he has read (and perhaps assisted writing) your blog.

    You are not being required to let him go. God forbid, and far from that. Instead, what he hopes you will do is continue to embrace him and his memory in your heart, but make room in that wounded heart for someone new. Many widows and widowers have mysteriously “lost” their spouse’s, or their own former, wedding ring. I have seen it fail to signal a new love brought in by the departed spouse not one time.

    Feel free to disregard any of this that does not resonate. Wish serenity to those of us who never at least had a husband, or even a real boyfriend. At 48, that is me. I will not be here at 50 to be humiliated like this another year. You still have a chance. Seize it. Peace to you.

    Liked by 1 person

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