Should you still do this after your partner has passed?

I was with a friend recently when they discussed wedding rings and how secretly they wish they didn’t have to
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I was with a friend recently when they discussed wedding rings and how secretly they wish they didn’t have to wear one. The subject turned to death and I then pondered aloud about why my mother had kept her wedding ring on long after my father’s death, whereas my mother-in-law had taken it off straight after my husband’s funeral.

It led to a long discussion about rings and whether or not there’s etiquette and all we could decide was that it’s up to the person, but weren’t sure if society had another view on the topic.

Many websites offer varying opinions, with Life After Loss saying that “One of the significant questions, dilemmas and decisions a widow/er has to face is when to take off the wedding ring”.

The wedding ring is a symbol of commitment til death do you part, however does that mean that you have to show it through wearing the ring?

“Many widowed people still feel married long after the death of their spouse. Many still use the ‘we’ pronoun in conversations and reference. Moving on and dating can be the last thing on their mind.

Taking off the wedding ring can be difficult because it can be that dose of reality that your spouse is truly gone and the marriage is over. That dose of reality that you are alone. That dose of reality that you have to make it”.

Other suggestions of what to do with the ring includes:

  • Continue to wear it
  • Move the rings to your right hand
  • Turn into another piece of jewellery
  • Attach the rings to a chain and wear around your neck
  • Pass on to your children

We want to know about your experience today: When is the right time to take off the wedding ring and move on after the death of a loved one? Is there one?

Originally published here.

  1. If my husband passed before me I would never take my ring off and he says the same, neither of us would want another relationship, we have both had the best

    • I will not take mine off either and 4 plus years later have also wear his wedding ring too.

      • Patti Moore  

        I wear mine and my late hubbys ring. For ever. To each his own.

      • Io. I totally agree Kate. Same here. It reminds me that he is still in my heart.

    • I am divorced and believe this is not up to ‘society’ etiquette or anyone else to dictate what a widow/er ‘should’ do… their business!!

    • Beverly that is exactly how I feel we had a special relationship. I have my prince. my beloved has been now 6 months miss him so much.

  2. l believe it depends on the person, some have great relationships some have good and some just plain tolerate and do the right thing as they perceive, l believe this area is entirely personal, and they be the only ones who really knew what their relationship was like, so one size does not fit all

  3. Past wind?
    A test?
    Passed what?
    Do you mean died?
    If you do say so.
    So stupid a term

    • I think it’s the more modern way of saying someone has died and I think it’s not as harsh as saying my husband died, I much prefer to say “passed”

    • Patrick it is quite a common saying passed over
      There is really no reason to denigrate people who use it. If you don’t like it dont respond

    • It is America. So by definition empty of meaning
      Death is harsh and we will all die
      It is a silly stupid euphemism
      But if you feel you need to use this Term fine.

      • Leah Jones  

        I agree with you Patrick. No-one has passed anywhere or anything – they have died. We westerners are terrified of the thought of death, and some can’t bring themselves to speak of it, other than in euphemisms. Quite honestly I feel that to be very sad – once born the only guarantee in life is that we will die – there is nothing wrong with that at all . . . . it is the way of all life. We should see more dead people, learn more about death, and consequently feel less fear. Of course, there is no reason not to use words that one feels comfortable with, but I really believe that to call things by their real name is somewhat more truthful, and something I feel more comfortable with.

    • Fair enough.
      I thought I was talking about the term
      Not the people. I would never do that
      Just creeping Americanisms

      • Jen Shaw  

        Patrick, The term passed away or passed over is also used in many other countries including Australia. It is a much more gentle way of saying some one is dead. For those still grieving the loss of a loved one, it helps to soften the reality of death.Please be kind to people, don’t judge them for using a term you obviously have no use for.

    • I have
      Father mother
      Brother friends etc
      So I think passes is childish
      You think it is fine. So use it. Kathryn Enright

      • so you haven’t lost a long term wife or even a child feel sorry that you haven’t felt close enough to miss them

    • Not in the slightest Lyndl
      Just not a fan a silly euphemisms
      They seem a bit weird. But not at all bitter.
      Do you use euphemisms?
      Why do you use them?
      It is hard to deal with death. Do they help
      Lyndl Graham

    • Depends on the situation and to whom I am speaking. Much nicer to say sorry so and so passed away to particular people. One is usually aware of how to speak to different people do they are not offended

    • Really true
      Judge not.
      You thought I was saying bad things about people. I never would. I was saying we should not use euphemisms. They hide the truth I think. We have lost a loved one because they have died . If you say a person has died it helps to face the truth. Passed ?
      What does it mean?
      So Susie York was making a false judgement.
      But does it mean much? Probably not.

    • How did we manage in the past?
      We just said dead. The euphemism passed
      Is a new American terms. Lyndl Graham.
      If you don’t believe me, look it up.

      • Epass away,
        to cease; end: All this trouble will pass away.
        to die: He passed away during the night.
        He died of a heart attack.
        Proper English . Nothing to do with Ametican, English, Asian or fear. Nothing new, just good grammar!

    • William B. McGregor – 2015 – Language Arts & Disciplines
      Euphemisms are indirect or evasive expressionsused toavoid direct mention of … Afewexamples are: pass awayand gotosleep for’die’; bathroom(American English ) … man’, was used asa euphemism for someone whose jobis toburythe dead.

    • pass away,
      to cease; end: All this trouble will pass away.
      to die: He passed away during the night.
      He ‘died’ of a heart attack .
      Proper English . Nothing to do with American, English, Asian or fear. Nothing new just good grammar!

    • Passed has come from America
      When I first lived in Australia people said died
      Valerie Drago
      Point is euphemisms are ways of not saying

    • John Reid  

      The only problem I think, Patrick, is that you didn’t express yourself as well as you might with your first comment. As you say, we die.
      My wife died three years ago after years of illness. I will die. You will die. We will all die. Death is a natural part of life and there is nothing to be afraid of, least of all the word itself. At 75, I may or may not be nearer to death than, say, a 60-y.o. It does not bother me, one way or the other because I am accepting of it. I think many are not so accepting and try to soften the meaning or the sense of death by using ‘passed’ in lieu of the actual word. If that is so, then I guess they will continue to do so. It must remain their decision.

    • I personally like the expression passed away rather than died because I do believe that when someone dies their spirit passes on to another place rather than dying.

    • Pamela  

      I agree, Patrick!
      My husband DIED in ’93; my Mum DIED a few weeks ago.
      They are DEAD until their resurrections.
      Can’t understand why people in general say ‘passed’!

  4. I have had my husbands ring moulded into mine as it was quite thin and now wear them both. Cant imagine ever taking them off and im only 62.

  5. when my husband was alive i only wore my wedding ring when i went out. now that he has died i never wear it. i do not like rings on my fingers .my husband did not care if i wore it said a ring does not make a marriage .

  6. Would depend on age to a degree. A younger person may decide after a time they are ready for a new relationship so taking the ring off shows they are available. Some people continue to wear a wedding ring after divorce.So it really is an individual choice.

  7. I dont believe there is a “right’ time. I still wear mine, in fact I also wear his on my right hand. People know I am a widow, I make no bones about that. My marriage didnt end – his life did. I dont feel the need to reconsider wearing my wedding ring – I might think differently if I meet someone else – but until then I dont care what anyone thinks, nor do I care about any etticquette anyone might like to impose.

    • I am doing the same Liz wearing his on my left and still wearing mine. He gave me his when he got so thin it kept falling off his finger. Miss him so much we will always be married.

    • My sentiments too!! I am still married sadly his life ended not our marriage. I had his wedding ring re sized and added the diamonds from my mams engagement ring as my wedding ring too tight! Intend to make a pendant out of mine!

    • I am doing the same. My wedding ring was a double ring, worn either side of my engagement ring….a 70’s thing I guess. I wear my husband’s wedding ring on my left middle finger as it is a little loose and feels safer and more comfortable there. I have no plans to take off either. Not looking to meet anyone else . My husband’s life ended, not our marriage. I don’t think there is any specific time, all up to the individual.

    • Same, have his on my right, had to get it resized though. Wouldn’t be able to get mine off anyway…..

    • I continue to wear my wedding ring and wear my late husband’s ring in the middle finger of my left hand, four years on from his death. My wedding ring has not been off in 48 years.

    • Will always be married
      In fact when people asked me when I first moved in to this village was I? I quickly said I’m married
      We all must do and say what we want to cope with these new Firsts
      Wish you all well for 2016

  8. No Etiquette ,life goes on for either one that lives so whatever feels right ,on or off that’s ok .memories are all that are left anyway being truthful !! not all marriages to death do us part are wonderful ! so everything that you decide male or female is ok …

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