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This room is for those who have lost a spouse and need support or who can provide support to those who have.

Saint Paula is the patron saint of widows and Saint Stephen is the patron saint of deacons
Learn More: Saint Stephen and Saint Paula

Feb 9th 2013 new

I wore my ring for about four years after David's death. My family and friends encouraged me to take it off. Sometimes it felt like they were hounding me about it. So about two years ago I had my ring melted down into a filigree pendant with the diamond in the middle and wore it on a gold chain every day until a little over a year ago. Now I bring it out every once and a while and wear it. I am very conscious of having no ring on my left hand and wore a ring my godmother had given me for a while. Once I realized that I was really ready to marry again, I put my godmother's ring on my right hand. My left hand feels very strange and is a constant reminder that I really am single. It took me four years to even consider that, but I have now not only considered it but also accepted it. Being single is very strange and sometimes I really don't know what to do. After 34 years of marriage, how does one all the sudden know how to be single?

Feb 9th 2013 new

I didn't plan to take mine off as soon as I did. I ran a marathon one month after Phil died. I usually remove rings when I run because of the swelling. That time I didn't. My fingers swoll and I almost lost my ring finger. I never put it back on. I do wear his KIA bracelet. Unless a person knows what it is, they just assume it is a bracelet.

Feb 9th 2013 new

Thanks for the good discussion everyone. It will be 3 years ago this Easter when my husband died. I absolutely love my ring! I still wear my ring as I feel it is a part of me and I was married for only 7 1/2 years. It is a security issue sometimes. I wear my ring because I have young children and I don't want stares from others or have to explain about where their dad is. I have also seen the Women of Grace shows on EWTN where they talked about taking it off, and I agree it is a very individual and personal issue. I once told myself that I would not take off my ring until I put another wedding ring on it. However, I do know that I do not "look" available with my ring on. Finally this month, I have taken it off for 3 different outings. I did not like the feeling, but made it through! The Lord works in His own timing.

Feb 10th 2013 new

As many have stated, it is a very personal decision and one that may take a few trials until it is comfortable. I've been widowed 11.5 years. My husband's ring was one of the few personal effects I got back after his climbing accident. It was scratched and bent from the impacts and I immediately put it on a chain I was wearing. About 2 years after his death I added my ring to the chain. It fit nicely inside his ring and it felt right to have them together. Now, so many years later the chain and both rings hang on the corner of my favorite picture of my husband and our daughter. The picture was taken the day after she was born and we were gifted her by her birth mother. He is leaning over her and touching noses. There is pure love in his face. She was only 7.5 months when he died so the rings hanging on their picture (which is on my bedroom dresser) is a reminder to her of her father's love. We our blessed by Our Father's love which has gotten us through many valleys.

Feb 10th 2013 new

(Quote) Ray-566531 said: Marge -- you've echoed my thoughts. There comes a time when we think we're ready to go out ...
(Quote) Ray-566531 said:

Marge -- you've echoed my thoughts. There comes a time when we think we're ready to go out and conquer the world again. NOT. Not only do we have to get past the grieving stage, we find ourselves undergoing major renovations -- re-inventing ourselves. That is another process, and it takes time. Jumping back into the dating pool too soon can be conterproductive if we are hoping for a serious relationship. It is probably helpful to start dating for social companionship and to keep ourselves involved.

Comparing one's self a year after the loss of a spouse, then 2 years and so on can be quite revealing. Many changes will have taken place -- some subtle, others major. We need to be capable of standing on our own two feet otherwise we will find it dfficult to be supportive of someone else.

I'm not trying to discourage people from dating, but am emphasizing a healthy perspective on it. Too soon can become too bad. Companionship is helpful and certainly can lead to a meaningful, serious relationship later on.

A key element is to "know thyself."

--hide--


Dating after the loss of a loved one is a very private thing. People think that there is a timeline for grief or for what is acceptable, but only the person walking through the tear shrouded darkness know what is right for them. Each person is different and each journey is separate.

Dating does not minimize or negate a love lost through death. I loved Phil and would still be married to him if he were alive. I truly believed that I would be the one to die first. We talked about me dying first. I wanted Phil to find happiness and love again if that were the scenario, however that is not what happened. Phil was violently ripped from my life, but I stand rooted in confidence of his wants for me because in our last face to face conversation he told me that he wanted me to find love again if he didn’t come home.

Most of you know the story of how his deployment was delayed from 24 December to 111 January due to snowstorms in Europe. He had given me the Goofy Marathon Challenge for Christmas so that he could get through the first little bit of his deployment. When his deployment was delayed, I missed his last weekend at home. I offered to defer my race a year or for him to come with me. He chose neither option telling me to go because he wasn’t going to be good company any way. I went and flew home to CO at 2300 on the 10th. The cab was due to pick him up at 0345. We stayed up all night talking. At 0300, he took a shower and crawled back into bed sopping wet.

His reason was not for what most people assume. He wanted that what if talk. I was having none of it. I joked about Raul the Pool Boy (I do not know any Raul and I certainly have never had a pool boy). I kept changing the subject. Phil became very exasperated. He asked me the one question that I have shared numerous time, “Linda, if you die first, would you want me to be happy?” Well, duh….He told me that is what he wanted for me.

Easier said than done. After Phil died, two things happened. First, colleagues of Phil’s from USAFA (and it does not matter how I know this to be true) started a betting pool as to how long it would take me to date and remarry. I have news for you. You all lost. Some said six months. Really? I guess I surprised you….Second, some mutual married friends either totally severed ties or the men hit on me. I had the Neanderthal from Maryland who told me in a marathon that his wife did not understand him and that he had needs and that I had needs. Throw up. Who says things like that? My moral compass did not change with Phil’s death.

I know widows that date in what seems like a short amount of time. Does it mean that they loved their husbands any less? NO! I know others who stand rooted in the quagmire of loss and indecision. Does it mean that they are wrong? No! The grief process and the decision about whether or not to date is personal. My favorite are the people who want to tell me when to date. I figure it this way. I am not asking or telling. I am trusting God with my life and a chapter two. If I find a chapter two, it no way negates the 25 years of Phil loving me well because I am the woman I am today because he loved me well. If I find a chapter two, someone will be lucky for you see, I know what a good marriage looks like. I know what it is to be better together than apart. I know what it is like to go with the ebbs and flows of a long term love. I know what it is like to have faith be front row and center in a good marriage. I know what it is like to give and to take, but mostly, I know what it is like to be loved well.


Ray, it is personal and the key is to no thyself and to love thyself. The way I look at it is this. I have changed since Phil died. I am stronger than I thought and I have become someone that even I could not have predicted, but I trust God to either give me a chapter two or to take away the loneliness. I am content whatever my lot for it is well, it is well with my soul. Those are not just words to me.

Feb 10th 2013 new

(Quote) Linda-756196 said: Dating after the loss of a loved one is a very private thing. People ...
(Quote) Linda-756196 said:


Dating after the loss of a loved one is a very private thing. People think that there is a timeline for grief or for what is acceptable, but only the person walking through the tear shrouded darkness know what is right for them. Each person is different and each journey is separate.

Dating does not minimize or negate a love lost through death. I loved Phil and would still be married to him if he were alive. I truly believed that I would be the one to die first. We talked about me dying first. I wanted Phil to find happiness and love again if that were the scenario, however that is not what happened. Phil was violently ripped from my life, but I stand rooted in confidence of his wants for me because in our last face to face conversation he told me that he wanted me to find love again if he didn’t come home.

Most of you know the story of how his deployment was delayed from 24 December to 111 January due to snowstorms in Europe. He had given me the Goofy Marathon Challenge for Christmas so that he could get through the first little bit of his deployment. When his deployment was delayed, I missed his last weekend at home. I offered to defer my race a year or for him to come with me. He chose neither option telling me to go because he wasn’t going to be good company any way. I went and flew home to CO at 2300 on the 10th. The cab was due to pick him up at 0345. We stayed up all night talking. At 0300, he took a shower and crawled back into bed sopping wet.

His reason was not for what most people assume. He wanted that what if talk. I was having none of it. I joked about Raul the Pool Boy (I do not know any Raul and I certainly have never had a pool boy). I kept changing the subject. Phil became very exasperated. He asked me the one question that I have shared numerous time, “Linda, if you die first, would you want me to be happy?” Well, duh….He told me that is what he wanted for me.

Easier said than done. After Phil died, two things happened. First, colleagues of Phil’s from USAFA (and it does not matter how I know this to be true) started a betting pool as to how long it would take me to date and remarry. I have news for you. You all lost. Some said six months. Really? I guess I surprised you….Second, some mutual married friends either totally severed ties or the men hit on me. I had the Neanderthal from Maryland who told me in a marathon that his wife did not understand him and that he had needs and that I had needs. Throw up. Who says things like that? My moral compass did not change with Phil’s death.

I know widows that date in what seems like a short amount of time. Does it mean that they loved their husbands any less? NO! I know others who stand rooted in the quagmire of loss and indecision. Does it mean that they are wrong? No! The grief process and the decision about whether or not to date is personal. My favorite are the people who want to tell me when to date. I figure it this way. I am not asking or telling. I am trusting God with my life and a chapter two. If I find a chapter two, it no way negates the 25 years of Phil loving me well because I am the woman I am today because he loved me well. If I find a chapter two, someone will be lucky for you see, I know what a good marriage looks like. I know what it is to be better together than apart. I know what it is like to go with the ebbs and flows of a long term love. I know what it is like to have faith be front row and center in a good marriage. I know what it is like to give and to take, but mostly, I know what it is like to be loved well.


Ray, it is personal and the key is to no thyself and to love thyself. The way I look at it is this. I have changed since Phil died. I am stronger than I thought and I have become someone that even I could not have predicted, but I trust God to either give me a chapter two or to take away the loneliness. I am content whatever my lot for it is well, it is well with my soul. Those are not just words to me.

--hide--
By now, most members are familiar with your tragic situation. Totally unexpected, shocking -- enough to rock your world and then some.

I see differences between the time of your previous participatin here, and now. Hurting is still there and always will be, but you've begun to rebuild your personal life without Phil. It didn't seem as if this was happening previously, at least not to this extent. The time worn cliche, "Time heals" is true -- but you have to allow it to happen. We can't hope to have successful dates if we bring our lost spouses with us. Not that we'll ever remove them from our minds or some of our conversations, but we don't dwell on it to the point it will prevent future relationships.

Indeed -- "know thyself", as I previously stated. "Love thyself" is very important also. Without self-esteem, a person can be headed toward disaster. Some of this is easier said than done, but perhaps the Good Lord has a good plan by having us being alone for awhile. The solitude is sometimes welcomed; the silence allows us to reflect on our lives in a positive way. Who are we? What are we doing here? Where are we headed? Where do we want to be? All of these questions and more can be deliberated upon during quiet reflection. At some point we realize we are alone, but not always lonely. This differs in stages among people -- everyone is different, but the general concept is still there.

We have to get stronger with time, and stand on our own two feet. No one else can do this for us.

Feb 10th 2013 new

a single person meeting a widowed person should show understanding and I cannot see why it should matter whether the ring is on or off. I think a widowed person should take as long as necessary before taking the ring off, if ever.

Feb 10th 2013 new

(Quote) Jane-933948 said: Hi Al I am sorry for your loss as well as everyone here. I watched a show on EWTN with Johnette Be...
(Quote) Jane-933948 said:

Hi Al I am sorry for your loss as well as everyone here. I watched a show on EWTN with Johnette Benkovic and two other widows, they had a week long series on widowhood and she said that the earthly marriage was over and to take it off within a couple of months. I wore mine til I saw the show. Father Sylvia was also on and he said he recommends the same thing. I often visit our rings and miss wearing it. I used to wear both after my husband died. So I suppose it is whatever makes someone comfortable. Grief is a thing of time...different things happen at different times. In your own time.

--hide--
The one thing that is constant in the theme about wearing of wedding rings after losing one's spouse is that it's different for everybody. A lot of people take comfort in continuing to wear their ring, and that's perfectly ok. If the ring becomes a frequent reminder of the unpleasantness of the loss, some careful re-evaluating needs to be done. The sentimentality can be come morbid and keep one from moving on.

Some people place their ring on a different hand, or at least a different finger. If it is a solid band, it might raise questions from others out of their normal human curiosity. A number of women have the ring redesigned in order to keep the stone(s).

There are several women who feel absolutely naked without their ring. A feeling of emptiness invades them. Yet -- it's the emptiness that can be a period of preparation time for being fulfilled again.

In essence, there are no specific rules that dictate how long a widowed person should wear their rings. However, once a person wants to be known as being available, the rings should be removed. Others could easily fear, and jusifiably so, an unending connection with a previous spouse.

When a widowed person is ready to date again (presuming he or she wants to), let common sense prevail.

Feb 10th 2013 new

Very well said Ray!!!

Feb 12th 2013 new

Linda I liked your comments on the timing of when to date. Geri had a chronic illness throughout our marriage. The last 15 months were particularly hard with physical separation, assisted living facility, hospital stays and eventually hospice. I feel like I belong to a subgroup called "Well Spouse Widowed".

One other comment I like to share is that I have learned from you Linda and others on CM already is to say “Geri” vs my old habit of my wife. I wished I knew that earlier as I learned too late to not say my wife in a response to a question in a emotigram.

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