I read a piece on the BBC website about what divorced people do with their wedding rings once they separate and divorce. The link is here and it’s an interesting read, mainly because it gives an insight into how other people deal with divorce, separation and all that goes with it. Something I’m still struggling with a bit myself.
I’m a bit of a collector of random things that have significance, little things that remind me of good times. Bus and train tickets, restaurant bills, airline tickets. Those sort of things. Stuff. I have a shoe box. At least I did.
When clearing my stuff out of my old house I got rid of my shoebox. I think I thought it was a way of moving on. Plus, to be honest, it was just a lot of randomness which had meaning to me but to no-one else. Well, maybe one other person. But they mean nothing to that person any more. It’s not like we could sit down and look over these things over a glass of wine and remember the good times. That’s not how we roll nowadays.
Stuff. And ss John Lennon did sing ‘when you’re dead, you don’t take nothing with you but your soul’
But a wedding ring? Some people are buried with theirs on.
When mine was put on my finger? A small band of precious metal. With the emphasis on the precious.
It felt amazing. And not because it was an amazing day surrounded by friends and fun. It’s because it meant something. Some THING. Something real. Something lasting. Something fucking important.
This wedding ring. Could I get rid of it? Chuck it into the sea or down a drain like others have done? That sounds like a pretty brutal act to me. Plus, a bit of a waste of money.
When I wore my wedding ring, in times of stress or confusion, I used to turn it round on my finger. My thumb would reach into my palm and up to the bottom of my ring finger, and I’d turn it around in an anticlockwise direction. It had a Celtic design on it and I’d look at all the little sections. The bit that had a little bit of plaster filler from a DIY moment, which I couldn’t remove, would turn 360 degrees. This was comforting. I felt it was a kind of link. When all was shit I had this connection to someone and it made me feel better. More able.
But no more. I have nothing else to play with in times of stress, and in public I can’t play with THAT can I? Not after the last time.
I’ve often wondered what I should do with my wedding ring now it’s not on my finger but, as my ex-wife bought them it should really be down to her to decide. It was expensive so throwing it into the sea isn’t really an option. She’d divorce me if I did that.
Is it something that we should show the kids at some point? ‘Look, here’s a symbol of something. A thing that didn’t work’.
Yeah, I’m having a blue day today, as if you didn’t know.
Or should we leave it. After all, some day they’ll find it. A thing for them to look back on when we’re both dead. I wonder what will happen. ‘Wow. This is Dad’s wedding ring. Wonder if it fits me? Wow. Didn’t he have chubby fingers?’
Or will there be silence, a moment recognised by both of them, followed by a sigh.
My ex-wife has it now. Sitting on a bookshelf. Not sure what’ll happen to it. It’s up to her.
I miss it. It was the only thing I always wore. I never took it off. Apart from when I had emergency arsehole surgery. It never came off. I miss it because of what it meant once, because it was always there and because I loved it.
But. It’s only a thing isn’t it? Albeit a thing that meant something immense and magical for a while. A symbol of having and holding, but now of once having and of letting slip through your fingers.
But essentially a symbol of love.
I hope my children look at it one day, when we’re well buried and food for worms, and think something positive. Think of something good. Think of what love was there.
Like I do. Sometimes. Without any receipts, bus tickets or jewellery to remind me of the good times.
It’s all up here. *Points to here*
Have you heard any interesting stories about what people have done with theirs after a separation or divorce? Do they sit in a drawer gathering drawer dust? Do people still wear them? Do people bother buying them for each other any more?
Oh. and thanks for reading.