Death and Your Wedding Ring

by Claire Valenty on January 1, 2011

in Special Occasion - Weddings, Wedding Etiquette

wedding death etiquette

Wedding vows are meant to be held dear until “death do you part”, but, what happens when death so savagely rips away your loved one?  Do you continue to wear your wedding ring?  If so, how long is proper?  Or should you never take it off?  Should you bury the deceased’s wedding ring with them?    In this trying time, we hope the article will be a comfort and help for yourself or someone else you know in need of a little direction.

There really is no “right” time to take off your wedding ring after the death of your spouse.  You may have to take it off immediately because the sight of it causes too much pain.  Or, you may feel the opposite – that to take it off even years after your spouse’s death would be a violation on your part.

If you do feel that you are able to remove your ring, you may not want to remove it completely.  Wearing it around your neck on a chain is a common way to symbolic keep your spouse close.  If you are ready to remove your ring completely, you might feel like displaying it somewhere in your bedroom or anywhere in your house where you might catch a glimpse of it and smile, remembering your spouse and your treasured memories.  The point here is not to cause you pain, though, so, if the memories cause you more hurt than comfort, you might want to consider hiding the ring away in a jewelry box or closet.

As for the deceased’s wedding ring, there are some pros and cons regarding burying the ring with them or not.  Burying the ring with them is symbolically the best gesture – that ring was created for them and them alone and represents a great love.  It should be with them in their eternal rest.  On the other hand, the band could be kept by those living as a symbol of the same love; even being passed on to children as an heirloom.  In the end, the final decision rests with the surviving spouse and what they feel most comfortable with.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Robine Obrien August 5, 2018 at 11:39 pm

My husband and I had crafted claddah bands and we used stones out of my grandmother wedding band. My husbands wish was to be cremated therefore I did not include his band, we had no children together, he had only two daughters both of which disliked me and our marriage. So , being a beautiful wide band, I had I jeweler flatten the band and craft it into a bracelet. Now my beloved husbands band need not lay in a box put away, I can wear it and always feel the love my husband and I shared.

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