Grief journey

My Ring Ceremony – Latest Blog on the Hope for Widows Site

… And with that realization, came the decision that it’s time to remove the symbol of our marriage, the beautiful ring that he ceremoniously placed on my left hand so many years ago. To me, continuing to wear the ring is a symbol that I am currently a married woman, a woman who has a living, breathing husband who shares my life. A man who’s there with me, experiencing my daily joys and sorrows. A man who responds when I talk to him, and not just the imagined words I hear only in my head.

Not everyone feels the same. Many, many widows have told me they will always wear their ring, that they are married forever and the ring is symbolic of that. After seeking out opinions and looking through grief support groups and advice blogs in search of options for how to handle my own wedding ring, I found several possibilities: wearing it on a chain around my neck, putting the diamond into a new setting or making into a widow’s ring, redesigning it into a brooch or pin, or putting it into a special box. For now, I’ve simply decided the right option for me is to move the ring from my left hand to the right. At this stage, I consider the ring a symbol of my past life. But I also feel that it’s important to make the act of removing it somehow significant. There was a ceremony when he put the ring on my finger. Why isn’t there any type of ceremony for the day I take it off?

Read the blog on the Hope for Widows website.

About the author

Katherine Billings Palmer is a technical writer, poet, and essayist from Garden City, Michigan. She’s won several academic writing awards, including first place in the University of Michigan Dearborn Critical Essay Contest for her work about poet John Donne: “‘The Sun Rising’: A Lover’s Boast.”

In 2017, Katherine’s husband, Rick, died of complications from small cell lung cancer. She wrote a series of poems and essays about her struggles to cope with her grief. I Wanted to Grow Old With You is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

Her latest book, A Widow’s Words: Grief, Reflection, Prose, and Poetry – The First Year was published in January 2019 and is also available on

Katherine is a guest blogger for the Hope for Widows Foundation and writes about her grief journey at

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