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The little things are going to be the hardest
I just went to my Facebook page, and realized another little trauma that I'll have to deal with eventually. I've been putting off removing my wedding ring -- I'll have to eventually (maybe after the Memorial Service), but that's *hard*. And now I realize that someday I'm going to have to change my FB Relationship Status to "single". I'm honestly unsure which of those is going to be more difficult. There are dangers in being sensitive to symbolism, and both of these are powerful symbols -- one very classic, one very modern.

(I *am* still having a broadly good week. But the little notes of melancholy still lurk around the edges...)

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You can change it to nothing. Simply remove it. That's what I did.

That's what I did, too, though out of a sense of privacy rather than for any emotional reasons.

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Symbols are important, but the can be used to mean exactly what you want them to. Losing my wedding ring and running around without it didn't make me unmarried. Wearing yours for as long as you darn well feel like it (and no longer) is perfectly appropriate.

You stopped being married for a while?!? Dang! Why don't people *tell* me these things? Oh, yeah, right. Because it would be a bad idea.

I've been putting off removing my wedding ring -- I'll have to eventually (maybe after the Memorial Service)

My uncle took his off on the yahrzeit of his wife's death. I think somehow it helps to have some sort of symbolic day for it.

I am a year ahead of you, and I still choose to wear my rings. That is a personal decision. You should remove rings and change status only if and when you are ready to do so.

Someone else of the Club No One Wants to Join told me about WidowNet.org. I hope it may be helpful to you.

Take care, and be good to yourself.

You will know when it's right.

For right now, it sounds like you should still wear the ring. Perhaps at some point, you'll want to wear it on a chain around your neck, instead of on your finger. Like others here are saying, it's best to listen to yourself. I think you're introspective enough to know when it's time for each transition.

Re: You will know when it's right.

Or switch hands. But as other have said, when it feels right.

I don't know if you have addressed this or not, but you can also 'freeze' her FB page. The page says up as a memorial, but there won't be any automated FB prompts in her name. I did this for my aunt a few years ago, so that there would be no possibility of identity theft or "suggest friends for' prompts in her name. You just send an obit or other proof to FB.

I changed my status to "widowed."

A bunch of people have provided good advice that I agree with. I just wanted to point out that if there weren't those little notes of melancholy, I'd worry about you a lot more. Don't wallow in it; don't ignore it or reject it; seek and accept support when you need it; you seem to be maintaining a good balance.

I pretty much agree with what everyone else has said. I took my wedding ring off at the Irish wake I held on Johan's birthday, which was about 3-1/2 months after he died. It was painful but the symbolism seemed right.

You'll know when you're ready.

You don't HAVE to do either of those things. While you might be legally single or something, your heart seems to tell you that you're still married. When you're ready to say goodbye for real, you'll say goodbye for real. The rest of it is just walking through the rituals.

Some widowers keep their rings on for years. Grieve as do, not as someone tells you you're "supposed to." And if you find yourself happy during the grieving process, that's fine too. If you find yourself with a sweet memory, enjoy it as much as you like. If a day is a living hell for you, then it's just part of the healing process.

Please don't worry about your pace or style of grieving unless it starts to disturb you. You need to do what you need to do, and when you don't need to anymore, it will let go with remarkable ease.

But please don't worry that people reading your Facebook page will cluck their tongues at you for keeping the word "married" if that's what you are in your heart.

In the meantime, lots of people love you and are praying for you in our own ways.

I went with widowed for my relationship status on Facebook. I plan to keep that until the one year anniversary, and then change it to whatever the state of my current relationship is at the time. Yes, I'm currently in a relationship, but right now I still feel that "widowed" most accurately reflects my feelings.

As for the ring, I had mostly gotten out of the habit of wearing it during the final few months; maybe I was getting myself ready in advance. I still wear the oak leaves and acorns ring sometimes (that's one that Marian had made for me years before we married); that one feels like "honoring our history" rather than proclaiming that I am (or was) married.

After my wife died, I took her wedding ring home with me. In less than three days it disappeared (I suspect the garbage disposal in the sink) and never turned up again. Then, within a couple of days, my own wedding ring disappeared of (apparently) its own volition. These were relatively recent (at the time) 2nd generation wedding rings for us; the originals with which we were married no longer fitting either Harriet or myself. Those two original rings I still have ... and look at from time to time.

While you're mentioning the little things, here's one I noticed - your waks@comcast.net account has the profile name "Jane & Mark Waks." Besides the obvious reasons to change it, it has thrown me off now and again as it shows up in my gmail box as simply "Jane." I thought you'd want to know.

Yeah, that's been pointed out before. Another not-easy one to change, although I'll have to do so sometime in the near future...

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