Mind, it wasn't a sudden decision. After the first anniversary of Jane's death back in January, I had decided that it was getting to be time -- I'll always miss her, but I have to let go of the mourning. But that raised a very simple and practical problem: the ring was well and truly *stuck*.
It wasn't a total surprise, and was entirely natural. I got married just shy of 25 years ago, and probably haven't taken the ring off in the past 15. Since the ring was sized, I've probably gained 40-50 pounds. (While never precisely thin, I was in very good shape in college.) So my fingers are simply a bit pudgier than they used to be: distressing, but to be expected.
I *was* a bit surprised at how challenging it was, though: it used to be easy enough to remove that I hadn't thought much about it. But even lotions and things couldn't do much for it: there was just too much flesh there.
Eventually, I went down to Long's, to ask them to remove it, and was surprised to be informed that they don't do that sort of thing any more. Their recommendation was to go to either the ER or Fire Station to have it cut off my finger, but I found those pretty distressing options. It's one thing to have it removed by the jeweler who sold it to us in the first place, but from a ceremonial POV, the idea of having my ring chopped off with firemen's emergency equipment (and likely doing it a good deal of damage in the process) didn't sit well with me.
Fortunately, Aaron came through with a strange-sounding but successful method involving, of all things, dental floss. He pointed out a YouTube video for training EMTs to deal with it; I took that as my manual. The summary is that you take a long string of floss, and thread a bit of it under the ring. Then you basically mummify the finger pretty tightly in the floss, winding it around many times, and then unwind it from the other side. The process hurts like hell -- you're basically cutting off your circulation for a couple of minutes while you do it, and it bites into the skin a bit -- but it worked exactly as described for me. It leverages the ring off the finger, a millimeter at a time, but it comes off pretty much as quickly as you can unwind it.
(Note that this won't work for every situation -- in particular, I suspect that if the problem is the knuckbones you're simply out of luck. But in a case like mine, where it's just an issue of a bit too much flesh, it works surprisingly well.)
And now, I have a well-dented slot on my finger -- a bit pale, with well-defined edges. That'll go away soon enough, but I suspect that my habit of spinning the ring around my finger will take longer.
But it's off, and without damage, which is a real comfort. I've laced it onto a gold chain that I've had for many years, and stuck it away safely; I expect I'll put that on when occasion and ceremony suggest it. One more step towards building my new life: not an easy one, but I'm glad to have gotten a good resolution to it...