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Widowed: What to Do with Your Wedding Ring After the Death of a Spouse

When you lose your spouse, it can be hard to decide what you want to do with your wedding ring. Keep reading to learn more about different options to choose from.

The death of a beloved spouse is without doubt, one of the most challenging and unimaginable experiences one may face in their lifetime.  Having to process the grief and pain may require  an immense amount of time, and a lot of loving support from family and friends. When you think about the enormity of that level of grief, you may not immediately fathom just how many hard decisions a surviving  spouse will be faced with after their loved one has passed away. There will be burial decisions to be made, a lot of legal paperwork to fill out, financial decisions and many other considerations.  One of the decisions that will inevitably arise is determining what to do with your wedding ring after the death of your spouse.

Here at Trust & Will, we know that it can be hard to determine what the best course of action will be when deciding what to do with your wedding ring, especially when you are already struggling with grief and the adjustment of having to live without them. That is why we have put together a list of options to consider when deciding what to do with your wedding ring.

Keep reading to learn more about the following options you could choose from:

Continue to Wear It

A common option when deciding what to do with your wedding ring after your spouse's death is to continue to wear it in their honor. For many, it can be a form of comfort to continue wearing your wedding ring. Often that ring is a reminder of the love and memories you shared with your spouse.

There are a few other ideas that you can think about if you choose to continue wearing your wedding ring after the death of your spouse. The first being to continue to wear it on your ring finger. For many, it is hard to grapple with the fact that you have become a widow, and continuing to wear your wedding ring on your ring finger until you are ready to remove it can often be the best option. You may even find that you choose to never remove it from your ring finger, which is completely up to you. There is no timeline and no instructions when it comes to grieving. Do what brings you comfort.

If you choose to no longer want to wear your wedding ring on your ring finger, you might consider wearing it on another finger, perhaps on the ring finger of your right hand instead of your left. This will allow you to keep the ring close at all times. You can also choose to wear your wedding ring as a necklace on a chain, once again, allowing you to keep the ring close at all times over your heart. 

Bury It

One option that you may want to consider when deciding what to do with your wedding ring is to bury it. There are many options that you can choose when deciding to bury it, but one of the most common will be to choose to bury it with your spouse who has passed away. This will allow you to leave a piece of yourself with your loved one, even within their grave. Leaving it with your spouse can be a wonderful way to commemorate your years of love and marriage together by keeping both of your wedding rings together as a symbol of your love for them. 

Another option is choosing to bury your wedding ring in a location that is significant to your relationship and love for one another. This would also give you an opportunity to revisit locations that are close to your heart. 

One final option that is not quite a burial but has the same significance is to let your wedding ring go out in the ocean as a form of remembrance and release. By burying/releasing your wedding ring, you are allowing yourself a chance to let go of your grief and gain closure over the death of your spouse. 

Pass It on

For many, even if they choose to no longer want to wear their ring, they may still want to hold on to it and keep it within the family, as it holds a special place in your heart and carries with it many memories. If this is the case for you, consider passing on the ring to your children or grandchildren as an heirloom within the family. This can bring comfort to you, as you know that the ring will be kept in good hands, as well as allow you to share the love that the ring symbolizes, with another.

Another route you can choose to take when passing on your wedding ring is gifting it to your child or grandchild to use as their wedding ring, whether it be your daughter or your soon to be daughter-in-law. This heartfelt gesture can bring you comfort knowing that the ring will continue to be used to symbolize the love spouses have for one another. 

Keep It in a Safe Location

For many, it is possible that although you no longer wish to wear your wedding ring, you are not ready to pass it on, or bury it. For you, the best option will be to continue to keep it within a safe location. For example, you could store it within a box you keep for items that are close to your heart. You could also consider creating a memory box for your spouse, in which you keep items that remind you of them or were important to them and, include your wedding ring. It could also be valuable to keep this memory box within a visible spot in your home, where you will be able to view the items and keep them close. 

Becoming a widow and grieving the death of a spouse is an incredibly challenging time filled with an ever-changing range of emotions from shock to deep sadness, denial, anger, and depression - to name just a few. We understand how immeasurable this weight of grief can feel, which is why we want to do what we can to lighten this heavy burden. 

Many couples turn to us to plan in advance for their future together, and apart. Creating an Estate Plan is one way that couples can address the emotional heaviness that follows the death of a spouse. Within an Estate Plan, couples can decide in advance how they’d like to handle wedding rings, be it their own, or the ring once worn by their beloved spouse. Deciding on these personal matters together in advance can keep the surviving spouse from having to second-guess their spouse’s preferences might have been. With a customized  online estate planning service like Trust & Will, it is easier than ever before to create your custom Estate Plan that will include all of your personal preferences.

Don’t wait until it is too late. Get started today!