This painting is in my new book. The following words are not.

365 days after she was gone, I took off my wedding ring to see what my hand would be like to be without it. Single.

The skin of my finger had grown thick around it, hugging the ring and, when I tugged and cajoled the three interlocked gold Cartier bands off, the knuckle was distorted and misshapen.

The next night I had a dream that Patti asked me where my ring was. I told her a lie to explain. I don’t remember the details, just the feeling.

A week later my ring finger looks normal again but on closer inspection the skin is paler, softer, and the outline is still faintly there. But only I can see it.

10 thoughts on “Ring.”

  1. Your life is still being formed with the essence of Patti and the ring, signifying the love you both share, can be important to you in so many ways. Some days we just like to reflect and laugh and cry and dangle in our memories — the ring, on or off your had symbolizes a part of you that makes you whole. Married in your own sense of the word perhaps.


  2. I also took my ring off… but it was only six months. I guess I wasn’t ready, as I soon put it back on. Then, like you, Danny, I took it off again after a year. It stayed off. I tied it with a copper colored ribbon inside of Neil’s ring and set it inside the ash urn. It’s still there ten years later, though I go in and hold them and cherish them (somehow I haven’t yet strewn Neil’s ashes… I just forget, I guess). I’m since re-married and have another ring on, but both my new husband (he’s a widower) and I are very open about our continued, and HEALTHY, love of our previous spouses. He has her photos on his dresser, and I carry a photo of Neil in my wallet. I feel so very fortunate to have loved two men in this life. Two of the most wonderful men. Two very happy marriages. I feel it’s likely you will ALWAYS love Patti in an ongoing way (though not always sadly), and hopefully you will have a loving partner who understands, someday.


  3. Your posts invoke so many feelings I can’t put into words. Your book arrived at my door yesterday – so exciting! I will wait for the hecticness of the holidays to pass before I indulge my soul in its pages…


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