Life After Loss Hiding Behind the Rings No More

The past Monday marked 8 months since my late husband passed away. I didn’t cry like the previous 7 months. I decided to just take it as a normal day. I have been under the weather for more than a week and that day I finally felt better, with more energy. That morning on the way to work, I suddenly felt happy because I realized that I may have just pushed through a big step of grieving, I started to feel acceptance.

Life After Loss Hiding Behind the Rings No Mor

When we were dating many years ago, he was in America and I was in China. The longest time we didn’t physically see each other was 8 months. But we did see each other every day on SKYPE for many hours. We celebrated his birthday, 4th of July, Labor Day and Thanksgiving over the internet. Even with a 12 hour time difference between us, we would still eat together, the only difference was for me it was breakfast and for him it was dinner. These last 8 months have been more difficult than those 8 months. There is no hope that he is coming back and I can’t see him even on the internet. He is totally gone without a return date.

Life After Loss Hiding Behind the Rings No Mor

Over the last 8 months, I have pushed myself outside of my comfort zone quite often in order to heal myself. First, I created a lot of new memories by traveling to Hawaii and Paris alone. There were not any romantic stories from those trips just in case you are wondering. 😉 I even made a few new friends after he passed away and it is new for me that they are just my friends, not our friends. Those experiences helped me rediscover myself and I realized that I am very capable of conquering the world and being happy again without him.

Life After Loss Hiding Behind the Rings No Mor

By the 6 month mark, I stopped wearing my wedding ring. The obvious fact is I don’t have a husband and I am not married. It was a very weird feeling to be without the ring and even now I still sometimes reach to that finger. It was a big change at that time and I needed a piece of him to be with me, so I wore my engagement ring and his ring that I gave to him on both of my hands. Those two rings provided the safety net I needed at that time.

Life After Loss Hiding Behind the Rings No Mor

Then by month 8, I decided to wear no rings because I realized that I should not hide behind those symbols. I am not married, not engaged, and I don’t need to wear them to show how much I miss him or how much I love him. He is there in my heart, and there will be a place for him forever that no one can replace. To be honest with you, it is kind of scary to be at the beginning again, but I know he is always there for me. If I am sad or scared I still can reach to him in my mind.

Life After Loss Hiding Behind the Rings No Mor

For me, the real acceptance is to not always look for him, lean on him mentally, and ask him to give me signs or come to my dreams. It means I need to count on myself to save my own day or make myself happy. Does it mean that I am ready to move on? I don’t think I am fully ready yet. I still think about him all the time. But I am finally eager to think about my own future. It is still not clear what I want, but it is a big jump that I started to plan my future without him. It will take a long time to come to complete acceptance and I am nowhere near there, but this status change forces myself to directly face this world, fail, cry and then really learn how to be independent again.

Life after loss feel loved

Just a side note, this Love bag in the photo above I got from Shopbop and now they are having a big sale. See the details below. Happy shopping!

You can read all Life After Loss series here and Living with Cancer series here.


Photo credit: Grace Liang/Sam Sefton

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  1. Maggie

    You have traveled through your grief with dignity and hope. I am still floundering after 2.5 years. I put my rings away, but get then out again when I feel alone which is most of the time. So guess I am using them as a crutch, or a way of feeling I still belong to someone, I am partially disabled, retired . I am searching for a way to make my life somewhat normal again. I am happy for you. You have found your way, and are moving along a path which will lead you to a new tomorrow. You are young and there are many doors which will be opened to you.

  2. You are handling an unimaginable loss with such grace. There is no right or wrong way to grieve and for you, pushing through is an indication of your strength.

    I am wishing you a lifetime of new adventures, friends and much joy. Xo Jonet

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