YOU TAKE YOUR WEDDING RING OFF!!!
This one comes from my writing vault from the early days of when I first moved into the "widowhood." Shortly after I was newly widowed... lost in a new place of pain, confusion and loss I asked my Mom, "wait, Mom am I still married?" She said, "no honey you are not." I was shocked. Was this just a dream? I couldn't believe it. I couldn't even breathe. Wow, suddenly I found myself a newly-unmarried-single mom. Many of you who have divorced can probably relate. I wore my wedding ring for awhile because I still felt married and my identity was attached to that convenant for 23 years. But, one day, I felt like it was time. It was time to take off my wedding ring. I did and it took some time to get used to the new space on my left hand. But as I grew in courage, independence and identity, I decided to treat myself to some new fun rings to wear. I will never forget the encounter I had on this shopping trip. As I was looking around at all of the choices, I was greeted by a lovely lady who was working in the jewelry department. I told her what I was looking for and why. After some conversation she told me, "I lost my husband too and I can't take off my ring..I just can't" and started to get teary eyed. Now I put my counseling/coach hat on to comfort and console her. I did my best to encourage her. I told her for me, "taking my ring off is the only way I can accept it and move forward in my life." I gave her a hug and told her I would see her again. This was one of my many trips to the mall as I needed new decor for my new space to outfit my new life (I definitely found healing through fashion with a friend who helped me into some skinny jeans and made many new friends in the stores I frequented ---but that's another story for another blog.) Back to the ring. The ring felt like an accomplishment, a safety, a protection, a claim to fame and...respect. And, now here I was...all of my titles and identity stripped from me. I had that moment one day while driving his car. Sobbing...maybe screaming on the 101 on the way back from dropping my son at school, I had a moment of clarity. Diamonds are graded on quality and color. This was a D-quality diamond moment of clarity when I cried out, "Who am I without him?" And, the next question was, "what will I do with this?" I have spent the last four years figuring that out and reinventing myself. I have tried on some rings that didn't fit or were not really my style. It's a process.
I have coached other widows and divorcée/divorcé (s). There are many similarities. Both are a grieving a loss of what was and can no longer be. While the circumstances of loss may be different, there are similar feelings of betrayal, anger, financial insecurity, pain over the children involved and the aftermath to clean up. There is a time of mourning. A time of learning to live again. A time of navigating your way around your new neighborhood. A time of moving forward. If this is you, I can help. I am good at grief and rejoicing. Together we polish the diamond to allow the light to reflect it's original brilliance ---even with few scratches.
From a new career, dating, rediscovering goals and dreams, it is possible to sparkle and become amazingly multi-faceted whether you ever decide to put a ring on it or not again.
Individual coaching, group sessions and speaking engagements available.