I know a lot of widows/widowers who have struggled with wondering what to do with their wedding/engagement rings from their marriage. Wearing them on your ring finger on your left hand signifies that you are married to the rest of the world. I wore mine for the first few months because, as I told so many people at the time, I still felt married. Then I wore them off and on for another few months, depending on my mood each day. Sometimes just the sight of them was enough to reduce me to tears so if I had somewhere to go, off they came. I also noticed people commenting on me not wearing them and that would bother me as well.
For awhile I tried just moving them over to my other hand but it never quite felt right for me - it was a beautiful white gold set that Craig had bought me for our fourth wedding anniversary. He had beeen promising me a new set for years since my original wedding and engagement bands did not match (we couldn't afford much at the time we were married). Part of the heartache associated with my rings was from not being able to wear them for very long. And they were just so beautiful and he had spent so much time with me carefully picking them out so I would love them and wear them forever. But they were very clearly and obviously a wedding/engagement set so wearing them on my right hand just seemed wrong to me.
I thought about keeping them to pass them on but I don't really have anyone I'd pass them on to since we didn't have any children. The idea of letting them sit in a jewellery box somewhere collecting dust just made my stomach churn - Craig would have been so disappointed to see that. And while I may have desperately needed the cash, the idea of pawning or selling them was totally out of the question. I'd rather eat Kraft Dinner for a year than have to do that.
So I did some research and hunting around and found a jeweller in Calgary who does beautiful custom pieces, many of them memorial rings like this one. I met with him and had a three hour heart to heart about loss (he'd had his own share of it in his life) in what was was supposed to be a fifteen minute appointment.
Long story short, we came up with a design together to melt down all five rings (Craig's original wedding band, my original wedding/engagement set, and my new wedding/engagement set) to make one gorgeous new ring that I can wear on my right hand. He is using all the gold and all the diamonds to make me the perfect memorial ring.
Attached are some pictures for you to check out for those of you thinking about doing the same thing. I won't have the finished product for a few more weeks but once I have it, I'll be sure to post those photos as well.