Weddings ceremonies are splendid and often are a memory that sticks with us forever. We exchange wedding rings with our spouses at our wedding ceremonies, and these bands of gold represent the official bond of marriage. We’d look at each other and vow to be together till death do us part. But, what happens to our wedding rings when death comes our way?
Well, immediately after your spouse dies, there is so much you would need to take care of. Sometimes, it can get overwhelming, from the paperwork and funeral arrangements to post-funeral meetings and visits. Perhaps, the ring may be a frequent memory that you have of your spouse. In as much so, there are some tough decisions that you will have to make regarding your spouse’s ring.
Let’s call it widow etiquette. Most of the time, when we lose our spouse, we find ourselves asking questions such as; How long should I want to remarry? Do I need to keep wearing my wedding ring? If not, who should I give the wedding ring to? Believe it or not, each of these questions is normal.
Generally, the answers to these questions entirely depend on your religious practice, social standards, and family ties. In this write-up, we will specifically answer the question of who gets the wedding rings after death.
Who gets the wedding rings after death?
Jewelry disposition entirely depends on the family of the deceased and sometimes the widowed. Some people prefer to be buried with their wedding rings.
This majorly happens when the person is prepared for their death because of factors such as prolonged illness. Others prefer to pass down their spouse’s wedding rings as family heirlooms, while others don’t make any arrangements for their property once they pass.
However, different cases may arise during jewelry disposition. Sometimes, your spouses’ family members would want the jewelry items returned to them. If this happens, you need to remove it from your spouses’ hand before the final closure of the casket.
The family member who signs the arrangement contract, or the one paying the bill, is often the one who receives the wedding ring. Other times, the widowed may feel the need to add it to their will for another family member to inherit it. This is often a respected consideration if the widowed has older children, and often shows that they want to pass on a sentimental piece of their lives.
Who gets the mother’s ring?
A mother’s ring is a symbolic jewelry piece that constitutes either a grandmother’s or a mother’s own diverse family.
The ring is often accented with birthstones that represent the children and grandchildren of the woman who owns the ring.
Most families find themselves conflicting on who gets the mother’s ring. For this reason, some families get the ring goes through an appraisal, and the one who would want the mother’s ring can pay each brother their fair share of the set value.
That said, the brothers are often the ones who get the mother’s ring. If the brothers cannot agree on who gets it first, the mother’s wedding or engagement ring is to be sold to a third party.
The proceeds are afterward divided evenly among the brothers.
Do most widows wear their wedding rings?
Yes, they do. Some widows never take them off at all. Some prefer to move their wedding ring to the right hand instead.
Whichever the case, whether a widow wants to keep wearing her ring or wants to take it off, it is a personal decision.
There are times when some take it off, then find themselves putting it back on.
Other times, some wear it as a pendant on their favorite necklaces, while others have their rings melted down into a heart shape with a diamond.
What to do with a wedding ring as a widow?
What to do with a wedding ring once you lose your spouse is often an overwhelming decision and may need a lot of time to process and figure out. In this section, we will explore 9 suggestions on what to do with your wedding ring as a widow;
1.Redesign your wedding ring
You have the option to redesign your wedding ring to a different piece of jewelry. Doing this may help you avert any uncomfortable questions that may tamper with your healing process.
It’s all about getting something that keeps the good memories alive, perhaps a brooch, a pin, or a small bracelet.
You can always tell the jeweler about your preferred sense of style to make it easier to create a design that suits you best.
2.Donate it to a good cause
You can consider donating your wedding to a non-profit that may resell it to fund their work.
Doing this may be a great way to honor your spouse even when you do not know where the ring may end up.
Every time you come across that specific non-profit organization, you’ll always feel closer to your spouse.
Alternatively, you can donate it to fund a cause that aligns with everything your deceased spouse cared about.
3.Move the ring to your right hand
When you move your ring to your right hand, it does not erase the memories you had with your spouse. Instead, it signifies that you choose to acknowledge your status as unmarried.
As you do this, however, you should know that different people may approach you with the intent of dating.
In addition, if you remarry, you may need to avoid having the ring on because it may cause a few marital conflicts with your new spouse.
4.Make the ring an heirloom
You can also make your spouse’s wedding ring a family heirloom so that one of your children can have it.
Alternatively, you can add it to your will for another family member from either family to inherit it.
Doing this outrightly shows that you are ready and willing to pass a sentimental piece of your life to your family.
5.Keep wearing it
You don’t have to get rid of your wedding ring. You can choose to continue wearing your wedding ring for some time.
Even better, you can wear it for the rest of your life. Sometimes, you may want to feel closer to your spouse at all times throughout your life, or you may want to feel married at all times.
Other times, it could be because you never want to give up the love you once shared with your partner. In as much so, you should know that this may be a very complicated decision.
Also, doing this signifies that you aren’t available for dating any time soon.
6.Perform a ceremonial goodbye
When you are ready to let go of your wedding ring, you can always celebrate your decision. You received it at a ceremony, and it wouldn’t hurt to give it up at another ceremony.
You can choose to do it openly with all your family members around, or you can do it privately and quietly.
You can even perform a ceremonial goodbye on your anniversary, which is a positive sign.
7.Wear it on a Necklace
Sometimes you can choose to wear your wedding ring on a chain around your neck. Doing this highlights your marital status.
Besides, you don’t have to explain your situation to anyone as they would automatically know your status.
Also, wearing it closer to your heart keeps the love close and serves as a great way of remembrance.
8.Store your ring in a safe place
Sometimes, you may not know what you want to do with your wedding ring once you lose your spouse. And that’s fine.
You can put it in a safe place where it is free from damage and wouldn’t get lost. Doing this gives you ample time to figure out what you intend to do with the ring.
Sometimes, you can store it as a souvenir of the love you shared with your partner.
9.Add a memorial diamond to your wedding ring
Memorial diamonds tend to add character to your already existing wedding ring.
If you feel as though redesigning your wedding ring may be a costly option, or may not be the best way to keep your ring, then you can always ask a jeweler to add an extra gemstone.
Doing this may even land you a unique piece. You can make a memorial diamond out of your spouse’s lock of hair or their ashes. Also, it may have different colors and cuts.
When we get married, we want to be with our partners every single day of our lives. But, life happens, and sometimes the most permanent memory we have of them is the wedding ring we exchanged during our wedding ceremony.
In as much so, whatever you choose to do with the wedding ring after death, is entirely a personal choice, and no one should tell you what to do with it.
Overall, you should pay attention to your healing process to avoid succumbing to a wave of depression and difficulty.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.