The greying boxer shorts with the hole in the crotch and other pressing issues

‘What should I do with the ashes?’

Him, her, me. Allegedly.

Him, her, me. Allegedly.

‘Does my daughter need counselling?’

‘Should I keep those rank, greying boxer shorts with the hole in the crotch that I found at the bottom of the washing basket after He died?’

The scope of the questions to be faced after the death of a spouse is relentless and seemingly without limitation. Which is probably why many bereaved partners choose to ignore them and drink alcohol instead.

Yesterday I found myself face-to-face with a decision I took in the immediate aftermath of Mark’s death and as per, I’ve spent the past 24 hours in a purgatory of self-interrogation.

It started with an innocent observation by a six-year-old child I was in the process of teaching. Six-year-old children tend to scrutinise adults from the head down, and this little girl was no exception.

“Are those your wedding rings?” she asked, pointing at the pendant swinging from my neck.


“My gran wears her wedding rings around her neck, but just on a chain. Not like THAT.”

“Does she?”

“She did it after me granda died. Why have you got yours like that?”

On this occasion the bell went and I was saved from having to explain that, like dear granda, my husband was dead, but I decided to have our rings welded together and an emerald fitted between the two to represent our daughter (it’s her birthstone).

And in a further adulteration of our wedding bands, I had the inside of my husband’s ring engraved with the words: ‘MLB – you complete me’.

And to add more insult to injury, the jeweller had renewed the rhodium plating, thus eliminating all trace of it ever having been worn by my husband. I might as well have selected one from the display cabinet and been done with it.

Why had I done this? Why hadn’t I kept it, like granda’s ring, with its scratches and its DNA, on a chain alongside the locket which holds Mark’s hair?

At the time I convinced myself that by creating a whole new piece of jewellery it would somehow help me to come to terms with the grave new symbolism of the bands we had exchanged just under six years previously.

But yesterday, I faltered under questioning and now I’m not so sure.

10 thoughts on “The greying boxer shorts with the hole in the crotch and other pressing issues

  1. All you can do is what feels right at the time. We’d do so much differently with a few years reflection.
    I think the welding together of the rings is gorgeous, and you’ve made a lovely piece of jewellery that means something and that will mean something to your daughter. You included her at the very moment you were falling apart. That will mean something to her forever.
    Take heart – it was right at the time.

    • I really like that thought – I was including her at a moment when everything was falling apart. Never thought about it like that before but it’s comforting. Thank you for the alternative perspective. Much love. X

  2. what felt right at the time – that’s it. we can go back in time and torture ourselves – about soooo many things; as I get deeper into grief, I am doing that when I never thought I would, it must be part of the process – part of trying to make sense out of something so fucking senseless.

    the description of the ring you had made sounds not only beautiful, but very meaningful. it might be a lovely thing for you to write the story of each detail and why you chose it to pass down to your little girl along with the ring – it would be a beautiful piece of the history of the love you shared with mark and your daughter.

    I am still wearing my rings – still cannot bear to remove them. but you have given me some ideas to help ease the pain, and put the act and the rings into a new light.

    be at peace with the beautiful treasure you’ve created – unique, lovely, heartfelt…

    love and light, XOXOXOXOX


    • Karen, I’m with you all the way, there are so many things I would do differently, but then, they felt right at the time. What the hell can you do? Take your time over what to do with your rings – if you choose to do anything at all – I think there’s a lot to be said for leaving them as they are… Much love X

  3. Your pendant is beautiful and such a lovely thing to have for your daughter. You’ll drive yourself nuts if you start second guessing every decision you’ve made. Some will be right, others won’t. Don’t regret this one, it’s a lovely, lovely thing xx

  4. I love what you have done with your rings. Such a beautiful idea! And so unique and meaningful to both you and your daughter! lots of love xxx

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