Readers offer advice to go along with the stories:
Sounds like a great opportunity to renew your vows.
My little suggestion: think about what you want to leave behind, and let the ring symbolize that shedding, and then decide what you want the new ring to bring in to your lives, and make the loss a renewal of your commitment. Hope that helps.
Or maybe a little bit of both. Another idea:
I am so sorry about your ring. This may be a crazy idea, but what if Aaron agreed to donate his ring to a pool of gold from which two new rings were cast? Then some of that gold on your finger would also date back to your wedding.
Maybe a little too much work. Several more readers sound off:
So sorry to hear about your loss. You, of all people, earned that ring. Not sure this is what you want to hear, but you might tell your other readers that a hospital will not likely INSIST that you take off your ring.
You can request that they secure it in place with adhesive tape. My wife and I have been married nearly 28 years, and I’ve been in the hospital many times (cancer, chemotherapy, several other surgeries and been anesthetized 12 – 15 times) at six or seven hospitals, and have never taken off my ring. They ask, I say no, they cope.
It helped that my wife is a registered nurse who had worked in several hospitals, who knew that I didn’t want the ring off and who knew the ropes. She was able to prime me. Hospitals are worried about loss of the ring or (in the case of diamond or other jewels) injury to the ring, loss of the stone, etc. Taping fixes that.
A labor and delivery nurse agrees:
This should not have happened. No married person should be asked to remove a wedding band prior to surgery. The band should be secured in place with tape during the pre-op prep in the anesthesia area.
You may have limited energy for taking on a new cause, if you are recovering from surgery. But, the pre-op procedure at your hospital is NOT standard, and should be changed. The thought that a wedding band could cause either contamination in the OR or loss of circulation to the ring finger is absurd and has been debunked. It is indeed rare, and very outdated, for any hospital to have a protocol requiring patients entering surgery to do without the most important object they own – their wedding band.
Another offers a permanent solution:
Get one tattooed on. They aren’t going to ask you to take off your finger …
Another suggests having stand-ins:
I know I would feel terrible if I lost mine. I’ve even become attached to a secondary wedding ring I have. On our honeymoon in Hawaii, my wife and I got inexpensive rings to wear while snorkeling or doing other beach activities, lest our wedding bands fall off in the water. Mine is made of palm wood. I’ve worn it during all of our beach vacations during our four years of marriage.
Recently I thought to myself that if I lost it while swimming, I’d be just as upset as if I lost my wedding band. The wooden ring holds so much meaning and so many wonderful memories itself. So, truly, I’m sorry for your loss.
One more reader:
I feel for you. A couple years after our commitment ceremony in 1998, I took my wedding ring off, laid it on the bathroom sink so I could wash my hands, was distracted by something and wandered off. Two hours later I did what you did – grabbed with my right hand for my left ring finger and panicked when I found it bare. I TORE THE HOUSE APART looking for it, to no avail. My husband came home from work and found me weepy-eyed and distraught on the front porch. He was so understanding – “It’s just a ring; Tiffany makes more.” but I was bereft. Another two hours of searching, then a flash – “THE BATHROOM!” A search around the sink. Nothing. Did it fall down the drain? Removed the sink trap. Nothing. A trip to the basement to figure out if I could break into the cast-iron waste stack to … what? I had no idea, but as I was staring at the pipes, a shout from upstairs: “FOUND IT!” I had knocked it off the sink and my husband found it wedged under the toilet. I cried.
My husband has put that ring on my finger three times. First at the commitment ceremony in front of a hundred family and friends in Detroit. Then in San Francisco City Hall in 2004, soaking wet from a night spent on the sidewalk in the rain, when we joined 4,000 other couples who married that glorious Valentines Day weekend. That marriage was voided, though we have the certificate framed on our bedroom wall. The last time he handed me the ring was in 2010 in Boston, surrounded by parents and siblings, nieces and nephews (none of whom were alive in 1998), when we married, for good, on the 6th anniversary of our San Francisco adventure.
Every morning I swim a couple miles. And every morning I take my wedding ring off and clip it to my keyring. The water compresses my fingers and, because of my swimming, the ring fits a little looser on my finger than it did in 1998. My fear is that it will fall off and get sucked into a drain I can’t open. So I keep it secure and slip it back on after I shower. It is just a gold band, but it’s also a talisman, a symbol not just of our love, but of the journey and adventure we have shared for nearly 20 years. It is what I reach for when I’m worried or sad or excited. It is what reminds me of what’s really important. I am so sorry for your loss.