This new version of life. 

This life that exists in the now. 

The one where my husband,

is no longer my husband,

by law. 

Because he is dead.

And you can't be married 

to a dead person.

By law.  

You might still FEEL married,

like I did, 

for almost 4 years, 

after his death. 

You might feel as if even looking 

at another man

is cheating, 

and it feels wrong 

and awful,

and you feel like a terrible wife,

like I did. 



You may still wear

your wedding ring,

or his. 

Or maybe you move it

to your other hand.

Or have it made

into a necklace.

Which is your right.

And an honor 

to do so.



you lose it,

or you notice one day,

that when you look down

at your hand,

to do that thing

you always do,

where you roll your thumb 

over your ring

because it's oddly

and stupidly


that the ring is missing. 

Its not there.

Its gone.

Disappeared into thin air,

just like your husband. 

And your hand is naked.

And you go numb for awhile.

And then you cry

until you cant breathe.

And you feel guilty for months. 

And you feel like he just died

all over again. 


And nobody understands.

And you get accused

of being over-dramatic. 

You get told

to get over it. 

You get told

that you aren't




because he is dead.

You get told

that losing your

wedding ring

was "a sign"

that it's time

to "move on."


And you want to punch

the person who said that

right in the eyeball,

and then kick them 

over and over again,

until they hurt 

until they bleed

until they scream

in pain,

as much as you do,



But you know

it wont help.

You know

they will never

get it,


they get it. 

Until they find


running their


along the finger

where their

wedding ring

used to be. 


Because their husband 

is dead forever,

and the ring,

the symbol of that

great love,

one of the only things

that comforts them,

is physical proof


that he existed.

Because sometimes,

lots of times,

they have to 

remind themselves

that their love



That they



imagine it.

And the ring

is the perfect reminder.

Until it's not.

Until it's gone. 


Until you find yourself,

in a corner,

looking through 

your wedding albums,

peeking at 

your wedding video,

hearing the sound

of his voice.

Watching him smile

and laugh,

and dance,

and then running

into the bathroom,

to throw up. 

To have a meltdown.

To shake

and panic. 




Because your husband,

no longer smiles,

or laughs,

or dances.

Those are just video clips,

from a time, 

that is gone. 

And seeing that,

watching that,

up close,

is heart-wrenching. 

But you miss him


that you keep watching,


even though,

you know,

it will bring you torture. 



is better

than the nothingness

of him





Six years later. 

2 days ago,

in fact. 

Your new love,

has gone a few hours,

without responding,

to your texts. 

You were

supposed to talk,

later that night. 

But he goes silent. 

Hours go by.

You leave voicemails.

Text him. 

You pace.

You worry. 

Panic sets in.

You know the drill.

People disappear.

They die. 

With no warning. 


You start talking

to yourself.

All the what if's. 

Maybe he had 

a heart-attack,

with no symptoms,

no warning.

Just like

your husband. 

Maybe he collapsed,

and was alone,

for too long,

to be saved.

And maybe

you will have to

go through

all the guilt

and the pain

the torture

All over again.

Who would even tell you,

if he died? 

You aren't his wife.

You love him.

He loves you.

But the relationship

is new. 

And not many people

in his world

know yet,

who you are,

or know your number,

to call you,

and tell you,

that your world just ended.


So you panic. 

Because you 


go through

this again.

You cannot

lose this person




And so,

six years later,

you find yourself

rocking back and forth,

sitting in your dead husband's

recliner chair,


but the silent kind of


where it just happens,

without any effort,

or sound.

And your thumb,

starts to slowly move,

out of instinct,

over and over 

that finger,

where your 

wedding ring,

used to be,

and hasn't been, 

for 4 years,

since it went missing. 

But now,

that naked skin,

it oddly comforts you,

to stroke it,

even though


is there. 

It fans the 


to a dull roar. 

It forces you 

into a rhythm,

of breathing again. 

"It will be okay.

It will be okay.


will be okay.



Later on,

the next morning,

when he finally calls you,

and tells you that 

he simply fell asleep


the night before,

you breathe

a sigh of relief,

and feel almost


for all the panic.

But you know,

what you know,

and this is just how it is,

in your mind. 

And you wonder,

how the hell,

am I going to do this,

how am I going

to lose 

someone I love,

to death, 



One day.


I might have to


that out.

I might have to. 

But that


is not 




I take comfort,

in the naked skin,

where my love



a beautiful ring

on my finger,

and we smiled,

and cried,

on that snowy night,

in the cold,

one week 

before Christmas. 

And we lived. 

We existed.

And we loved. 

We love. 


And the fact

that I can love 

this man



so much,

that I cannot bear

to picture life

without him,

is Evidence, 

along with

the nakedness

of my finger,






Right now.


In this second. 








Showing 11 reactions

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  • Anne Gorman
    commented 2017-09-12 21:56:06 -0700
    Powerful. Thank you.
  • Kelley Lynn
    commented 2017-09-12 08:47:27 -0700
    So glad to hear that Barbara. It makes me happy when my words can help someone through something.
  • Barbara Hochuli
    commented 2017-09-10 17:05:03 -0700
    wowowowow. You are a brave and true and lovely soul Kelly Lynn. Thank you for your talent and your voice. Truly you have eased my burden.
  • Kelley Lynn
    commented 2017-09-08 18:30:07 -0700
    Judy – thank you. I usually say “my dead husband” or “my beautiful dead husband.” Alittle harsh, but the raw truth works for me.
    Tanya – yes, we have no control and its scary as hell. Glad to know Im not alone in those thoughts.
    Angel- you are so welcome. It helps when others get it.
  • Tanya Meier-Smith
    commented 2017-09-08 14:52:56 -0700
    Wow Kelley Lynn!! Every word I have felt to my core. There are nights when if my second husband goes to a race I stay up and wait, my mind takes over and I think about our girls and the possibility of a life without him and it paralyzes me to think that that could happen again to me, but like you I come back down and am thankful that we have today…and remind myself it’s beyond my control and I just have to love and breathe and let it be.
  • Angel Tyler
    commented 2017-09-08 14:40:49 -0700
    I am in tears, every raw emotion that I continue to feel put into words that I could never find, beautifully written as is from my own heart. Thank you.
  • Kelley Lynn
    commented 2017-09-08 13:38:10 -0700
    Marty – thank you. That is extremely kind of you.
    Don – thank you for always being so supportive. You rock.
    Sarah – we need to chat, girl. It is so overdue. I know you share these dying fears and it is so damn terrifying. UGH. None of this is ever just easy.
  • Don Yacona
    commented 2017-09-08 11:01:58 -0700
  • Marty Tousley, RN, MS, FT
    commented 2017-09-08 09:47:20 -0700
    Your writing strikes like a lightning bolt, Kelley Lynn. Straight to the heart. Stunning. Honest. Real. Thank you . . .
  • Sarah Treanor
    commented 2017-09-08 09:29:17 -0700
    Holy shit that was tough to read, and beautiful. I can feel that feeling right there with you. I’m having my own irrational fear today. For no reason at all. Everything about today is normal, yet I feel so keenly aware of the fragility of it all. And am holding fear tightly in my throat for the idea of Mike dying. I’m so sorry you had to endure the scare last night. It’s awful. But I’m so glad today is not that day, and I hope it doesn’t come for a long long time again.

    Love you.
  • Judy StPierre Fournier
    commented 2017-09-08 09:11:44 -0700
    So right on Kelley, I lately find myself asking what do we call our deceased spouses, I still call him my husband, but like you said he is not my husband, but He’s not my ex either, we didn’t divorce, I hate saying deceased or introducing myself as a widow to people I just meet.