The tan line has disappeared. The hair has grown back in. There is no further evidence of the precious metal bands that decorated my fourth digit for the better part of a decade.
It’s been more than two years since I parted ways with my now ex-wife. I haven’t worn a wedding ring since the day I watched her drive away.
Yet for some reason, I often still feel like something is missing where my ring used to be.
Without thinking, I often reach over with my thumb and feel the skin where it once was. I feel its absence. I sometimes panic and think, where is it? Then I remind myself that I don’t wear one anymore.
I remind myself that I’m no longer married.
And for the next hour or so my finger just doesn’t feel right. It feels too light. It feels naked. It tells me that it should have a ring on it; it still doesn’t know how to exist comfortably without one.
I was rummaging through my dresser drawers looking for something else yesterday. I found my wedding ring. I picked it up and stared at it for the longest time.
I put it on.
My hand felt whole for the first time in a long time.
Yet for the six seconds or so that I dared to wear it, my fingers screamed at me, take it off. Remove it. Stop violating such sacred voids.
I took it off. I held it between my thumb and index finger. I stared at it for the longest time.
It was a permanent part of me that no longer existed.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. If you’re divorced, do you ever feel like your ring is missing?