I’m a big fan of the show, “Blue Bloods.” Maybe it’s because I’ve also always been a fan of Tom Selleck from back in the Magnum P.I. days. But I’ve come to appreciate every character on the show over the past few years.
So, you can usually find me curled up on the couch with 2 or 3 animals every Friday night at 9 PM watching the professional and personal interactions of the Reagan family dynasty. (Yes, we widows lead exciting lives…)
Detective Danny Reagan, one of Frank’s (Tom Selleck) sons lost his wife tragically on the show a while back. So, he is now a single dad trying to raise two teenage boys. Sometimes he’s successful, sometimes not so much. But through it all, he is clearly heart-broken over the loss of his sweet and sassy RN wife, Linda.
So, there are definitely episodes that take Danny through some of his grief that are hard for me to watch – and I relate to the pain and loss he is experiencing.
But I was NOT prepared for a portion of the show this past Friday night. Linda has been gone for over a year and Danny is still wearing his wedding ring. I completely relate to that. I still wear my wedding ring, in part because I still feel like I’m married to Dale even though he’s been gone 18 months this week.
In this scene, Danny has gone to visit a woman who is some sort of psychic or counselor or combination thereof. She comments on the fact that he still wears his ring. He looks a bit sheepish as he acknowledges that with a little nod. She then “reminds” him that Linda is gone now. (REALLY? Do you think he’s not aware???) Then she tells him it’s time to stop wearing it.
She brings a little velvet jewelry pouch over and he slowly removes the ring and drops it in the pouch. I burst into tears! Where did that come from? I was SO unprepared for that reaction – and for the visceral, immediate nature of it.
In a split second, I experienced what I assumed Danny was feeling – the physical, visual acknowledgment that his marriage and relationship were over. It hit me like a ton of bricks, like the body slam that it was. I couldn’t stop crying. Just one more reminder that this grieving process can go on and on and on…a forever grief.
So, where do I stand on this whole wedding ring removal issue? Clearly, I’m not ready to take the step Danny took! I do know that Dale’s gone, that he’s not coming back. I now mark “widowed” on any forms I have to fill out. I do know that my marriage is over. There’s no disillusionment there. I’m reminded every moment of every day that he’s not here any more.
And yet, I can NOT bring myself to take that step. I know that I probably will…some day. But today isn’t that day. I know some people remove it as soon as their loved one dies; and I know some who still wear their ring, on their left hand, 30-some years after their husband died.
As with everything in this grieving process, it’s our call. Unlike the “psychic-counselor” of “Blue Bloods,” I don’t want anyone to tell me when it’s time. It’s a very personal decision and even I have no idea when “it’s time.” I trust that God will let me know.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.