Tangible Connections

Posted on January 19, 2022 by Lisa Thomas under Uncategorized

Well, Danny Tanner died.  It wasn’t quite as devastating as Betty White slipping away on December 31st, but still . . .

If you google “America’s dad”, Bob Saget, the actor who created the character, pops up, compliments of his role on the TV sitcoms Full House and Fuller House.  Television audiences fell in love with Danny, thereby securing Bob’s place in TV history.

So when he died unexpectedly on January 9th, his family, friends, and fans were shocked and grief-stricken, especially his wife of six years, Kelly Rizzo.  And in her grief she did what many women do when they lose a spouse—she took his wedding ring, slipped a gold chain through it, and wore it close to her heart.  This symbol of their devotion to one another, of their commitment to their marriage—this tangible connection to the man she loved—would now be with her everywhere she went, to be lovingly and sometimes absent-mindedly caressed when her thoughts turned to him.

Not surprisingly, widows often come into our office wearing their husband’s wedding band in some form or fashion.  Or it may be his watch wrapping itself around their wrist with a band so large it could (and frequently does) slide half-way up their arm.  They’ll never have links removed or buy one that’s smaller so it doesn’t dance about.  Then it wouldn’t be his.  It wouldn’t be the watch he’d worn.  It doesn’t matter if the band is too large, broken or frayed, or the glass is cracked or missing.  Honestly, it doesn’t even have to work . . . all it has to do is be.  Be his.  Be with her.  Be a connection.

Men don’t always have the same options when it comes to carrying those extremely personal items that once belonged to their wives.  The wedding bands normally don’t fit any finger and not every man will wear a chain around his neck.  And a woman’s watch?  They’re probably too feminine or too small.  But I’ve seen new tattoos, the skin still red and raw from the process.  I’ve seen small items pulled from blue jean pockets where weathered hands can hold them and no one is ever the wiser, or pictures lovingly placed in time-worn wallets, to be carried with them always.

Spouses do it.  Parents and children do it. Even life-long friends do it.  They search for an object that embodies the person they’ve lost.  And once that object is found, it will stay with them forever . . . or until the pain recedes and the wound scars over.  Even then, they may not be stored safely away . . . because there comes a time when they are no longer simply a connection to someone special.  They have become as much a part of the person left behind as they were of the person they are learning to live without.


About the author:  Lisa Shackelford Thomas is a fourth generation member of a family that’s been in funeral service since 1926.  She has been employed at Shackelford Funeral Directors in Savannah, Tennessee for over 40 years and currently serves as the manager there.  Any opinions expressed here are hers and hers alone, and may or may not reflect the opinions of other Shackelford family members or staff.

2 thoughts on “Tangible Connections

  1. Charlotte Wolfe says:

    I had Johns wedding band shrunk to fit me and I wear it with a Sapphire and Diamond ring. Depending where I go, I sometimes just wear the gold wedding band…..alone. It speaks volumes

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