“the diamonds are a reminder of how indestructible the soul can be.”

Most military men don’t wear their wedding ring when they’re deployed. It can get caught in machinery or their weapon, and the reflection can attract enemies. But I knew that Michael would never take his ring off. I knew what it meant to him.

We’d only been married a year and a half when he was killed in Iraq. The Casualty Assistance Office told me that he was wearing his ring, that they were going to send it back to me in a manila envelope. But I wanted Michael to be able to wear it to Dover and, eventually, be cremated with it on.

After his death, there were so many dark moments that I never thought I’d come out of. It was like I was falling down a hole, and it took me a long time to remember who I was. My ring has been a part of my journey: I didn’t take it off for seven years. I was only 19 when we got married, and the ring symbolized the love Michael and I had for each other, love in its purest form, undiluted by time. But then three years ago, I put the diamonds from the ring onto this necklace. It’s come to symbolize coming out of my darkness. The diamonds are a reminder of just how indestructible the soul can be, and that I didn’t give up, that I made it through.

Taryn Guerrero Davis
Founder, American Widow Project
Wimberley, TX

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