This is the story of when I lost my engagement ring and what I learned from the experience. This is a story of self-reflection, stubborn conviction, loss and of letting go.  Thank you in advance for reading this and holding space for me to process it.  I hope, if nothing else, this story gives you something to think about.

Last week I was driving home from the stables where my daughter does her equine therapy.  We were bopping along to our favourite tunes and reminiscing about what a good day we’d both had when something caught my eye. Or rather, nothing caught my eye.

As I looked again at my own hand on the steering wheel, it took a moment for me to register what was different. What was missing? My engagement ring!

I immediately pulled over and frantically searched for my beautiful diamond ring around me where I hoped it had just slipped off.  Coming up empty-handed I called the stables and told them I was coming back to search there.

There’s something about searching a large area of hay for a tiny metal object that just seems so impossible. My daughter and I searched everywhere we could.  I thought, “It HAS to be SOMEWHERE”, “It’ll be easier to find now than tomorrow when the horses have been all over it.”, “I’ve found so many lost things before, this will show up too.”. But it was getting dark and there was still no sign of the ring.

I’d called my partner on the way to search and while we were gone he looked into our insurance and getting a replacement. When he told me that he could have a replica made it just didn’t sit right with me.  I didn’t want a replica. I wanted MY ring. We were both upset.  An engagement ring holds a lot of meaning. Many families pass engagement rings down as family heirlooms.  There are so many stories, beliefs and superstitions about what a lost engagement ring signifies that it would make your head spin (I do not recommend looking them up when you are searching for yours and are already emotionally vulnerable!). 

What surprised me though was what this loss was bringing up for me emotionally not about our relationship but about my attachment to ‘things’.  I speak often about how the meaning of something isn’t held in the object itself and that decluttering an item doesn’t mean we lose the meaning it holds, and I do believe that.  So why was I so upset? I pondered this for some time and here’s what I came up with.

Firstly I focussed on what the ring itself meant to me.

Obviously, it was a symbol of my relationship with my partner and our commitment to each other.  I love that ring because I love him and I especially love that it is evidence of how much he knows me.  You see, I did not know he was planning to propose much less buy a ring without me.  We had been together for close to 3 years and were good friends before that.  We *did* have a 5-month-old son and, when I was pregnant, I’d insisted that I didn’t want to get married then because I didn’t want it to look or feel like we were only marrying because of the baby.   The day he proposed was our first time alone without bubs since he was born.  We left our son with my grandparents and he took me to a seafood restaurant by the wharf nearby.  I was just so excited to be out that I didn’t think anything more special would happen – an hour or two of freedom was special enough!  Even my partner’s apparent nerves didn’t clue me in, he is pretty quiet and doesn’t like a crowded restaurant at the best of times and again I was just excited to be out!!!

When he got down on one knee and people around us started gasping I welled up.  It was just like a scene in a romantic movie and everyone cheered when I said ‘yes’.  (feel free to gag now if you wish – yes, we are sickening – sorry, not sorry.)

I was surprised again when the ring fit PERFECTLY and I got a good look at it – it was PERFECT. How? How could he get it so perfect? I didn’t have other rings he could have checked for size and whenever we’d walked past jewellers I was overwhelmed and couldn’t choose anything I liked.  If *I* didn’t know what ring I would like or what would fit me, how could *he*? He knows me better than anyone, he knows me better than I knew myself. 

That’s what this ring means to me.

Now that I’d LOST the ring had this meaning disappeared? Had I broken something? Had I broken US? 


I was no less committed to our relationship. He didn’t suddenly know me any less. We hadn’t lost our memory of that proposal.  

I lost a ring, a piece of jewellery, some rocks and metal. That’s all.

It was an expensive loss but nothing more than an object.

I felt very sure about this.

So, when he brought up the idea of a replacement I explained that I didn’t want one. I didn’t want a replica or a different one.  I told him that when I look at my naked finger I know that I lost the ring.  If a different ring went there, even if it looked the same, I would be reminded that I lost the ‘real’ ring.  What was bothering me wasn’t the absence of a ring but the loss of the ring.

The difference between these two perspectives is choice. I could have chosen to take off the ring at any time, I could have sold it if I’d wanted or needed to, I could have noticed that it was loose and had it refitted, I could have put it in a safe place if I didn’t want to wear it anymore. I CHOSE to wear it every day and now that choice had been taken from me.  There was nobody to blame but myself – it wasn’t stolen and nobody had forced me to lose it. I was angry at myself for ignoring that it needed resizing and as a result of my carelessness, a choice had been made for me.

When we don’t make a choice the choice is often made for us.

When I work with clients one of the first things I tell them is that they can keep every single item they own – if they want to. I don’t care if they can’t see the floor or the walls for the clutter, it’s their home and their life.  My job is not to tell anyone what is worth keeping but to help them to CHOOSE.  I want you to CHOOSE what is worth owning and caring for and if you don’t choose, often the choice is made for you.  If you don’t choose to care for something it is more likely to become damaged or lost and you will not get to have it anymore.

This is such a big part of who I am and what I do that the loss of my engagement ring almost triggered an identity crisis! 

I just wasn’t willing to accept that the ring was gone for good.

I posted on my local Buy Nothing Facebook group asking if anyone had a metal detector and told my close friends what was going on. Before the post even went live one of my friends offered to loan me her mother’s metal detector! I suddenly was filled with more hope.

The next day, went back to the stables and searched with the metal detector only to discover that much of the area was covered in gravel that had traces of metal in the stones… in the end, the metal detector found nothing of any interest. I drove home feeling the light of hope fading.

While I was gone my partner had been on the phone with the insurance company and the discussion of a replica came up again. It still didn’t feel right but logically it made sense to move forward that way. 

I was at the end of my rope. 

I had one last idea. 

When rational and logical thinking fail me I seek out those who deal in things that don’t make sense to me, but that I’ve seen work wonders.  I sent two messages. One to Ange De Lumiere and one to KC the Psychic Chef – I have other friends who deal in woo-woo too-too but these are the two that I chose to message on this occasion, when it comes to the woo I don’t ask I just do 😜.  “It’s out of my hands now,” I thought, “I’ll wait and see what the psychics say – you never know, it doesn’t hurt to ask.”

As soon as I sent the messages I received a text from a different friend. She asked if I’d checked the lining of my handbag and suggested I do so again.

Yes, I had checked my handbag, and the lining (I’ve seen Sex and the City – always check the lining of the handbag ladies). I’d also checked throughout the car and in every bag and box – even the ones I hadn’t touched,  I’d check jackets and jeans pockets and linings.  I’d looked everywhere. But I looked again, just in case.

After emptying everything out of every bag onto my dining table, one item at a time, I reached for one last bag.  This bag holds my emergency snacks for when I’m rushing from one appointment to another, I’d had no occasion to go in that bag when the ring fell off, it couldn’t be in there, it makes no sense.

First I felt around, nothing (of course because it wouldn’t be there.). Then I looked in and moved a few things, nothing (dah, ‘cause it’s not there, dummy.). Then, just to be 100% sure, I took each item out of the bag and placed it on the dining table. With one item left in the bag, I reached in and took out the tin of baked beans and there it was. At the very bottom of the canvas bag, where it had no business in being, my beautiful neglected engagement ring sat looking back at me with snarky hauteur.

Black and white photograph of a woman's hand wearing an engagement ring on her left ring finger.
an old photo of the ring in question

A wash of relief and shame came over me.  I showed my partner and we both cried.

The ring is now with the jeweller being resized because, as I tell my children, “if you don’t take care of something you don’t get to keep it”.  I choose to wear my ring every day and if I want to continue to have that choice, I must take care of it.


  1. Consider your connections to objects and where you hold your attachment – if it means something to you, protect and treasure it, and don’t take it for granted.
  2. Trust your gut or intuition or whatever you want to call it.
  3. Keep your insurance up to date – I’m very grateful that, had the ring been lost for good, we had the choice to replace it or at least be reimbursed financially.
  4. It never hurts to ask for help.

Did you take anything away from this story? Do you have a similar tale to share with me?

Please let me know! Contact me here, send me an email at or leave a comment or DM on my social media.