This week someone said that it was time to change my Facebook profile picture. My profile picture is the one above of Ian and I from our wedding, the banner picture is our 2011 Christmas Card photo.
Changing my profile picture is not something I did that often anyway. I'm a bit 'set and forget' that way, but I was taken aback at the blunt statement of it.
Even in the early days, I was able to adapt to my "after" life pretty quickly - mostly because I put blinkers on and just kept pushing on through. I intellectually acknowledged my loss, but I didn't deal with the emotional fall out for quite a while. Which worked and didn't work in equal measure for me.
I've been able to incorporate new directions into my life, like my studies. Similarly to Sarah, I was able to give up finding a new "safe" job to try something that speaks to my soul more (although there's quite a chasm between 'artist' and 'accountant'!). I took a risk of nominating for, and being elected to, a board position. Without my primary cheerleader and support person.
I was able to do a lot of what outside observers would term 'moving on', but what was really adapting and accommodating to a seriously unwanted change in circumstances so I didn't turn into a hermit and disappear. An option, but not one I wanted to take up. I've been doing an awful lot of 'fake it until you make it'.
I don't get overly emotional, can be quite clinical, and I'm not a big crier at all. I've always been able to compartmentalise phases of my life and deal with the next/current phase for what it is at that point in time.
But for all of these personality traits that have shown up loud and clear in my loss and grief journey, and you'd think make taking some of these steps easier, there are things I can't do.
At least just yet.
Like change those Facebook photos or my marital status and it's link to Ian's profile.
I have thought about it and the closest I get is considering adapting my banner picture into a collage that has the original and a number of recent photos in it.
But I'm not ready to change the profile pic. To me, that action and removing the photos around the house feels more like removing Ian completely that taking my rings off and moving possessions out of the home.