Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Profile Picture

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.


  1. It took me more than 2 years to change my Facebook status from married to widowed. That was hard to do. I also understand what you mean about what it feels like removing Ian completely from your life by changing your profile picture. I actually feel that you should keep his picture on Facebook. He should not be eliminated - just my opinion.

  2. Listen to your own heart.

  3. Kerryl,
    That's such a beautiful picture. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Kerryl I too have those personality traits and while sometimes they are a blessing in times of crisis (or at least to the other people around me who fall apart and can't function), in my own months of crisis losing my husband I'm not so sure they have served me well. I'm surrounded by those who think I'm "over it" and "moving on" when in reality I'm still such an emotional mess. No one knows me well enough to see that. No one has ever known that much about me except him and now he's gone. The worst part is, I'm not sure I want to let anyone ever know me that well again either. I take great comfort in my photos of us and him. I wear my rings - just can't bear to take them off yet and it's been almost 4 years now. As difficult as this grief journey is, I'm content with where I am for the moment, and that's good I guess. Leave your pictures until you're ready. Make your own decisions about time, place, things. It's the only control we have in all this chaos that is our new life. Hugs to you.....

  5. Don't change the picture...keep it forever just as he is in your heart forever.

  6. would like to connect. I was widowed in 2007. You don't need to change a thing until you decide that you are ready.