Anyway, I just ended a relationship that I thought had a future. Obviously not the same as ending a marriage, but I bring it up to show the importance of symbolic gestures.
There's a period of adjustment after a breakup where you try to figure out if you're better off in the relationship or out of it. When you get lonely or miss something that your former partner did for you, you tend to dwell on that. Sometimes so much that it overshadows all the reasons the relationship ended.
It's easy to forget the bad or convince yourself that you can fix the bad. Then you lose your resolve and want to try to make it work. Doing something symbolic reminds you that you made the decision that it was best if it ended when/if you start to waiver.
One of the first things I did when I decided it was best if I ended the relationship with Jenny was to remove her from my favorites list in my cell phone and set her ringtone to SILENT. Because if she called me my instinct would be to quickly answer the phone, but I know that isn't what is best for me. Seeing that she called 15 minutes ago is easier to ignore than when the phone is ringing.
I guess what I'm saying is that we are observant and we see the signs (you mentioned her taking off her ring often) but we ignore them because we don't want to admit what we see. A symbolic gesture like that is more to remind us that we've accepted what we observed than of what we've observed.