The call came early Saturday morning. I leapt from bed to prepare to leave. Ten minutes later, I was informed that my haste was for naught. He was gone. At 7:03 am on May 19th 2012, my Grandfather slipped away from this life.

I spent most of the day at my Grandparents’ home in somber calm, unsure of what to do, trying my best to be of comfort to my relatives.

Now, almost a week later, as I deal with the grief, I long for a simpler time – when mourning was visible, accepted and expected. The Victorian Era comes to mind, with it’s set traditions of attire and conduct. With the laxity of tradition nowadays, how is one to convey the fact that one is grieving without making a verbal statement?


The mourning wreath on the door and the black garb worn by family in those days were a clear visual clue that there had been a recent death in the family. Duration of wear and extent of mourning attire varied depending on one’s relationship with the deceased, with widows wearing all black (full mourning) for a few years and household servants wearing a simple black armband for several months.

In this day and age, black is considered a fashionable color and therefore worn by many almost constantly. At least half of my wardrobe consists of black clothing. How would anyone know I’m mourning? If I was to place a black mourning wreath on my front door, who would understand it’s meaning? I am left with no other course but to verbally inform those who ask me what is wrong that I have lost someone. As for those who do not notice or think to ask, they have no idea that for the time being, I could use a bit of consideration.

It often strikes me that in our quest for an easier and improved life, we have succeeded in making life more complicated and stressful than it needs to be. By breaking with sensible traditions in the name of “freedom” we have encumbered ourselves with previously unknown burdens. And a grieving family does not need additional burdens.

4 thoughts on “Mourning

  1. eloquentlyury says:

    So true…

  2. In this world, if someone dies, you have 3 days to get over it. If your production goes down, you will still be called into the office with the door closed and be made to sign something saying the company has the right to fire you if your production stays low. Also, for many companies who allow bereavement time the term “family member” does not apply to cousins, aunts or uncles, so…what then? What if your best friend dies and they were closer than family? No one cares if your pet dies either.
    Also, check this out, this is from Wikipedia:

    “Complicated grief disorder (CGD) is a proposed disorder for those who are significantly and functionally impaired by prolonged grief symptoms for at least 1 month, after 6 months of bereavement.”

    OK, now I’ve heard everything!!! You need less than a month to get over a death?! Are you kidding me??? This is what this world has come to; if you don’t “get over” something in what this world deems as a reasonable time, then you have a disorder. It’s sickening.

    • There is no such thing as a grief or mourning timetable. Everyone grieves in different ways and at different rates. Obviously there must be a balance – if one is still deeply grieving after much time has passed, it may be advisable to seek help. But no one has the right to tell a bereaved person to “get over it” or place a limit on how much or how long one can mourn. My view is that it is normal and should be acceptable for a person to mourn as they feel the need to, showing proper respect and love for the memory of the deceased, but not at the expense of the living.

  3. […] under stress decides it has had enough and proceeds to temporarily break down. As discussed in my previous post, modern attitudes and behaviors toward grieving are not as sympathetic as they once were. After a […]

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