Period of Mourning. On this subject we quote from a modern writer who says:
“Those who wish to show themselves strict observers of etiquette keep their houses in twilight seclusion and sombre with mourning for a year, or more, allowing the piano to remain closed for the same length of time. But in this close observance of the letter of the law its spirit is lost entirely.
It is not desirable to enshroud ourselves in gloom after a bereavement, no matter how great it has been. It is our duty to ourselves and to the world to regain our cheerfulness as soon as we may, and all that conduces to this we are religiously bound to accept, whether it be music, the bright light of heaven, cheerful clothing or the society of friends.
At all events, the moment we begin to chafe against the requirements of etiquette, grow wearied of the darkened room, long for the open piano and look forward impatiently to the time when we may lay aside our mourning, from that moment we are slaves to a law which was originally made to serve us in allowing us to do unquestioned what was supposed to be in true harmony with our gloomy feelings.
The woman who wears the badge of widowhood for exactly two years to a day, and then puts it off suddenly for ordinary colors, and who possibly has already contracted an engagement for a second marriage during these two years of supposed mourning, confesses to a slavish hypocrisy in making an ostentatious show of a grief which has long since died a natural (and shall we not say a desirable?) death.
In these respects let us be natural, and let us moreover, remember that, though the death of friends brings us real and heartfelt sorrow, yet it is still a time for rejoicing for their sakes.”
Wells, A. M., Richard A., MANNERS, CULTURE AND DRESS, Massachusetts, King, Richardson & Company Publishers, 1893