Modern Mourning Wear.
What to wear when you're grieving
To Grieve: to feel intense sorrow
It's often difficult or feels inappropriate to speak up about our personal and immediate experience of grief.
In Victorian times, bereaved women wore clothing that was unmistakably Mourning Wear. It was a prescribed and instantly recognized fashion both in its material and in the length of time the mourner would wear it. You knew they were grieving the death of a family member and by modifications to the costume, one knew if it was a recent or particularly devastating loss.
Today, there are a great many 'colored ribbons' that tell the world you are in solidarity with a particular illness or cause.
A black ribbon could be the perfect 'symbol for mourning' but it's already well employed. A black ribbon is worn in remembrance of the victims of 9/11, for Melanoma awareness, in remembrance of the Virginia Tech Massacre, for Narcolepsy, Primary Biliary Cholangitis, Sleep Apnea and Sleep Disorders.
Death is not a disease.
A black ribbon will never say 'My Mom Died' or 'I just buried my husband'. A black armband doesn't say; "This is personal. I'm grieving my beloved".
Enter Modern Mourning Wear.
For those days when you have to be out in the world and you're feeling ragged and close to the bone.
Buttons and T-shirts, bumper stickers and shopping bags that say 'I'm in Mourning, Please be Gentle'. "I'm Grieving, Go Easy!"
Helen Keller recognized the universality of grief. She wrote:
"We bereaved are not alone. We belong to the largest company in all the world - the company of those who have known suffering. When it seems that our sorrow is too great to be borne, let us think of the great family of the heavy hearted into which our grief has given us entrance, and inevitably, we will feel about us their arms, their sympathy, their understanding."
By sharing our mourning statement on a button or a t-shirt, we're honoring our grief and helping the people we meet; inviting kindness and understanding.