An Irish woman's social, political and domestic commentary
Tuesday, May 20, 2003  

Archaic customs have a use

I've reflected a lot recently on the usefulness of organised religion in a society, issues of personal faith aside. I might dwell on that at a future date, but in the meantime, today's Irish Times features an article on bereavement and I thought this quote was worthy.

"Years ago, people would wear a black armband as a signal that they were grieving, so people would be more aware and offer support . . . . In the current climate, we have no signals and, more than that, when a bereaved person looks around it seems that everyone is having a wonderful time while their life is falling apart,"

I think there's a lot in this. All that wearing of black and black bordered notepaper or for example, not sending Christmas cards, did allow someone the space to go through a tough process without having to pretend that they were coping. It may have seemed archaic but I would bet anything it was better than being forced to go back to work a couple of weeks after a death or enduring social occasions grimly because everyone thinks its better to get one's mind off the misery of bereavement.


posted by Sarah | 14:42 0 comments
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