When Emily was widowed in 1908 she had barely escaped the Victorian period, in which prolonged periods of mourning were commonplace. This elaborate process began when Queen Victoria lost her husband, Albert in 1861, at the relatively young age of 42. At that time the accepted length of mourning was one year, however the inconsolable queen plunged into mourning which never truly ended. She would reign for another 40 years.
“At 11pm, 14 December 1861, Prince Albert died. He was buried nine days later, the Queen too grief-stricken to attend the funeral.”
Along with being unable to attend her husband’s funeral, the room he died in was left in the same way, unaltered until she died herself. During her reign manuals on death and mourning were produced and could be consulted to what etiquette to observe depending on how close a relationship one had with the deceased. In Emily’s case it would have been two years as a spouse.
Even though Emily was not English nor widowed in the Victorian period, her husband was English and very much of that that time.
Emily did obey the some of the rules, but having strong Nationalistic sensibilities she also observed the Irish funeral rites too. She ‘waked’ her husband in their house, the corpse house as, the homes of those who died were called. Write, Sean O’Longain, who lived on Achill when Captain Weddall died, remembered;
“… I did so and offered my sincere sympathy to Mrs. Weddall, after which she invited me into the room to see captain laid out.”
Even though Captain Weddall died during the Edwardian period in Ireland there were still etiquette to be followed, which his wife honored. She put the obituary in both the Irish and British newspapers alike. The funeral was held some days later allowing time for anyone to travel the distance to the West of Ireland. It is impossible to say if she wrote personally to those who attended the funeral or how long she wore black. There is a clue that it may have been a long time. Her Celtic costume was made of black velvet, not in keeping with the colours of the Celtic Revival costumes of the time.