Second, not everyone could afford mourning. It was a social ritual of the more affluent–although the less affluent tried their best to participate. Sometimes, however, they simply could not. There were also people who could afford to participate but who did not. It was a personal choice. People who did not go into mourning may have been talked about behind their backs, but there was no law compelling anyone into mourning. That is something to remember when we’re looking at the overall picture of Victorian death customs.