With high mortality rates a fact of life in the Victorian era, so too did mourning become a part of everyday life. Death was so close to home that in order to deal with loss and grief, the Victorians developed a complex set of rituals dedicated to the art of mourning.

As they embraced mortal death with faith in eternity, the fallen sparrow became an enlightened icon for our ancestors, symbolizing heaven’s gain and love lost, if only for a short time.

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