Our ancestors took great pains to “decorate” a home for a funeral. After all, most funerals were held at home.
Upper and middle-class families tried to memorialize their loved one’s passing like Queen Victoria herself. And that wasn’t easy. When Queen Victoria’s husband passed away, she remained in mourning for the rest of her life. For forty years she dressed in black and kept mementos in the royal castles as reminders of his death.
In truth, few could afford to mourn as fully as Victoria did, but even working-class families observed modest versions of the same traditions. Some hung black wreaths and others served funeral biscuits. They made do with what they had.
Photography was still rare in those days. A photographer was often called after a death. Deceased children were often posed in the arms of their parents. Sadly, this was sometimes the only family photo they owned.
You can read a lot more about Victorian-era funeral customs in an article by Cathy Wallace published in the BillionGraves’ blog at: https://blog.billiongraves.com/preparing-the-victorian-home-for-a-funeral/.