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wonder why the custom of formalized mourning went away?

A partial explanation is, perhaps, the fact that as a culture we are in denial about the inevitability of death, so we choose to ignore it, hide it, and not talk about it. I don't think this serves us well at all.

If you haven't read Kitchen Table Wisdom by Rachel Naomi Remen, I recommend it highly. Someone gave this to me around the time my Dad died and I found it very helpful.

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