I don't find these items or images gruesome. Momento Mori. A remembrance of a dead loved one. Literally, Momento Mori translates to "Remember your mortality". Just like Dia de los Muertos, the purpose is to remember our dead loved ones. It has been theorized that the reason we now turn away from these items or consider them vulgar, sensational, or even satanic is that we are not as 'up close and personal' with death as our ancestors were. We shun reminders of our mortality. We no longer dress and lay out our loved ones for their burial; memorial services are not held in our parlors (or 'death room'), instead they are hosted at funeral parlors. Yes, the parlor in your home also served as, and was referred to as, the "death room". In 1910 the Ladies Home Journal declared the death room finished and henceforth it began being referred to as the "living room". Anyway, death is not anything we want to be reminded of in the way that Victorian society dwelled upon it. Lastly, In regards to the momento mori photographs popular in Victorian times, remember that photography was in its infancy in the mid 1800s and prohibitively expensive. A Dageurreotype would cost a week's wages. However, this new technology gave families a way to keep an image of their loved one. And it was likely the only time you would ever BE photographed. By the time the Brownie camera came along, the day of the post mortem photo had faded away. Professional photographers were not needed in order to capture an image. You now had the ability to take photos yourself whenever you wanted! Having said all of that, the coffin photo is making a small but noticeable comeback recently.