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Sounds wonderful (despite the association with death). For me, it feels like the right thing to do. They have a similar concept in Japan, called O-bon (honoring ancestors), which has made me lament the fact that we don't have the same traditions in the U.S.
Monte is a wonderful man, whom I admire more than I can begin to express. Unfortunately, this board is not particularly kind toward individuals of Christian or Conservative beliefs, and he held both.
It's important to remember Monte has been very successful in his career, and thus has little reason to debate his intelligence or motives with less effective people. I don't necessarily agree with the decision to leave altogether, but I don't blame him either.
If you're known to him from this board, you can find him on Facebook. He's a very receptive individual.
Yes, it's definitely tough. I don't have it all worked out yet, but I figure I'll take it as it comes. I've been told by women in profession that I'm undermining them, that I should never have been offered money to get my degree because I'm "wasting it" - blah, blah. I'm fully convinced that if I had stayed in the workforce, I would have gotten hit from the other side.