Memento Mori – Remember you will die

I have a friend heading into surgery today due to cancer. This is someone I’ve known for almost 30 years. She is one of the sweetest souls I have ever known. And she should come out of it just fine. But there is always the possibility she won’t.

And so, unbidden, the phrase memento mori comes to mind. Remember, you will die. So will your family, your friends, your loved ones, your coworkers, and even those you disagree with.

This article does a good job of explaining a lot about memento mori, but one passage in particular stands out for me.

The intention is not to feel sad that life is short, that we all die. It is to remind us that although we’re all headed to the same destination, we should enjoy the journey while it lasts. And don’t wait until someone is gone to have a meal with them.

I don’t want my friends to die. #FuckCancer

Photo by Simon Berger on

I have this dream now and then. Everyone I know dies. And it wrecks me emotionally. I wake up from these nightmares, sweating, and can’t get back to sleep for hours. Oddly, I know that if it were to happen in real life, I would be destroyed, but I also feel prepared for it in a way.

Contemplating my own death, and others deaths, and how I will be ready for it, makes me make some better choices. I am all in on my kids for this reason. I don’t want to waste a moment of time with them. I never want them to look back and go “My dad didn’t love us” or “His priority was other people.”

Love the people in your life, get vaccinated, and have lunch with your friends often.

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