What does it mean to think about death? I’m guessing as long as we upright monkeys have been able to articulate sorrow and loss over something we love, we’ve contemplated this question. Our own, of those around us, of the things we love (or of the thing we hate).
Death. It’s that grand unspoken thing that, deep down, we’re terrified of and seethingly wish upon others. Having experienced so much of it in the last couple of years, I think I started to come to grips with and begin to understand at a cellular level what it meant to face the inevitable.
And, it changed me.
I can’t say if it was changed for the better or the worse. To be honest, I don’t think it’s a better or worse thing. From a high level, the only way I’ve been able to process it is in understanding the change through the mental lens of Memento Mori.
I’ve always had a fascination with the imagery of a Memento Mori: skulls, hourglasses, guttering candles, more so when combined with alchemical elements of change and the necessity to capture one’s thoughts surrounded by the imagery. But I don’t think it ever impressed the ideas into my head until undergoing the loss of so many around me.
Remember Death. Remember Your Death. All Will Die. You will die. I will one day die.
It doesn’t evoke fear or terror at what fate awaits us all. No, it’s more a melancholy over what the life misspent and an unyielding drive to not squander the time I have left. Remember death. To forget or block out the inevitable is crime perpetrated towards ourselves that once gone is lost forever. None of us can go back and recapture the lost time of our youth, the misspent idylls of our existence.
The cellular realization of this was the ignition of a fuse that burns in my veins to not lose any more time. On anything. On doing, on loving, on producing, on learning, on being.
I’m terrified now of losing each unproductive moment of life. Because once it’s gone. It’s gone.
Memento Mori. Remember death. It’s coming. It’s inevitable. Don’t let the time slip away.
I’m not. Or at least I’m trying not to. There’s too much to do before it’s over.