AoM Journaling Challenge Day 11: On Mortality

Hamlet, Horatio, Yorick, Memento Mori, Death, Mortality, Shakespeare, Eugene Delacroix

Hamlet with Horatio, (the gravedigger scene), Eugène Delcroix, 1839, the Louvre

Today’s AoM Journaling Challenge:

Memento mori. “Remember that you will die.” Admittedly, this isn’t the most pleasant topic. There is, however, great benefit in meditating on the reality that at some point, you will in fact die. It motivates you to live the life right now that you want to be living. Meditate on this, and write out your thoughts. Does death scare you? Does it motivate you? It’s okay to be honest.

Considering that this blog is about reflecting on life, reflecting on the reality of death as part of that was a fairly easy exercise for me. I’ve always been acutely aware of how limited I am in regards to the time I have to do things. It’s not a matter of being morbid, it has been a matter of just being aware of the relationship between time and mortality.

I think a primary piece of my awareness of mortality is partially due to having been introduced to the idea of death so early in life. I had a cat that died when I was four and also had family members who were sick when I was younger so I came to understand that the time we have is limited. I’ve lost friends, acquaintances, and colleagues, over time, to accident or sickness. In the back of my mind, I know that every interaction could be the last one that I have.

Ultimately, I find that being aware of my mortality means that I’m more motivated to live the life I want to live and to truly enjoy the time that I have. I’m more appreciative of the time that I have and the relationships that I have and that I build. I’m also more aware of the lessons that people and life have to offer. I try to make the best of what I have because I have seen that time, health, and money are not guarantees and all of those things can change faster that one ever imagined to be possible.

When I turned 25 I remember announcing my birthday in two different ways:
1.) I was a quarter century old.
2.) If the average male lifespan is 78, I was already done with a third of my life.

This sort of mentality means that I am more likely to pursue those things that I want rather than waiting for the perfect moment. I don’t pursue perfection, I’m okay with things being the best that they can be at that moment and find that being more aware of my mortality makes me more mindful in my relationships and in planning and reaching my goals.


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