Memento Mori: remember you will die

Following from my post about the benefits of being dead, I enjoyed reading this advice from /r/Buddhism:

Think of your own mortality at least 3 times a day.

Sounds like a doctor prescribing medicine.

Apparently the Bhutanese even have a saying, “to be a happy person one must contemplate death five times daily.” If you’re struggling to remember that, there’s even an app for it.

In the comments there was also this gem:

Here’s a mindfulness ‘trick’:

Think of this current breath as the last breath you will ever have.

After all, the next breath is not guaranteed.

Isn’t this current breath amazing, delicious, profound?

And I learned that the Latin for “remember that you have to die” is Memento mori“. One commenter said he bought a coin from the Roman period in 180 AD from eBay. He keeps it with him as a reminder of how many hands it’s passed through over the years – who are now all gone. It’s his memento mori.

Anyone reading my blog can tell I bring up death a lot. I find it meaningful to reflect about my own death, and the death of people I love. It helps me drop the non-important stuff and remember what matters.

However, I’ve met people who dread the thought of death and who find thinking about it to be depressive or anxiety-producing. If that is you, some of these comments make great points:

/u/CollinHH said:

The fact that it’s going to happen no matter what we do helps. It could happen tomorrow or in 70 years and there’s pretty much zero way of knowing. Sure it sucks and no one really wants to die, but dreading it won’t make it go away so I think about it, meditate on it, and continue with my day.

/u/magneticbathtub said:

I follow the same recipe.

I will add that doing so ideally increases lust for life and an overall appreciation for it. The fleeting nature should motivate one to seize opportunities and focus on the enduring whilst ignoring the temporal.

And /u/theRealAverageHuman said:

Totally agree death is going to happen 100% for sure, just don’t know when. It’s part of life and does not have to be thought of as scary or bad. Contemplating the temporary nature of this life really does help me remember “what really matters”.

People on the internet can be pretty wise.

One response to “Memento Mori: remember you will die”

  1. Rachel says:

    Ace idea, thanks for sharing

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