Memento Mori: Meditating on the Inevitability of Death

What the practice is, what role death has in giving life meaning, how the practice helps you, and a FREE Template for your Memento Mori practice.

1️⃣ What is Memento Mori?

Some of the most famous world leaders carry a token with them to remind them of the inevitability of their death. Memento Mori is a Latin phrase that means ‘remember that you must die.’ It is the reminder that no matter what paths we all take, and the kind of lives we might lead, life always leads us to death.

Reflecting on your mortality is only depressing if you miss the larger point of this exercise. Remembering death can be an excellent tool to create priority and meaning in life—it creatives real perspective and urgency to treat our limited time in this life with respect. Therefore, death offers meaning and purpose to life.

2️⃣ Why Should We Think About Death?

Remembering that we must die is an anchor that allows us to make plans about living our limited life. It allows us to make decisions that we might not otherwise have the courage to take. It is the ultimate big-picture. When we remember that life will end, we have a new perspective on how we wish to spend it. It is too easy to get lost in the short-term, daily routines of life, and we might need the constant, big-picture perspective that it will all end to realign our goals and vision about how we wish to live our life.

We often are in denial about uncomfortable truths. We tend to run away from the reality that might not be in line with our hopes or expectations. Sometimes it is too scary to confront the fact that we will die in the end. But it is the truth.

3️⃣ What Purpose Does Death Serve in Living Life?

The ancient practice of Memento Mori encourages us to remember and reflect on our mortality and confront this reality head-on.

I can think of three purposes for this practice.

First, it inspires humility. Knowing that we are all going to die in the end grounds us during periods of achievement when we might need to be grounded.

Second, remembering that we will die inspires joy and zest for life. When we know life will end, it is easier to remember to enjoy every moment and seize each day.

Third, Memento Mori offers a philosophical perspective for setting our goals and planning our life. Death helps us constantly realign our goals and plans.

Use the reminder of death be the building block of living your life to the fullest and not wasting a second.

Here’s a FREE Notion template to help you get started with your own Memento Mori practice: ⬇️ Click here to download.

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