Memento Mori ☠️🥀
Remember you must die!
Memento Mori literally means “Remember you must die”. The early Puritan settlers were particularly aware of death and fearful of what it might mean, so a Puritan tombstone will often display a memento mori intended for the living. These death’s-heads or skulls may strike us as ghoulish, but they helped keep the living on the straight and narrow for fear of eternal punishment. In earlier centuries, an educated European might place an actual skull on his desk to keep the idea of death always present in his mind.
An unavoidable universal commonality is death. Rich or poor, sick or healthy, young or old, smart or not so smart, humans or animals, everyone dies eventually. some don't think of death until it strikes while others have it on their minds a lot as it steers the way they live.
My introduction to the concept of Memento Mori was a little over a year ago when i began to immerse myself into meditation and i discovered Stoicism, stoic principles and the conflict of interest i had with stoic lifestyle choices, the law of attraction and “realism”. The purpose of memento mori essentially isn't to instill fear but instead serve as a reminder of how fleeting and fragile life really is also as an aide-memoire of our priorities in life — the things that we should strive to be beyond the materialistic and shallow things that fuels todays society. Stoics didn't wait till somebody died to have that grounding experience and resounding reminder of this cold hard fact. i totally subscribe to that train of thought but concomitantly experiencing death (being around death) especially when it hits close to home or is at your doorstep is the ultimate humbling experience and reminder of this brief existence.
I hate how most of my entries this year somehow seeps into the conversation of life, death and mortality but it’s really been unavoidable for me. At least every month for the past 5 — 6 now has come with a sad news of someone I knew directly or indirectly dying and what’s really hurting me is it’s majorly not even aged people we’re losing…. It’s mostly been guys and girls not so much older or younger than myself.. people who you see one day in the best shape of their lives and the next day you’re ran over by the train of grief! what's happening really?
The last one came as an absolute shock to me. I remember journaling about an art eat experience I had in August and I remember how good the food was especially the puff puff with a caramel topping my God 🤤, how warm the people and the atmosphere was, how cool and open conversations on mental health was that evening… anyway that’s besides the point.. that was such an amazing day in hindsight but I got some really terrible news about the chef who hosted us passing and that absolutely ruined my whole vibration… I got the privilege of experiencing chef Linda for just a couple of hours that evening and I’ll say what I told Joel: she seemed like an extremely warm, cool and welcoming person, very soft spoken and maybe introverted from my read on her, she had a really good energy about her and hearing about her death really brought me to this point of mortality again. I’m asking; what is the point of this all really? What’s the purpose of this experience really? I feel I’ve quoted a response suitable to these poised questions on previous entries but each time death pulls up, you begin to question every single thing again. There can never be a resolve as long as death occurs. The closer it hits to home, the more you want to know why… if I’m feeling this conflicted, how then will her family and close friends be handling this? God knows best? Is this really what God feels is best? Does this even feel right to God? I mean why?
There's no consolation or right thing to say to someone grieving, loss is devastating, memories rush in like a flood and if you're blessed and lucky enough to have pictures and videos of your lost friend or family then that's just amazing. from experience, you need to allow yourself grief, cry for as long as you feel the need to and let it all out. i know what “Staying strong” feels like and trust me, you can do that for just so long. A breakdown is imminent if you don't pump the brakes and deal with it.
“Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance life’s books each day. … The one who puts the finishing touches on their life each day is never short of time.” — Seneca
Mindful living and creating lasting experiences
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the course of the past year, it’s to not take things so personally… gone are the days of mental gymnastics and creating scenarios in my head that don’t exist, asking questions just to make sure I haven’t Offended or hurt someone or just trying to be “good” with people, making sure I don’t give up on certain commitments i made to myself even when it’s clear as day that it’s not working out.
I value my time and energy a lot more these days and I’m learning to take things and actions at face value… I wouldn’t exactly call it an “I don’t care” attitude but there is something like caring a little too much and trust me, that shit hurts so much when the venture isn’t fruitful, no return on your investments or whoever it is you feel so much invested in doesn’t reciprocate or at least put in effort. Your moral compass might steer you in the direction of “loyalty” and sticking around for whatever reason it is but believe me when I tell you it’s extremely unhealthy and you’ll be absolutely fine if not better just letting go!
This reminds me of a quote in a book by Vex King I read some months ago “Good Vibe, Good Life”
Surround yourself with people who are vibin’ higher than you. Be around people who are feeling better than you are. Energy is contagious.
For those of us alive and well, i encourage more interaction, create more time to make memories, take pictures, videos, actual experiences… allow all that social medial bullshit and be in the present moment with those you truly love and care about. do you know how painful it is to want to hear the voice of a deceased loved one and you have absolutely no videos, no voice notes, just throwback pictures from eons ago that don't fully capture the growth and progress of your relationships? how much it sucks trying to remember an experience you had with the person but nothing tangible to hang on to? just old text messages and jokes on social media you can only read a million and one times?
The moment anything is feeling forced, just let it go! The energy you expel on trying to figure out what or why could easily be channeled into other productive ventures with the most productive being yourself! Don’t force it! and don't let “History” be the thin thread that holds certain relationships together… Let shit go and move right on! Life is too short to waste your emotional currency on things and people that don't make the cut anymore
I don't have time = Not a priority — Dafe
I'm definitely not asking you to be a dickhead and cut off everyone who you've got a grudge with , No. I'm asking us to reevaluate relationships in our lives and prioritize the most important ones. People who genuinely care about us, our wellbeing and people we grow together with. The august visitor friends are also cool but I'm speaking more to the core of our friendships only because you must not underestimate the power of a reliable circle. when you die, those are the people who hurt the most and need these things to carry on. The world will mourn, people who knew you and people who probably said hi to you once or twice. After that, you're just a memory. Believe that. Some wont even remember you until its time for a remembrance ceremony or a posthumous birthday celebration. That's life. It’s not even personal i promise. so let’s stick around with the “Action” people that do this friendship and family thing mindfully and with the best intentions. forget all those talkers.. na chat them like chat and that's all you'll have to remember. if the bedrock, foundation and peak of the relationship is based on past experiences “Remember when this and that” so much remembrance and dwelling on the past then i feel you should also reevaluate. we should be growing together like i said earlier and creating new and more epic memories. leave all the throwback anchors on the dock please. Sail that ship ⛵
Death is painful, death is growth and death is an unexpected wake-up call. My heart goes out to everyone dealing with any form of loss, victims of the brutal massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate about a year ago. Some days it feels ridiculously hard, other days the beautiful memories cheer you up, make it easy and fuel you in ways you can’t even imagine. Ultimately, Death is a lesson in life itself and it boils down to what moral(s) we decide to take from this lesson.
Hopefully this is my last entry on death and mortality for the year. it really is draining sometimes but this the best way i know how to vent and express my thoughts. also a massive shoutout to the growing audience, i appreciate the feedback, questions and corrections. that's the only way we can learn and grow. Special Shoutout to Deo for always engaging with my entries. i appreciate you guys a lot ❤
The year is coming to a fast end and i wish you guys the best end 2021 can offer us. Try out new stuff with your people, create these beautiful memories and please be mindful about the energies you let around you. we know how busy the town gets this time of the year so don't lose focus.
Love, Light and Smile for Dexter 😘
Many of the obstacles we face in our lives are rather like the waves of the sea: relentless, bleak, repetitive and, ultimately, not responsive to our wishes or longings. This is not a cruel fact about one’s own predicament; it is a basic premise of the human condition. Therefore, one should not bring unreasonable expectations and be continually shocked and dismayed when life does not answer to our demands. We should learn to accept all we cannot change and face it with a degree of heroism and Stoic strength, as a sailor battling the waves might. We can also, in the midst of our struggles, appreciate the beauty and grandeur of what we’re up against.
Life will test you
just before it will bless you.
Some of the best changes in life result from the most painful experiences.
We need to experience low points in our life in order to gain the wisdom, strength and knowledge we need to appreciate the high points. — Vex King