Memento Mori

Sat Jul 21 2018

Memento mori.

I need not a special artifact or amulet to remember my mortality; I have something far more personal. My memento mori surpasses both stone and ink. My herald of death has forever been entangled in my body's ecosystem. I am, of course, referring to the gaping hole encrusted where my left molar once proudly stood.

The mystery flavor Airhead that decimated my molar left a surviving impact on me. At any moment, bacteria from my mouth could flow directly into my heart, potentially clogging a vessel or further infecting my bloodstream. And lo, whensoever I stare at my own reflection while picking the remains of chicken wings out of my tooth hole with a pick, I am reminded of my impending death.

Maybe impending is too extreme. No one knows when they're going to die; however, everyone knows that they will eventually die. For me, the tooth (or the lack thereof) could kill me in a few weeks. A sudden aneurysm or stroke, on the other hand, could finish me off only mere seconds from now. I do not know the details of my death, only that I'll probably look like an idiot in the exact moment.

Remembering that you will die goes beyond immediate woes (e.g., dying). I do not worry about death itself; I've since learned to avoid worrying about factors beyond my control. I do, however, in the dark of night, worry about the life I have already lived. Has my tenure on this planet effected good? What love have I shared?

Regardless of whether I am elated or defeated, my tooth is still gone, my body still fragile, my mortality still looming behind me at a moment's notice. I think that it is true that one's probability of dying increases with each passing moment. Should that be true, I shouldn't be losing sleep over vanities like wealth or power. All the money in the world will one day burn. There are more important features of this universe; truth and love are written into the stars themselves.

For trillions of years, everything under the sun has perished at one point or another. I cannot avoid death. Why avoid life?

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