This time of year always brings up memories of my mother, she died on the 4th of February 2014, and that always makes this time of year hard. Spring is about new beginnings and Life but Death is always with us even when celebrating her sister. I was born on the 8th of February so, it always seems appropriate to start new resolutions around this time rather than at the beginning of January.
Its been 4 years now since I got the call from my dad, my mum had died of heart failure an had a no resuscitation order in her medical files. We had been on our way to visit when my dad got the call, he was commuting from San Jose to Indio every week leaving my mum in the care of a live-in nurse during the week while he worked. It was a stressful time for all of us, my mum had been in and out of hospitals for most of my remembered life but this visit seemed different, worse. We all knew that the end would happen but you never expect it when it finally comes.
In some ways, it was a relief to have the rollercoaster ride finally stop but it was still acutely painful.
I still tear up thinking about it now.
My mother was a force to be reckoned with, she wasn’t someone you could ignore. when she was gone it left a gaping hole, a place for the cold wind to get in.
Memento Mori is about remembering your own mortality. Remembering that you have little time to accomplish what needs doing on this plane of existence.
Events in our life, like a death, bring our own mortality and the fragility of life into focus. It’s a difficult thing to look at but it needs to be done occasionally.
My mother’s life is a prime example of a list of lost opportunities. She was never a happy woman and I think part of that stemmed from the fact that her life did not turn out the way she wanted. people in her life had let her down and she held onto that resentment until it killed her.
I am not saying that none of her resentment was justified, the stories I know make me angry on her behalf sometimes. The idea here is that life is fleeting and people are fallible.
We make mistakes, things happen and we live on or we don’t.
There is no grand scheme, things just happen.
The Gods have their ideas and itineraries that do not always keep our safety or happiness in mind, Sometimes we are just collateral damage.
The Gods are not all seeing all powerful beings, they are powerful and see a lot more than us sometimes but they still have their limitations.
I find that the idea that we are not always the center of the universe to be comforting. We have power over our own decisions, actions, and beliefs but so does everything else in this world.
We as humans just don’t have that much power, and mostly I think that is a good thing.
It’s our relationships with the other beings that inhabit this world that make things happen, us on our own is not enough.
We can send out prayers and supplications but if nothing is willing to listen than what have we really accomplished?
If we do not foster hospitality, relationships with others we can do very little good in this world.
If we work as a community, us alongside our kindred, we can do so much more than any individual.