Dear You:

It has been a few months since the last time I wrote a letter to you. I am sorry for not sending a word, but I hope you are okay. On that note, I am happy to speak with you again. I truly am, and with the purest of intention, my desire is that you continue to withstand the challenges of life.

These past few days, life got me thinking about a lot of things. With everything that is happening in the world right now, reflecting upon the brevity of life almost feels like normal. With the presence of an ongoing pandemic, wars between countries, attacks of terrorism and even death of some of the most influential personalities. These events are all but a testament to the reality that there is nothing certain in this existence—including life itself.

Photo by Sunarman 2.0 on

This may sound inappropriate and eerie, but in this letter, allow me to talk about the inevitability of death. For some, death is an event that brings forth dread. Perhaps, this is because of the truth that man, by nature, demands existence. As a result of culture, most people choose not to discuss the matter and even consider it as trivial. However, death is part of life―a reality, something we must learn to live with, in order to make the most out of life.

As sad as it may seem, popular culture and mass media have changed how humanity perceives life. Existence is starting to depreciate from a search of a purpose to heedless living. We want to live, yet we forget or even do not know the reason why we do so, and this is where death comes into the picture. Accepting the end of existence is necessary to living a life of purpose and freedom. As for how Stephen Covey expressed it:

“To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.”

Stephen R. Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

In order to live life as if it is last, we need to come into our senses and accept the brevity of life. By grasping this truth, we become aware of every detail around us and the best part: the things that are true in importance are magnified in our eyes. We find answers to questions, reasons to fight, and purpose to continue. As a result, we become the best version of ourselves. We wake up every morning with a mindset to chase our dreams and battle what is in front of us with our best at hand.


So, at the end of the journey, we know we did our part. Despite how short or long our existence, we have nothing to be ashamed of because we gave our best and we fought hard to have no regrets in life. I am sorry if this open letter sounds too emotional by now, but as I end, allow me to share a piece of hope with you. Death is real, but so is the soul and eternal life. Life on Earth is nothing but a preparation of what is to come, hence, exist for the right purpose, not only for yourself but for God and others, because in the end, it is only He who gives true freedom—one that will last forever.

Take a deep breath.

Pause, and again, take a deep breath.

Remember, you must die.

Memento mori.

Your Friend:


Q&A: Question and Action

How do you respond with the thought of death? Do you think accepting the reality that everything comes to an end can create a great impact in your life? Why or why not?

I would love to hear from you! Please, share your thoughts in the comments section below.

About the Writer:

Elijah Wayne Marin is a self-improvement blogger from the Philippines. He is a medical laboratory science student who began blogging in the midst of a pandemic. His goal is to empower young people in breaking their boundaries by providing tips, motivation and relevant information about personal development.

If you want to receive newsletters and remain updated on self-improvement, you can follow Go Develop Yourself here.

One thought on “Memento Mori: An Open Letter

  1. Many Filipinos would say: “memento mori, tagay tayo…kumain at uminom tayo dahil tutal mamamatay tayo”. Seriously, there is nothing like reflecting on the brevity of life to motivate ourselves to live fully and meaningfully

    Liked by 1 person

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