Last weekend, I attended two funerals.
The first funeral was in honor of a man who lived to be 78 years old, while the second funeral was for a man who only lived to be 19 years young.
It made me think. We are constantly checking our watches and our phones for the time– but can we really know how much time we have left?
I guess that’s an answer that we can never know – we are simply allocated with time, without ever knowing our allotted amount.
Maybe we invented the concept of time to make this huge world we live in a little bit smaller.
I am starting to think that the only thing that makes this world smaller than time itself is the death of it— its end. When our time runs out.
But if I have learned anything from those two funerals, it’s that dying doesn’t make a person dead and gone. If anything, it may only emphasize how fully they had lived their life.
Therefore, since we cannot know how long we have in this life, I think we should rather focus on…
Amor fati, darlings.
“Amor fati” is a Latin phrase that translates to “love of one’s fate.” It is the concept of loving what is destined for us, despite tragedies that we cannot control.
We may never know how much time we have left or what our fate entails in this world, but neither the past nor future should excuse us from living in the present.
But the real reason why amor fati has become my life motto, came on the sixth anniversary of my mother’s death.
That day I had the sudden urge to catch up with her workmates (who were some of her closest friends). As I was driving there, all I could think about was why I was going there in the first place– “what am I going to say, do they even remember me or my mom, am I making a complete fool out of myself?” When I arrived, I walked up to the front desk and asked for my mom’s boss, Lisa. But as it turned out, she was away at a meeting. So I exchanged my contact info and left.
Just like that, I left that office, seemingly for the last time, just as my mother had so many years ago. At that point, I truly thought that maybe I need to let my mom rest in peace and let her go. To say the least, the whole experience left me slightly mortified and completely self-defeated.
Then a little less than a week later, I got a call from Lisa and we scheduled a day to meet up. When the time came, as I always am at new beginnings, I was nervous and wanted to chicken out. But gosh, am I so glad I didn’t!
I know this is going to sound juvenile of me, but honestly, when I was in the room with my mom’s old workmates, I felt like I was in the room with my mom too.
We were catching up, and I was, at last, getting all the answers people were too afraid to disclose to me, the answers I had been in search for since her death. Answers like the cause of her death, what she was like (which remarkably resembled what I hope people see in me). And as I was trying to ingrain all of this cherished information in my head– “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” by The Police came on in the background of our conversation. My mom was singing that song at the top of her lungs on the way to our last Starbucks trip together– and I swear that every little thing about that moment really was magic.
As if that was not a sign enough that she was there in the room with me, the song “Roxanne” by The Police cued right after. Once it came on, one of my mom’s workmates started squealing, “This is the song! Your mom would sing and dance to this! I told her I hated this song, but she would stand up from her chair and dance.”
And in that moment I knew that although my mom died, she clearly isn’t gone.
My darlings, let’s amor fati.
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