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Memento Mori Stories

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Memento mori is Latin for "remember you will die", and encompasses the centuries old theory and practice of reflection on mortality. Memento Mori Stories are reflections on our own and our loved ones’ mortality, and how we are coping with grief and loss. From the depths of fear, pain and denial can come deep gifts of connection, appreciation, and peace. These poignant and personal stories reflect on such questions as: How do we remember those we have loved? What are the things we keep, the phrases we use, the foods we prepare, the places that are special? Memento Mori Stories – remembering that we will die, and that life is to be cherished, noticed, and lived fully.

Memento mori is Latin for "remember you will die", and encompasses the centuries old theory and practice of reflection on mortality. Memento Mori Stories are reflections on our own and our loved ones’ mortality, and how we are coping with grief and loss. From the depths of fear, pain and denial can come deep gifts of connection, appreciation, and peace. These poignant and personal stories reflect on such questions as: How do we remember those we have loved? What are the things we keep, the phrases we use, the foods we prepare, the places that are special? Memento Mori Stories – remembering that we will die, and that life is to be cherished, noticed, and lived fully.
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Location:

United States

Description:

Memento mori is Latin for "remember you will die", and encompasses the centuries old theory and practice of reflection on mortality. Memento Mori Stories are reflections on our own and our loved ones’ mortality, and how we are coping with grief and loss. From the depths of fear, pain and denial can come deep gifts of connection, appreciation, and peace. These poignant and personal stories reflect on such questions as: How do we remember those we have loved? What are the things we keep, the phrases we use, the foods we prepare, the places that are special? Memento Mori Stories – remembering that we will die, and that life is to be cherished, noticed, and lived fully.

Language:

English

Contact:

203-627-3014


Episodes

Many Memories

4/17/2019
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Memories are so visceral and subjective and what the observer remembers and their place, I mean it’s just so complex and complicated, and it’s how one chooses to hold the memory. So there are both good memories and bad memories in life, and the good memories – like when I looked at the linen tablecloth, it was joyous! And I felt more loved and more appreciated for who I was. She was never trying to make me be someone I wasn’t, and there are other memories I have with objects that I might see...

Duration:00:05:34

Clouds and Joy

4/10/2019
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My mother was a very joyful woman; she had just a joy of living and she found joy in a lot of little simple things in life. And she would get so excited just like a little child. As she got older and I was taking care of her, we used to go for rides at sunset and look at the clouds, and she got so overjoyed at these sunsets and the brightness of the clouds, and the more clouds the prettier the sunset. And so every time now when I see a cloud, particularly a white big fluffy cloud, I will...

Duration:00:04:47

Charm Bracelet

4/3/2019
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Having three daughters I think might have thrown him, because you think of so many men really wanting a son, and to do this, it was the gentler side of him. It was a side that he didn’t often show us so maybe for that reason it means even more to me than it might ordinarily seem. He also would tease us and say that if we were ever in desperate need and needed money we could pawn our bracelets. We never have. I never will.

Duration:00:05:52

Pop's Ladder

3/27/2019
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I have a ladder that’s a smaller ladder. It’s probably more like 3 ½ feet tall. It’s splattered with paint; one of the shelf things is just, you know, kind of, the staples have come out and it’s pushed to the side, and it reminds me of him because my memory is of him, you know, always being able to fix something or paint it. We never had repair people, we only had him; and he didn’t read directions. He just was able to intuitively do things and it was so comforting to have him.

Duration:00:06:10

Ancestors

3/20/2019
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The interesting thing about this ring is silver tends to tarnish, but either through wearing it since 1975 or so to now, it’s never tarnished. It’s always stayed a bright silver. And when I look at it it reminds me of my cultural upbringing, and those relatives who I met once but have really not seen again. So I would say that it both was given to me as a gift and therefore later on I ended up choosing it as something that would be a reminder that I would keep with me for the rest of my life.

Duration:00:06:20

18 Arkell St.

3/13/2019
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But the reason I wanted to talk about the house is the incredible significance of the structure itself to me, which I didn’t appreciate or I didn’t understand so much until now that it doesn’t belong to our family. What really strikes me now that we’re not in that house is the actual structure and how familiar every nook and cranny of that house is and that it’s no longer physically available to me. It’s been just really emotional to think that that is no longer in my life.

Duration:00:06:56

Aunt Erma's Ring

3/6/2019
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So I loved my Aunt Erma. I loved her intellectual curiosity. I loved that she was so cosmopolitan within her city of New York. And I loved that she was interested in me. So when I was given her ring for my birthday, I was thrilled..... I feel loss but I also feel like she’s close to me. She represents that it’s okay to be a strong and intelligent professional woman, and that’s a huge role model for me so I’ve always sort of felt that she was still around me

Duration:00:05:05

Friendship Bread

2/27/2019
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When I start to think about what reminds me of a loved one who’s no longer here, the answer for me really is quite simple. It’s what I call Friendship Bread. And actually I have a loaf on my kitchen counter right now which I made just a couple days ago that reminds me of my Dad. Note: Elinor's book, "The Virtues of Cooking", is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Virtues-Cooking-Elinor-Allcott-Griffith/dp/1320535194/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Elinor+Griffith&qid=1550031290&s=gateway&sr=8-1

Duration:00:06:31

Grandmother's Spode Plates

2/20/2019
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It’s a little collection of plates, and they are red and white Spode plates, a platter and kind of like soup dishes, and they were my grandmother’s, and they are actually hanging in my dining room, so I look at them all the time, and which of course always makes me think of her. I love them, No 1, you know, because I love them but because they are so sentimental to me, and they just remind me of her. She had quite a number of different kinds of like plates or bowls, or things. My grandmother...

Duration:00:05:04

Ring Cycle

2/13/2019
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I have a turquoise ring I got, somehow, from my father’s mother. I truly don’t remember how I came to have it – what the exact circumstances were - but I have had it for over 40 years, and have worn it consistently at some points, and not at all at others. I have wondered for some time how this particular grandmother came to have this ring. Did she buy it? Was it given to her? Why a Southwestern style ring for someone from Northern New York? It seems strange to me that I never asked her...

Duration:00:03:57

Strength and Removal of Obstacles

2/6/2019
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The little carved mahogany elephant is related to my grandfather. When I was a young adult, finding my way in the world, I had a wonderful privilege traveling to Ghana, West Africa. And while I was there I bought gifts to bring home for several of my loved ones, family, friends. But I remember specifically purchasing a set of three mahogany elephants, little carved elephants. And the largest one I gave to my grandfather when we returned. When he died in about 1993, in January, my grandmother...

Duration:00:06:25

Three Objects I Love

1/28/2019
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I would love to share the story of the three objects that I love and the meaning they have for me. First of all there’s a gold and silver bowl. I happened to see it in a brochure someplace and I just had to have it. And the reason I had to have it is it reminded me of a song from Girl Scout Camp, which was: Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold. The second object I selected that is meaningful to me is a painting that my Aunt Rose painted. It was her first oil...

Duration:00:05:40

Auntie-T's Cookies

1/23/2019
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I never had a grandmother but I did have Auntie-T. Auntie-T was the closest to a grandmother I would ever have, she was my grandfather's sister. She was THE best hostess. The cookies were huge, soft and puffy, nothing like the kind I had ever eaten from a store. Years later, Auntie- T died. Her death was the first in my family that I experienced. It was a huge loss for me. But Auntie-T came to me in a dream. She was in her kitchen, smiling. She looked up and said, "Everything is going to be...

Duration:00:03:29

Birch Trees

12/7/2018
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I am someone who has always loved nature, even as a child. And as an adult, I particularly have become interested in gardening, and plants, and trees, etc., And one of the trees that I really love are birch trees. The bark peels off of them and they are delicate, elegant clusters of trees. And one of the reasons that birch trees appeal to me is that they remind me of my Grandmother DeMers, my father’s mother, who, in her apartment, had two pictures of birch trees. I think they were...

Duration:00:04:29

Silver Heart

12/3/2018
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I think the way this little ring memento, the shape of it and the feel of it, makes me feel pretty presently in love with my own life right now. My mother had some issues in her life, all of us do, pretty serious things that she had to overcome, and that I resented from time to time. So I think that the fact that I see this, the heart shape, it reminds me that she was thinking of me which was important for me.

Duration:00:04:21

Gallivanting and Wunderbar

12/1/2018
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My father’s mother was a self-described “Gallivantor”. In her retirement she would work as a nurse, save up money and then go on trips. And the Norwegian American line was her favorite cruise line....And my mother’s father I only got to meet once for a very brief time. Because he was German; my mother was born in Berlin. She left Germany during the war and he stayed so I didn’t get to meet him until afterwards. He was an architect in Berlin and on that visit the family got to spend time with...

Duration:00:04:42