top of page
Memento Mori

Memento mori, amor fati—a Latin phrase dating back to the Stoics and
associated with Friedrich Nietzsche, often translated
as “remember that you must die, love your fate.” 



your favorite phrase, 

that’s what my necklace reads. 

your death is a sentiment I always keep with me, 

this keepsake, a feeling of grief, guilt, shame, 

only having a memory to wear around my neck, 

it shows itself in chains; it gets heavy, 

it tangles until it chokes; it is deadly, 

and you can’t just shove the emotion down the drain, 

or go and purposefully lose it, 

because you don’t want to hold onto it anymore, 

the heaviness of grief never fades. 


It’s hard attempting to wrap this grief around my  


I don’t understand it and I don’t think I ever will. 

How you only appear now in a phrase on a piece of circular bronze, 

I try to talk to you through it, 

tell myself you’re still here, 

and your existence is within it, 

I guess it’s just another stage of denial. 

I try to live by the phrase, 

I should scream up at the sky and tell you 

I did it. 

I’m four years sober, 

and graduating soon. 

It’s been four years since you chose to leave this earth, 

I wish the clasp on this necklace was a little stronger, 

the saying made you cling to life for at least a little longer. 

I don’t think I’ll pass the anger stage, 

because I know you would be four years sober too. 


I’m realizing, even in grief, 

the world never stops. 

You just keep going back to spin and fidget with 

the grief you wear on your necklace. 

A coping mechanism.  

I hope you can see how many lines I cut out from this poem, 

and how many I keep adding, 

how many ways I used this necklace as a metaphor for the pain. 

I wear it every day. 


Maybe this was your fate. 

I know that’s what you would say. 

I know it wasn’t your fate, 

And I always hoped for the ending, 

where we moved to Colorado 

because “that’s where the good shit is.” 

Sometimes life was better when that’s all we cared about. 

The good shit. 

But I wish you could have learned it exists in other forms. 


The sunrise, 

the spring air in the middle of March, 

a homemade vanilla latte, 

and 2 a.m. gas station runs where we buy out all the snacks. 

It’s learning to talk about how we’re feeling. 


You should be here for that. 


But you’re just a necklace that I always keep with me. 

On my Heart. 

The feeling that will forever be tangled in my chest. 


I just hope you’re in the mountains. 

  • Hannah Flanagan is a senior double majoring in English and Philosophy with a minor in Creative Writing. She has always felt the overwhelming need to write. After graduation, she plans on continuing her creative writing pursuits working towards her MFA. She wants to thank Professor Kryah and Professor Vogrin for inspiring the form of these pieces in workshops, which now hold a very meaningful place in her heart.

bottom of page