Memento Mori

April 08, 2018


Momento Mori

A Memento Mori is a simple reminder that life is short and fragile, so it is important to appreciate what you have and prioritize what is really of value in your life.

In Stoic philosophy, the important things one should focus on are living a virtuous life, doing as much good as possible, and finding joy in the world around us.


These coins were originally a personal project – I made one for myself and thought we could give them to family and friends who, like me, find themselves getting hung up on life’s daily stresses, often losing sight of the things that are really important in life.

It’s easy to think and even truly believe that you should focus on what’s important and that things like work, money, possessions, ego etc. shouldn’t stress you out, but it is much harder to actually DO that. Sometimes we need help staying on track, snapping out of the fog of stress that can easily fill up each day, and bring life back into perspective. In my case, I realized that I needed to do this every day, even multiple times a day if I wanted to keep a clear head and stay out of the daily stress quicksand that seems to wait around each turn.

Which is why I made these little coins – KNOWING that I should focus on what’s really important during my short stay on this planet wasn’t enough. I needed a reminder, something physical that I could carry with me that could be a branch to grab onto when I found myself stepping into that quicksand.

So I made the coin, and the more I showed it the more people were interested and asked about how to get them. We never intended to sell them, but if they can be helpful reminders for people then we wanted to make them available.

Each coin is 1.5” wide, with burnished and painted edges, and is made of two pieces of leather so they are sturdy. One side has the Skull & Feather graphic while the other is blank, leaving space for a word of the buyer’s choice – something personal to help in their quest to live a meaningful and virtuous life.  We priced them at $15 so that they were affordable, and if you sign up for our newsletter you’ll receive free shipping. 

The Skull & Feather artwork is a hand-drawn illustration by Yumi – the skull represents our mortality, and the feathers represent the fragility of life. 

They can be purchased here.

- Joe Freitag, Co-Founder, Friday & River

“When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love ...” 
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“You live as if you were destined to live forever, no thought of your frailty ever enters your head, of how much time has already gone by you take no heed. You squander time as if you drew from a full and abundant supply, though all the while that day which you bestow on some person or thing is perhaps your last.”

― Seneca, On the Shortness of Life

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