So many take the first part of that quote to heart but don't really consider the latter. Death is something they refuse to think about because it is scary and mysterious and... well, death.
We live in a death-denying culture. We don't even like to use the word "death" or "die" or "dead." Instead we talk of the death of someone by saying they have "passed," or they have "expired." We are even uncomfortable being around those who are grieving. We don't know what to say or how to act or what to do.
Megan Bruneau, in her blog lists five reasons that talking about death can improve one's life. She lists these reasons:
1. Thinking about death motivates us. Knowing that we have a limited time on earth causes us to make better use of the time God has granted us.
2. Thinking about death reminds us not to sweat the small stuff. We've all known people who have had their lives transformed by a near-death experience. They gain a new perspective on what is important and what isn't.
3. Thinking about death helps us appreciate the present and be mindful. Those things that used to be "ordinary" take on a new patina of importance and we can appreciate them a bit - even those things that used to irritate or annoy.
4. Thinking about death helps us negotiate our death anxiety and feel more prepared for our exit from this earth. The hour of our death will come. If we have thought through what we believe about the afterlife it may not be nearly so anxiety producing when it comes - to us or to someone we love.
5. Thinking about death encourages us to live intentionally. We waste so much time. Wouldn't life be richer is we made our moments and days count?
As a clergy-person I would encourage you to think about what the future holds - what you believe - how you will approach the inevitable. We do all die. Being prepared and not living in denial of that important fact can and will change your life.