I have found great wisdom (not morbidity) in the injunction in the Rule of Saint Benedict to keep death daily before our eyes. It offers perspective and, paradoxically, can enliven, making us more sensitivie to and appreciative of what we so often take for granted.
Michael Gerson has a reflection in today's Washington Post that considers the benefits of numbering our days.
Here is an excerpt:
At every stage, even in the manner of their dying, people can demonstrate they are something more. I recall my Italian, New Yorker grandmother — full of years and full of cancer (the result of a lifelong smoking habit) — telling me through some of her last, gasping breaths: “You have made me so very happy.” Such are the gifts human beings can give each other, even when there is nothing else to give.