In our culture, when someone becomes aware of their mortality (which they definitely still fear), the common reaction is to want to live life to the fullest, to live each moment as if it were the last. Unfortunately, in our culture what that usually means is that one goes for everything one has wanted to do but hasn’t. We try to gratify all our unskillful desires, our cravings. This hardly brings peace and just heightens the anxiety of approaching death. It’s indulgence on the edge.
For a Buddhist, the definition of living life to the fullest is very different. Aware of the emptiness of all five skandhas, having no fear of and being prepared for death, we are fully aware of the impermanence of all things. We know that everything our thinking mind wants to grasp is transient.
And so we understand that trying to grasp these things is of no use and produces nothing but stress and anxiety. Thus we are able to free ourselves from our cravings and instead focus on our purpose in life, which is to offer others joy and help relieve the suffering of others. This is the change in life that being prepared for death brings.