The Shaikh, the Imaam, the Allaamah, the Shaikh of Islaam, Abul-Faraj Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Ali ibn Muhammad ibn al-Jawzi, said:
“From the most interesting things is the alertness of the dying person at the time of his death–for he becomes perceptive to a degree which cannot be described, and worried to an extent that has no limits.
And he yearns for his times of old, and wishes that he be left so that he can make up for what passed him by, and so that he can be truthful in his repentance in accordance with the level of certainty he [now] has about death.
And he–out of grief–almost kills his own soul before its [actual] death.
And if a [single] atoms weight of these things were found at the time of health and well-being, everything that is intended by doing pious deeds would be achieved.
So the intellectual one is he who pictures that hour and acts according to what it requires. And if he is not able to do that, then he visualises it as much as he is able to, for it will prevent desire’s hand, and will arouse seriousness/earnestness [in him].
As for the person who has that hour right before his very eyes [i.e., is always thinking about it in order to prepare], then he is like its prisoner.
As is reported about Habib al-Ajami. When he would wake in the morning he would say to his wife, ‘If I die today, then let so and so be the one who washes me, and so and so be the ones who carry me.’
And al-Ma’roof said to a person, ‘Pray the midday prayer [dhur] with us!’ So he replied, ‘If I pray the midday prayer [dhur] with you I’m not going to pray the afternoon prayer [asr] with you.’ So al-Ma’roof said, ‘And it is as though you have hope that you will live till asr? I seek refuge with Allaah from having lengthy/drawn out hopes.’ And a person backbit another, so al-Ma’roof said, ‘Remember the cotton when they place it on your eyes [at the time of death].’”