Do you think these details are somewhat ludicrous, unworthy of the seriousness of a meditation? Apply them to yourself, and perhaps they will have the effect of plunging you into deep thought. If the thought of death does not impress me or deter me from evil, as the Scriptures promise it will, it is because I think of someone else's death, not my own.
When my time comes everything and everywhere around me will echo that "respónsum mortis" of which St. Paul speaks. God forbid that I should be the only one deaf to its challenge!
Let us picture the scene: The priest comes to hear your last confession; the tinkling bell heralds your Viaticum; then follow the Last Anointings, the prayers for the recommendation of the soul, and the low mumblings, drawn faces, and silent tears of relatives and friends standing round your bed --if indeed there is anyone at all to weep your departure!-- Your whole body is in a cold sweat, there is a gradual stiffening of your features, a twitching of your rigid fingers as if trying to clutch at somthing, the cold impression of the crucifix on your livid half-open lips; and the shadows of death crowd upon you thicker and thicker, and your eyes acquire that fixed look as if pursuing sights that vanish from you...
The bells you so often heard toll or had toll for others will now toll for you. The funeral service that you so often [heard] chanted for others is now to be chanted for you. And there will be a burial, your very own; and the officiating priest, while your body sinks into the earth, will seal your disappearance from this world with a last supplication wherein you will lose even your name: Anima ejus et ánimæ ómnium fidélium defunctórum, per misericórdiam Dei requiéscant in pace. Amen.