O Lord, grant me tears, and remembrance of death, and compunction.
--from St. John Chrysostom's 24 prayers for the hours of the day and night
Something else I don't remember often enough is death. Even more than the remembrance of God, it is easy to find discussion of this issue in the Fathers.
From the Ladder of Divine Ascent, in Step #6:
To be reminded of death each day is to die each day; to remember one's departure from life is to provoke tears by the hour. . . .From St. Tikhon of Zadonsk's Journey to Heaven, in the section "remember death, judgment, hell and eternal life":
The remembrance of death brings labors and meditations, or rather, the sweetness of dishonor to those living in community, whereas for those living away from turbulence it produces freedom from daily worries and breeds constant prayer and guarding of the mind, virtues that are the cause and the effect of the thought of death. . . .
No one who knew in advance the hour of his death would accept baptism or join a monastery long before it, but instead would pass all his time in sin and would be baptized and do penance only on the day of his demise. Habit would make him a confirmed and quite incorrigible sinner. . . .
If your remembrance of death is clear and specific, you will cut down on your eating, and if, in your humility, you reduce the amount you eat, your passions will be correspondingly reduced. . . .
The Fathers assert that perfect love is sinless. And it seems to me that in the same way a perfect sense of death is free from fear. . . .
We may be sure that remembrance of death, like every other blessing, is a gift from God. How else can you explain the fact that often we can be dry-eyed and hard at a cemetery, yet full of compunction when we are nowhere near such a place?
The man who has died to all things remembers death, but whoever holds some ties with the world will not cease plotting against himself.
Remember death often, and the judgment of Christ, eternal torment, and eternal life, and inevitably the world with all its lusts and enticements will become abhorrent to you. You will not desire to become rich, to be glorified, or to make merry in this world. Your only care will be to please God, to have a blessed end, not to be put to shame in the judgment of Christ, to escape eternal torment, and to enter into the Kingdom of God. This is truly a great and powerful means by which a man may escape enticement by the vanity of this world and remain in true repentance and contrition of heart, which is absolutely necessary to every Christian. . . .in the section "on death":
But how suddenly death overtakes him, and then all his dreams and plans perish. He who promised himself a long life quickly dies. He who wished to lay up treasures and become rich, leaves both the world and his body in the world. So our end is unknown to us. Christians! God, Who loves mankind, in caring for us has appointed for us our unknown end, that we may always be prepared for it and abide in true repentance. . . .in the section "on perpetual repentance and the correction of life":
It is a wondrous thing that the saints weep when they look upon that hour, but sinners do not weep though they see their brothers dying every day. . . .
Death walks invisibly behind us, and the end will overtake us when we least expect it, and it will overtake us where we least expect it, and it will overtake us in a way that we least expect. Abide in perpetual repentance, then, and be prepared for departure at all times and in every place. The wise servant always watches and waits till his master calls him. You, too, should watch and wait till Christ your Lord calls you, for He calls everyone through death. Then always be in your life what you wish to be at death. Always live piously and work out your salvation with fear and trembling (cf. Philip. 2:12). Always and everywhere proceed with caution and guard yourself, lest you be deprived of eternal salvation, which Christ our Lord obtained for us with His Blood and death, and so shall we have a blessed end.From the Arena, in Chap. 28 "on the remembrance of death":
Our mind is so darkened by the fall that unless we force ourselves to remember death we can completely forget about it. When we forget about death, then we begin to live on earth as if we were immortal, and we sacrifice all our activity to the world without concerning ourselves in the least either about the fearful transition to eternity or about our fate in eternity. Then we boldly and peremptorily override the commandments of Christ; then we commit all the vilest sins; then we abandon not only unceasing prayer but even the prayers appointed for definite times--we begin to scorn this essential and indispensable occupation as if it were an activity of little importance and little needed. Forgetful of physical death, we die a spiritual death.From Monastic Wisdom: The Letters of Elder Joseph the Hesychast, in Letter #51:
On the other hand, he who often remembers death of the body rises from the dead in soul. He lives on earth like a stranger in an inn or like a prisoner in gaol, constantly expecting to be called out for trial or execution. Before his eyes the gates into eternity are always open. He continually looks in that direction with spiritual anxiety, with deep sorrow and reflection. He is constantly occupied with wondering what will justify him at Christ's terrible judgment and what his sentence will be. This sentence decides a person's fate for the whole of eternity. No earthly beauty, no earthly pleasure draws his attention or his love. He condemns no one, for he remembers that at the judgment of God such judgment will be passed on him as he passed here on his neighbours. . . .
Behold, another new year! Once again, wishes and hopes. But death is lurking somewhere, waiting for us, too. Some day or night will be the last one of our life. Wherefore, blessed is he who remembers his death day and night and prepares himself to meet it. For it has a habit of coming joyfully to those who wait for it, but it arrives unexpectedly, bitterly, and harshly for those who do not expect it. . . .From Counsels from the Holy Mountain: Selected from the Letters and Homilies of Elder Ephraim, in the chapter "on Remembrance of Death, Hell, and Judgment":
22. When we remember death, we find an excellent guide that helps us discover the truth of things. Death says, "Why are you treasuring things up, why are you proud, why do you boast, O youth, O health, O science? When I come, I will render you your worth! When you are laid in the dark grave, you will know what the profit of earthly good things is!"Undoubtedly, these few quotes are but a drop in the bucket. (For the most part, they are already excerpted from much longer sections, and they reflect only what I happen to have in my small library.) But they suffice to show the significance of remembering death. It adjusts our perspective, so that our highest priority is to be ready. Our emphasis is on what is most important. All other cares in life are accordingly diminished.
We are departing to the world that transcends the senses, my children. We do not stay in this world which is full of bitterness, distress, sin, and miseries. There in the unfading life, God will wipe away every tear from the eyes of the saved, and there will be no pain, grief, or sighing, but an eternal day, a life without end or death! This is the life, my children, that we should long for wholeheartedly and fervently, so that by God's grace we may acquire it and be delivered from painful hell.