Marcus Aurelius was sick and close to death when many of his meditations were written. Although we cannot know for sure, his writings indicate that, towards the end of his life, he was torn between his ideals, and his pain and fear of dying. Therefore, many of his meditations were directed towards how HE wanted to act.
This is the mark of a perfection of character: to spend each day as if it were your last, without frenzy laziness or any pretending.
He was trying to accept death as part of life. He was exulting himself to be a better stoic in these difficult times. Nearly everyone has faced death and their own mortality. I hope I can handle it with the force of commitment that others do.