Awareness of death is whatever the individual makes of it.
As you say, it can be interpreted as an excuse for an orgy of 'living', while there is time to live.
But also it can be an awareness that now is all there is, and so it is best to get it right.
Beyond that, it is a promise, of freedom from mortal flesh when one's mission is accomplished.
Or the quest to turn the temporary into the eternal, through expanding each moment into infinity.
Any of these views, and probably many more, come from an awareness of death.