A palliative care nurse published a book titled “The Top Five Regrets of Dying”, which includes her discoveries and experiences on the most common things people claim to be regretting about on their deathbeds. It’s quite observable that most of these regrets are due to them not paying attention or spending enough time with their loved ones.
Given below is a list of said regrets and an excerpt from her book.
Regret is one of the worst feelings that a person would ever feel in their lives, let alone on their deathbeds, it’s one of the worst experiences one can go through in the span of their last breath. Why let this happen? It’s utterly useless to regret about things at the final moment of your life as it gives you nothing but only pain and suffering as you spend these moments remembering about the things you couldn’t accomplish.
Whenever you start to regret about something, take it as an opportunity to learn a lesson for your future, not to be left behind. Life is a journey full of surprises. We always learn from our birth until death. Regrets would only make you fall back, making you slow and sluggish. In order to avoid regret and maintain happiness learn to change your life aspects quickly. Life is full of choices so choose wisely and choose a happy life.
1. I wish I could have lived my life on my own accord and not to please others
The most common regret: when most people realize that their lives are reaching the end soon, and look back clearly we can understand how many dreams are left behind unachieved. Health provides a freedom that a very few people realize until it disappears from them.
It’s very important to at least try to fulfill some your dreams in your life span, enjoy that happiness when you accomplish. Or else you will only be left with a guilty feeling of regret for the rest of your life.
2. I wish I hadn’t work so hard
This comes from all the male patients I cared for who have missed the youth of their children and their partners company. The women also expressed about this regret, but since most of them belonged to the older generations, many female patients are not the breadwinners of the family. All the male patients regret having spent most of their lifetime contemplating work existence.
By living a simple lifestyle and making informed decisions along the way, you may not need the money you think you need. By freeing up the time in your life, you can be happier and open to more possibilities, better adapted to your new lifestyle.
3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings more
Many of these people kept their feeling for themselves in order to maintain their peace with others; as a result they strived for a mediocre life and never became who they really can be. These resulted arise of many illnesses due to the distress caused by the unspoken words, bitterness and the resentment.
We cannot control the reaction of other people. However, while people may initially respond to their lifestyle changes by being honest with it, it ultimately raises the relationship to a better and a healthier one. Either way, you can be content.
4. I wish I had stayed in contact with my friend
They often do not understand the benefit of having close friends until the final weeks of their lives and may not always be possible to find and contact them at that time. Many people are so engaged in their own lives so they don’t realize these golden friendships slowly led away over the years. There were many who regret of not giving enough time and recognition to their friends during their lifetime and also for not making an effort to keep the bonds.
It’s really not rare for a person with a hectic life to not notice their friendships slowly fading away. But when you are facing your death you realize materialistic things are not important at all. They want to put things in order for the sake of their loved ones. However, they are usually tired to carry out all these tasks. At the end of the day, it’s all about love and relationships. That’s all that will be remaining for your finals days.
5. I wish I would have let myself to be happier
This is surprisingly ordinary. After all, many people don’t understand that happiness is a choice. They still stick to old ways and habits. The so-called comfort of acquaintance manifests itself both in their emotions and in their physical lives. Change fears them to pretend to others and to themselves that they are happy when, deep down, they want to laugh right and have meaningless things in their lives again.
“When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying”
Quoted from the book titled “Top Five Regrets of the Dying- A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing” by Bronnie Ware.