Ever wondered what you’ll look back on and regret? Author, blogger, musician and nurse Bronnie Ware counselled the dying in their final days. She spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. Here’s what she discovered were the most common deathbed regrets.
1. Wishing you had the courage to live life true to yourself, not the life others expected
“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”
2. Wishing you hadn’t worked so hard
“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”
3. Wishing you had the courage to express your feelings
“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”
4. Wishing you stayed in touch with friends
“Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”
5. Wishing you’d have let yourself be happier
“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”
SO AS THE SUMMER APPROACHES DON’T WORK SO HARD, KEEP IN TOUCH WITH YOUR MATES AND GET SILLY…AND MOST IMPORTANTLY BE YOURSELF!
Source: Guardian 1/2/12