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Poto 03-24-2012 04:53 PM

Top five regrets of the dying...
I saw this article in the UK Guardian. It's pretty profound. I wonder whether I'll change anything...

Top five regrets of the dying

A nurse has recorded the most common regrets of the dying, and among the top ones is 'I wish I hadn't worked so hard'. What would your biggest regret be if this was your last day of life?

There was no mention of more sex or bungee jumps. A palliative nurse who has counselled the dying in their last days has revealed the most common regrets we have at the end of our lives. And among the top, from men in particular, is 'I wish I hadn't worked so hard'.

Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. "When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently," she says, "common themes surfaced again and again."

Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

"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. I wish I 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. I wish I'd had the courage to express my 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. I wish I had stayed in touch with my 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. I wish that I had let myself 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."

Okami 03-24-2012 05:03 PM

Re: Top five regrets of the dying...
That's very interesting Potosan. There's a lot to be learnt from that.
I try not to get hung up on the silly little things in life, life's too short..
Peace and love to all:wavey:

Poto 03-24-2012 05:23 PM

Re: Top five regrets of the dying...
I bet that's the key, Okamisan. Not letting the little things in life be the same as the big things in life. I see a lot of people (some of whom I'm related to) who treat everything the same. I can't find my hairbrush! Disaster! My boss hates me! Disaster! But the same magnitude as losing the hairbrush.

You've got to let things roll off your back. I'm usually pretty good at that. But it takes work and concentration to focus on the important things. There's so much stressful distraction out there.

I guess it's all about balance. But that's so much easier to say than to achieve.

AlaskaRanger 03-24-2012 06:14 PM

Maybe I should have been a sociologist...or anthropologist...
...because my very first reaction to this thought-provoking article was "I wonder how these lists would appear if collected from various societies?".

I am assuming this Australian nurse collected them from Australia; possibly from the UK. Think of the potential differences amongst Russians, or Ethiopians, or Indians, Brazilians, Japanese, Balinese....

As those who know of me understand well, over fifteen years ago, at what most consider a still youthful age :) , I took those #s 1 & 2 by the horns and wrassled them all the way up to Bush Alaska. #5 followed suit, but I would not give myself high marks for #s 3 & 4.

CharlesWilson 03-24-2012 07:32 PM

Re: Top five regrets of the dying...
Well, it looks like 1-5 are not issues for me, so what are 6-10?


ticovogt 03-24-2012 07:39 PM

Re: Top five regrets of the dying...
"The present moment is the field on which the game of life happens. It cannot happen anywhere else." ~ Eckhart Tolle.

RWeber 03-24-2012 11:32 PM

Re: Top five regrets of the dying...
This makes me think what if. I bet Jeff Foxworthy could come up with a redneck top 5 that would be more entertaining.

Poto 03-25-2012 01:08 AM

Re: Top five regrets of the dying...
Maybe we should. Perhaps a woodworker's top 5. Or a tool porn addict's top five. :stirthepot:


rutager 03-25-2012 01:09 AM

Re: Top five regrets of the dying...
I noticed that the statement: "I Bought Too Many Tools," wasn't on the list.


Corwin 03-25-2012 01:12 AM

Re: Top five regrets of the dying...
Call me :nuts: but I would have expected to find, "I wish I would have taken care of myself better, so I could have lived longer" among the top five. :raisedhand:

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