Five Top Regrets of Dying People

Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse who spent several years caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives 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. Here they are.

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

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

None of these resonate with me, well, not exactly. Here’s my response:

1. I’ve never lived my life according to what others expected of me–sometimes to my regret. As for having the courage to live a life true to myself, I don’t think it was courage I lacked, I just didn’t know know what was true for me, I was always looking to others to tell me.

2. I liked working hard. Perhaps I didn’t work hard enough.

3. For the most part I’ve always expressed my feelings, not always well but it has been important to me to try to do so.

4. I have stayed in touch with friends. Plus I’ve regained Donna and Joan, a couple of old school chums from Zambia, who might never have been in my life anyway, but thanks to Facebook they are.

5. “I wish that I had let myself be happier.” I don’t get this one. Perhaps because I’m a glass half full kind of person.

Right out of the gate, I could spew regrets all over the place. But when I give it serious consideration, I don’t think I have as many regrets as others. Perhaps because I’ve always believed that an unexamined life is not worth living and I’ve gone through some excruciating self-evaluations, culminating in the latest episode that prompted my memoir Loveyoubye.  All I think about now is making the most of tomorrow. Perhaps when the time comes at the end, the very finality of leaving life will bring regrets I’m not aware of.

One thought on “Five Top Regrets of Dying People

  1. Nice one Sands,
    takes someone looking back to make you thankful for all the todays we can still fill up~ & love better~make better memories to smile over

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