A palliative nurse who counsels the dying in their last days has revealed the most common regrets people have at the end of their lives. And there wasn’t any mention of more sex or bungee jumps.
They were regrets that were much more meaningful and commonly ignored by most of us today.
So here are the top 5 regrets, according to Australian nurse, Bronnie Ware.
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
According to Bronnie, this was the most common of all. When people look back on their life, they can clearly see how many dreams and wishes have gone unfulfilled.
Most people have focused on their life based on what others expect of them. It seems that when we are in health, we tend to get lost in the freedom of choice and don’t chase what we really want in life.
2) I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
According to Ware, this came from every male patient that she nursed. They complained about missing their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship.
Women did speak of this regret, but as these regrets came from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been the family’s major breadwinner.
However, many men said they regret spending so much time on work and missing out on meaningful experiences.
3) I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Ware said that many people told her that during their life they suppressed their feelings to keep peace with others. However, they felt that severely limited who they can grow to be. They said that many of their illnesses probably relate to the bitterness and resentment they carried within them.
4) I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not realize the true benefits of friends until their dying weeks. Many people had become so caught up in their own lives that they let true friendships slip by.
Ware said there were many regrets about not giving friendship the time and attention it deserved.
5) I wish that I had let myself be happier.
According to Ware, many didn’t realize that happiness is a choice. They just became stuck in their old habits and ways. They complained about becoming comfortable in their reality and not chasing their true passions and dreams. They said that they had become scared of change, which is not a way to live.