Life can be poignant at times and unfortunately along with the happiness we all experience with our family and friends, there will inevitably be sad times when we have to say goodbye to our loved ones as we move through the cycle of life.
While none of us like to dwell on our own farewell or exit to this world, every now and then something happens which makes us sit up and realise that every day counts and there is no point living a life full of regrets.
We never really know when our time is going to be up, and with that in mind, Australian nurse Bronnie Ware, who has spent years caring for the dying, decided to record some of her patients’ last thoughts so that everyone could learn from their wisdom and experience.
After being published on her blog, Inspiration and Chai she has now written a book titled – The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed By the Dearly Departing.
From wishing they had worked less, stayed in touch with old friends and letting themselves be happier, these touching words from people who knew they had less than 12 weeks to live will certainly leave you pondering the virtues of your own life.
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."
Do you have any regrets you want to amend before you die? Please leave your Comments in the box below.