What do dying people regret? What are the top 5 regrets experienced by those who are facing the end of their lives?
I know it might seem a gloomy subject but it is not, and there is much wisdom in this moving and sensitive article by Bronnie Ware. I came across it because it was tweeted by Jeremy Vine and retweeted so that it came to me.
I recommend that you read the whole article here. If you do not get round to reading all of it, here are the headings of the top 5 regrets:
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. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship.
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.
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.
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.
Thinking over Bronnie’s observations I wondered how being a Christian may effect these regrets. The Christian who is active in their faith is socially active as a result. But they are also going to be active in worship and the act of feeding upon scripture, both of these focuses the believer again and again on their own end of mortal life as well as their Saviour’s. I think a true believer should die better. I hope it is true.
Thanks Bronnie for your article. Glad you wrote it.