A palliative care nurse came up with the top five regrets people make on their deathbed:
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.
I made a radical change in my life mid-30's, quit a great job, moved to the country, wrote a book, met my husband. It was a difficult choice to make but it was one of the happiest years of my life. Since then, I have been living a life that I truly love, not the one my parents probably thought I'd live but I have a great life, a great husband, a great family, and that one year allowed that radical change. It was difficult, but just do 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. Women also spoke of this regret.
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.
A close friend's brother is ill, very ill, and his suppressed anger all these years over losing a sibling at an early age has been bottled up inside all these years, now he's really sick... very sad. Deal with your emotions before they deal with you!
That's another friend Laura who also left this world way too early, just another reminder in case you need one!
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.
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.
Truman has figured out the happiness part!
Have a regret-free day and live it!