Friday, November 22, 2013
There are bucket lists for people who want to make sure they get to do more of the things they want before they die.
Books like 1001 Places To See Before You Die and 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
But there are only 5 regrets that a palliative nurse gathered as she cared for patients in the final weeks of their lives.
Her discoveries may surprise. Here they are in order:
- I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. Most of the dying suggested that they had not fulfilled anywhere near even half of their life’s dreams because of the choices they had made when they were healthy and able.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. This came mostly from men who regretted not being able to be there for their children or share in the lives of their spouses and they came from an older generation where women were more often stay at home wives.
- I wish I had the courage to express my feelings. Many suppressed their feelings to avoid conflict. Others became sick because of the resentment they felt as a result.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. Life often gets in the way of maintaining friendships and almost all the dying regretted not giving the proper time to nurture their friendships. Even to their last days, they missed their friends.
- I wish I had let myself be happier. Many did not realize that they could choose to be happy. Fear of change allowed them to maintain a life that wasn’t the one that they really wanted – and to the end they regretted not being able to live and laugh again.
It is never too early to head off regrets that others have had at the end of life.
Life is to be lived now – moment-by-moment, by choosing The 5 things You Must Do to live the life that you really want.
After writing this, I’m on it. How about you? — Jerry