Regrets of the Dying for the Living

by A-Badgero

Bronnie Ware is a nurse who has worked with palliative patients, an inspirational singer/songwriter and the author of The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who has worked in palliative care for years spending her time caring for those people who know their time on this Earth is coming to an end. Bronnie plays an integral part in the last few weeks of people’s lives and they often share many intimate times with Bronnie. She noticed through her personal discussions with them that certain patterns emerged when patients spoke of regrets they had or things they wished they had done differently in their lives. Bronnie compiled these trends into a top five list that she had posted on her blog. Seeing the huge response she received from the blog posting Bronnie decided to publish a book on the subject, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departed.

Below are the five most popular themes Bronnie received when she questioned palliative patients about their 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 response Bronnie received. When people are dying they tend to gain the ability to look back on their lives with great clarity. In this clarity it is easy to spot unfulfilled dreams and some people realize many of their dreams have gone unfulfilled due to life choices they made.

2. I wish I had not worked so hard

Every single man that Bronnie spoke to had this regret. They felt that they ended up missing their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women shared this regret as well, however, many were from older generations long before women started becoming breadwinners.

3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings

In wanting to keep peace with others, many people admitted to suppressing their true feelings. Suppressing these feelings led not only to bitterness or resentment but it may also have contributed to their illness.

4. I wish I stayed in touch with my friends

Getting caught up in their own lives many people lost touch with friends over the years. Bronnie found that everyone misses their friends when they are dying as this is a time when you truly realize the value of a good friendship.

5. I wish I had let myself be happier

When someone is dying they begin to realize that being happy is a choice they make for themselves. Many people regret allowing themselves to stick with old patterns just because they were in a familiar comfort zone. Fear of change or judgement led them to live a life of pretended contentment.

From all of her discussions with the terminally ill Bronnie identifies the life lessons that should be applied to one’s own life to ensure that when the time comes you will have peace of mind. Life is full of choice. It is your life and no one else’s and the choices you make will determine the wholeness you feel at the end so make those choices for you. Health is a freedom that most people do not realize they have until it is too late. Use your freedom while you have it to live the life you have always wanted. Remember, it’s never too late to change your outlook on life.

Read more:

The official site of Bronnie Ware



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