Monday, September 26, 2011

Five Regrets of the Dying.....

By Bronnie Ware Platinum Quality Author

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learned never to
underestimate someone's capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

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.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. 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. 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.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

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.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, but in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

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.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

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 themselves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.


Anonymous said...

Good article indeed! Reminders to the still breathing! But one very sad and glaring thing was uncovered from the responses of the dying. None spoke of the wish to get to know his maker better! It was as if he had appeared into this world from nowhere, by sheer magic! And everything that makes him alive came before him as a gift from nowhere? He was given a good brain and capacity to think, but sadly he only see things around him with his eyes, and never his brain. Or whenever it reaches his brain, that part is somehow dead! This mindless act is the greatest tragedy in the history of human existence for each and every so called living man (and woman)!! Unless we start living a 'thinking' life, this evil trend looks to be perpetual, running full steam ahead, unabated. Very very very sad state indeed!

Robert Foo said...

Hi anonymous,

Thank you for reading my blog. You certainly have a point there.

Maram said...

Hi Bob,
You have posted a very interesting article. And I cannot agree more with Anonymous's views. If we can just switch to our thinking cap for a while ....
1) the air that we breathe ... Whose air is this?
2) the water that we drink ... Whose water is this?
3) the earth and everything in it .. Whose Earth is this?
A sprinkle of wisdom will lead us to the answers. Yet we are mostly in denial mode when these questions are posed?? Question no 4 ... Why?

Anonymous said...

Dear Maram,
Yes, you are right on the dot. People 'wise' or 'unwise' they behave similarly when it comes to those questions! They are just unable or reluctant to make an informed choice. Beats me!

Robert Foo said...

Hi friends,

Didn't know this article cld capture all your great wisdom mind.

I fully agree with your thought too but the infor was written by the so called experienced person on the job who attended the dying. Not forgetting he mentioned the most five common regrets only. Perhaps there are other regrets related to our thoughts were not laid here.

Thank you for the comments. I really appreciate them.

Maram said...

Dear Youngman Bob and Anonymous,
Thank you for your wise dynamic thoughts.Yeah, you may be quite right Bob. Perhaps it's somewhere down there in the list! But that somehow bothers my simple mind a little:-Xcept, perhaps for those having attained d level of the Pope and his senior Ministers & Nuns, common people must have put his Creator at nothing but an unassailable distant No 1!! Just A little Food for Thought. (no response required).

Anonymous said...

Good evening guys,
I just wish to add a small comment. I must say your inputs are really refreshing. I hope more people could join this conversation of ours. Maram, I suppose only people who care to think about the world around them would put their Maker as no 1. Otherwise they are just happy-go-lucky people who only lives for today, searching for the forever elusive target called happiness!
Thanks Robert and Maram for an enlightening exchange of views of wisdom. Good night.

Anonymous said...

Oops! One thing crossed my mind. Making a stand on the 3 Questions above comes with Commitments! And perhaps this is what most people are afraid of?? Because there are challenges to deal with; changes to be made etc. But one unique thing people usually miss is ... When that crucial decision in life is really made, then Courage instantly enters his soul. Henceforth, he is 'guided'. Challenges will now look surmountable, and the path of life ahead will no longer look misty.

Maram said...

Hi Anonymous,
Seeing your views is very xciting to me. You are very knowledgeable on the subject. I agree 100%! We must pluck enough courage to make a stand. Someone said, 'a man is not really a 'man' if he is afraid to do that.
My friend and wiseman Bob, TQ for posting such a good article and fully agreeing with our views. Many a time, I know Bob would have his own views reflecting that of a young wise man of 63!

Robert Foo said...

Hi friends,

Nice contribution from you guys, and i certainly get excited to come home to read all your expression.

To me, I believe in our creator coz without HIM we are of nobody here on earth. Believe and Trust in HIM when we are still living and breathing. Be grateful and faithful in HIM when we are physically in one piece. Coz when we no longer live on earth, we won't be able to spell and touch those beautiful things HE has created for us.

The title written is "Five Regrets of the Dying". It looks more logical that the dying were aware that time was running out when they could no longer be able to spell & touch the earthly world soon. Dying is a stage when a person would be passing away, leaving earth to a place unknown. If he has been a strong believer in his creator, he would not be fearful to die coz he trusts his fate is in HIS hand

It would be more practical to ask the dying, "What are you expecting after death? To me I would say... I hope to see my creator again coz I love HIM so much when I am living. Perhaps the only regret is not doing the right of what should be done in the physical world.

Would appreciate, if my great friends cld enlighten me further.

Anonymous said...

Dear Robert,
It is good to know that you believe, trust and love God. It is a strong pledge. Strong foundation to start from. Next is to search for the one true Creator. It is a must. Not an option! Every belief system claims theirs is the only true one. The fact is simple: there is only One Truth. All else are not true! And surely the Creator has given his most important creation good guidelines to survive in His Worlds. And surely He will send teachers to teach man. There are many religions on offer. If one is to search with his heart and his mind, the Truth will soon present Itself before him as clear
as the sun and the moon. The Truth is always simple for
the human mind to see. For God would not make anything
complex such that the average man cannot understand!
You are right Robert. Perhaps the survey question should have been different. But then, the way we have got ourselves immersed in to this interesting topic is, I believe, not by accident! All of us I am sure, have gained some critical pointers that will enrich our lives going forward.

Maram said...

Dear Bob and Anonymous,
This is getting really captivating. I always look forward to read both your inputs on the suject. From what I can see - we all believe, trust and love the Creator. i agree that it is far from enough! An analogy just whizzed through my mind ... If a Malaysian travels to S'pore, he better follow the laws of the country. Or he will be punished, even to death if the crime befits it! And the same principle applies to all things in this World. The Creator is the Power and Authority of the Worlds. And we, His creations must follow His Rules. So once the One Truth is found, we must abide and follow His Rules which encompassed each and every aspect of human life. We must believe that His Rules stands the test of time, the same everywhere on Earth. It is perennial!

Anonymous said...

Dear Guys,
My wishes before dying:
• God, please forgive my sins; for doing things against your Guidelines;
• To seek forgiveness from all the people to whom I have made a misdeed;
• I could have done more good things to earn a place closer to God;
• God, please spare me from hellfire and give me a place in Heaven.
• God, please take care of my family and friends so they
are always in the right path.
Thank you Robert and Maram for this opportunity to meaningfully engage in this discussion. Hopefully, some points have really touched some hearts! They have w/o a doubt, touched mine.

Robert Foo said...

Hi The God Loving fiend,

HE has forgiven you. Do the things you should do while you are alive, and Heaven is there.

While you are still here, be happy because A Happy Heart Sees A Beautiful world.

Maram said...

Dear Anonymous and Bob,
Now that all that are key points have been said, I believe what remains is the execution ie Doing! W/out Execution, love, trust and believing means nothing! Till we meet again with another imteresting article in Bob's blog!

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