Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dying regrets

Bonnie Ware is a hospice nurse in Australia and wrote a book about the regrets that dying people express at their death bed:

Top 5 regrets of the dying
Susie Steiner, Guardian (U.K) 1 February 2012 (hat tip of sorts: Penelope Trunk)
1.  wish I had had the courage to live a life true to myself rather than the life others expected of me.
2.  I wish I didn’t work so hard.
3.  I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4.  I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5.  I wish I had let myself be happier.
Of course, in fairness to those of us who are dying (we all are aren't we?), but are not yet at death's door, there are no ramifications to imaginary outcomes that are not realized, and we do not have the advantage of knowing the outcomes.  After all, we work hard to put food on the table, and maybe to improve one's, or one's family's, station in life.  It is only at death that it would not come out as we expected.  It is also very possible that some of these people are kidding themselves about how hard they worked.  I mean think about it, it is the number 2 complaint, and apparently one sited by almost all of the men.  Do you know that many hard working people?  Apparently they all live in Australia.
Teasing aside, these are the normal regrets of normal people.  If they found out that work-life did not bring the lasting satisfaction that they expected.  It is likely that you, or I, won't either.  If  they wish they had kept up better with friends, and if they have come to realize that happiness is something that is within their control, than likely it will be the same for us.


JaneofVirginia said...

Beautifully said. It's a short ride, and it's shorter for many of us than we realize. Make it count and enjoy it.

russell1200 said...

Jane: Yes, we don't all make it into the 80+ range. Someone at our church had her brother die suddenly when he was 36. She said after that, she decided that whatever else happened along the way, she was determined to be happy. That is probably one of the ones that I need to work on the most.