Regrets of the Dying

Regrets of the Dying

‘Regrets of the Dying’ – a topic something I am sure most of us are interested in hearing about, since we are all striving to seek happiness and fulfillment as we go about our daily lives.

In my role as a funeral director and funeral celebrant I am obviously constantly exposed to death and dying.  The life stories I am privileged to hear are often incredibly uplifting and inspiring, but of course some are not.

It has been said that the best way to focus on living your life is to ‘begin with the end in mind’.  So on that note - what will be your legacy?  How will you feel about the life you have lived?  Will it even matter? What regrets will you have?  Interesting thoughts to ponder as we navigate our way through life.

An interesting read on this subject is ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying’ by Bronnie Ware.

As a palliative care nurse Ware felt blessed to share the final life journey of many people. During the time she spent with the dying, she identified the most common regrets people have towards the end of their lives.  Ware was impressed with the clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives.

Imagine if we had that clarity now and found ourselves with few or no regrets?

Here are the Top Five regrets of the dying, as noted by Ware:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected.

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.

  1. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

This was a common theme particularly of the men she nursed.  Working hard meant that many missed their children’s youth and their partners companionship.

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Keeping the peace with others meant that many suppressed their feelings. This meant that they often settled for a mediocre life and never truly lived their lives.  As a result many developed illnesses relating to their bitterness and resentments.

  1. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Old friends were highly valued but many had not been fully appreciated until it was too late and the friendships had slipped away.

  1. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Sadly many people did not realise that happiness is a choice.  They had stayed stuck in old ways.  The fear of change meant that they pretended to themselves and others that all was well, when in fact they were deeply unhappy.

Life is so short.  And oh boy, don’t I know it!

Point number five certainly resonated with me!  Lets all try and give a little thought to our happiness and what changes we can make, no matter how small, to help bring happiness to ourselves and others.

I ask you… ‘What will you try to achieve or change before you die?’

If you would like to speak to Anne or David from Oakdale Funerals, ring on 9726 8724 or 0423 009 836

old couple thinking about prepaying their funeral