Nurse reveals the top five regrets people have on their death beds
Living life true to self, and not others was the top regret
When one is faced with imminent death, there are always the expected regrets as to how one has lived life. Nurse Bronnie Ware, who has worked many years in palliative care, has composed a list of the five largest regrets that people have on their death beds. "Some incredibly special times were shared," Ware says. "I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives."
Nurse Ware also wishes to stress that no matter what the regrets the dying may have on their death beds, every single last one of them made peace with themselves before their passing.
The top regret most people have on their death bed was -
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
"When people realize 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 honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made," Ware says.
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 . All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence."
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," Ware warns.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
"Often they would not truly realize 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."
Perhaps most importantly --
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
"This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize 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 their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again."
Ware also wishes to stress that no matter what the regrets the dying may have on their death beds, every single last one of them made peace with themselves before their passing.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Death and dying, regrets, friendships, happiness
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