Do you have any regrets?
Most people do.
But it appears our regrets gain a lot of weight as we approach the end of our lives.
For many years, Bronnie Ware – an Australian nurse and counselor – worked in palliative care; taking care of terminally ill people, most of whom had less than 12 weeks to live.
Her patients were typically old people with very serious illnesses, waiting to die.
And a lot of her work involved providing counseling and relief from the physical and mental stresses that come naturally when a human being comes face to face with their mortality.
Death is not a comfortable subject for most people. We prefer to not think or talk about it.
But the sad truth is, all of us will die someday.
Knowing you are going to die in a few weeks is a very bitter pill to swallow. And Bronnie noticed as her patients experienced a range of emotions that usually started with denial, and then fear, anger, remorse, more denial, and eventually, acceptance.
As part of therapy, Bronnie would ask about any regrets they had about their lives, and anything they would do differently if life gave them a second chance.
Of all the responses she got from her patients, she noticed there were 5 regrets that stood out. These were the most common regrets her patients wished they hadn’t made as they coursed through life.
But the regrets of the dying can be sound and invaluable advice for the living. Read more