By Bronnie Ware on November 30, 2011
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 learnt 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.
(In Summary…per LWSpotts)
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expect of me.
- I wish I didn’t work so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish I had let myself be happier.
To read the full article… Top Five Regrets of The Dying – Exposing The Truth.
You know, as I read this article and perused the 97+ comments (some good reading as well, so don’t skip them), I understood that this is truth.
I am a born skeptic, so any time I run across something that might fall into the category of truthy-truthiness, aura-fluffing, gobbledy-gookish, psychobabble of what is usually a steaming pile, my internal red flags immediately go up. Even in this case, there was an initial moment of high alert. Wisdom is certainly not the purview of the dying, and my skeptic’s heart – for half a beat – almost skipped this.
But it was short, and it had numbered bullets with bold type. <– Not joking. More importantly, though, workaholiday wrote a personal missive on one of the points made above (not the point that hits me the hardest), because there was a connection, a recognition of truth, and an understanding that s/he has been given a moment of clarity and an opportunity (hopefully far preceding death) to make a change and avoid an end-of-life regret.
What a blessing moments like this can be. And I will indeed flesh this out over several posts, but suffice to say – for today – that I want to live a life as free from preventable regrets as I can. I want to be the person God created me to be, to live as He would have me live. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find myself consumed with what was unsaid, undone, unpursued, or cowardly. I want to see, at the end of my life, that my life has been full and my regrets are few. I want to leave happy with the legacy I leave behind, not because I have fulfilled the expectations of others, but because I have, by the grace of God, lived a life faithful to His expectations.
I have a LOT of work to do.
So follow along on this journey. Undertake it yourself. Resolve to become (as the graphic says), an old woman (or man) with no regrets.
That’s my goal.