by Robert Wilkinson
From a friend of the site, an important thing to remember, since we all check out sometime. If you would have regrets about anything, time to take an inventory and do something about it!
This story from Beyondblindfold titled Nurse reveals the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed is a valuable reminder not to wait until it’s too late to live with happiness, staying in touch with friends, and focusing on what really matters. From the story, we read that the author of the article, a hospice nurse named Bronnie, spent “three to twelve weeks” with many who were on their deathbed. This is what she found:
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.
When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not 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 that I had let myself be happier.
By all means, go to the article and check out her commentary on each of these. It’s well worth a few minutes of your time, since it could change your life! She closes with a couple of bits of wisdom.
”When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.”
As “they” say in a few places here in the US, “can I get an amen?” I’ll close with a few comments I posted over at the FB site.
First, I believe this article is extraordinarily insightful, and in my experience, all 5 of these regrets are absolutely true. Time to live with gusto!! Time to LOVE with gusto! I figure I'll be proper after I die....
I answered someone who regretted not having better friends with noting that that it all depends on how old we are and the physical circumstances. I find I can cultivate friendships at any age, maybe not as easily or as many as when I was in my 20s and 30s, but even in my somewhat "advanced" age I'm still making friends. And so many died along the way.
This led me to the insight that friendship is in fact a two way street. I wish others had stayed in touch with me. I have spent my life reaching out to others, but many of them never got back for whatever reasons. Friendship takes initiative, perseverance, and integrity. And of course, life goes on, we move, and lose touch.
That's one good thing about Facebook. So many have found me again, and I’ve found so many new friends, near and far, via FB. That alone justifies its existence, even if there is a lot about it that’s obnoxious!
To echo what this very wise nurse stated, "Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.”
© Copyright 2014 Robert Wilkinson
ps – I just found out that this was originally posted at the website “Inspiration and Chai” under the title, “Regrets of the Dying,” and that Bronnie expanded these points into a book called “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying - A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing” We are told it is a memoir of her own life and how it was transformed through the regrets of the dying people she cared for. It is available internationally through Hay House.