This blog post – originally in Russian – made me think a lot. I’d love to share it with you and hear your opinion. For this, I translated it into English:
A woman, who is staying anonymous, worked for a long time in a hospice. Her duty was to comfort patients in the last days. Thus, she literally spent with them their last days and hours. From her observations she put together an own ranking of main regrets of people who approached the edge of life.
Here are the 5 most common regrets of dying people:
1. I regret, that I wasn’t brave enough to live the life, that I felt was right for me, not the one others expected me to live.
This was the most common regret of people. When people realize that their life is almost over, they can look back and easily access which dreams remained unfulfilled. Most of the people haven’t tried to follow even half of their dreams and had to die in the realizing that it was due to a choice that they might not have made themselves. It’s very important to try to act on at least some of the most important desires when you are young. Once start losing health, it’s too late. Health brings freedom that only few can appreciate, while they still have it.
2. I regret, that I worked so hard.
This feeling was present with every male patient that I cared for. They missed their youth and their relationships. Some women also expressed this regret. But as most of them were from the old generation, they generally did not engage in earning money for the family. All men I worked with, were deeply regretted to have spent most part of their lives conducting monotonous work to earn a living.
Simplifying your life you can lower your demand for income, that you think you need. By making more free space in life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities.
3. I regret, that I wasn’t brave enough to show my real feelings.
Many people have suppressed their feelings to keep relationships. As a result, they agreed to a mediocre existence and never became, what they wanted to be themselves. Many illnesses appeared as a result of suppressed feelings of sadness and resentment.
We cannot control the reactions of others. Although, their first reaction to the changes in relationship that you impose might be negative, in the end this you put the relationship at a new healthier level. In the end, it’s better to dissolve any unhealthy relationships in your life.
4. I regret, that I haven’t kept in touch with my friends.
Often this people didn’t realize how important their friendships were until the very last weeks of their lives. And then, it often to late to start looking for them. Many of them were so busy with their own lives, that they let their friendships pass by. Many regretted deeply, not having invested the amount of time and effort in friendships that deserved it. Everyone misses their friends, when he is dying.
Everyone living an active life tends to underestimate the importance of friendships. But when you are at the edge of life, material thing lose their meaning. Of course, everyone wants his financials in as good shape as possible. But money and status lose their value at the end of life. People with this regret, mostly are trying to do as much good as possible to the people they love. But once they are too ill and weak, they can’t really use their resources to accomplish their tasks.
5. I regret, that I didn’t allow myself to be happier.
This kind of regret was surprisingly common. Many didn’t understand until the end, that their happiness depended completely on their choice. They were slaves of their once established ideas and habits. Being afraid of changes, they pretended to themselves and to others that they are happy with their lives.
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Image-Attribution: Thanks to Vlado