Top 5 regrets of the dyingNathalie H
A long time ago I heard about the story of Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse who used to work as a palliative carer. After several years attending to her patients thoughts and feelings on their deathbed, she noticed a pattern and wrote the best selling book “Top 5 Regrets of the Dying”.
The common themes that often surfaced were:
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 hadn’t worked 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.
Her message stroke a chord in me. Possibly because I was exposed to death in the family quite early. I lost my grandma when I was 5 and my father, to cancer, when I was 17. But more importantly, I think I was moved by her message because back then I wouldn’t have been able to nail that “check-list”. Since then I have made good progress towards preventing regret #1 and regret #3 however, ironically, I still need to work harder on regret #2!
I believe the beauty of such reflection is that it give us a new outlook in life and catapult us to live more fully and truly. Let alone the encouragement to contemplate on our legacy.
Not surprisingly, after becoming a best seller author, Bronnie has moved on from her nursing career and now helps people to live a REGRET-FREE life, using her words.
Talking about death is still a taboo for most people in the West. As Sogyal Rinpoche mentioned in his “Tibetan book of Living & Dying” we are either terrified by death or in denial of death, which is ironic given it is the only thing we are certain about it in this life.
There are exceptions though. A while ago The School of Life, founded by the British contemporary philosopher Allan de Button, used to run workshops to explore the topic of death including a visit to the cemetery. Morbid? Perhaps a little.
So just in case you are wondering…. Nope. I don’t have picnics on graveyards neither encourage my friends or clients to do so. However, if I may, I would like to invite you to select one of the 5 regrets that might need your attention and suggest you make a commitment to work on its prevention over the next year.
If you accept the challenge, I would LOVE to hear from you in some stage.
To learn more:
- Visit Bronnie Ware site – https://bronnieware.com/regrets-of-the-dying/
- Watch this 2 min video from The School of Life – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-A7VrTxuZIE
- Listen to The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yJxVDs8U98
#reflection #mindfulness #purpose #courage #legacy #focus