Most Common Regrets of the Dying
Death is the one thing no one can avoid and few can see coming. It is the one universal experience (besides birth) that each of us will have regardless of where we lived, how we loved, what we did for a living, how much we earned, or any of the other choices we made.
Perhaps this universality is why so many people share similar regrets on their deathbed. Ask anyone who has worked in hospice or nursing, and they will tell you that there are certain pieces of wisdom that almost all people share as they approach the end of their life.
- Be Yourself. Pursue that dream even if it does not work out. Say what is on your mind. Tell people you love them. Chase rainbows. Live your truest self. However you want to do it, being yourself is the most commonly cited regret. You get one chance at this life, so you might as well live it on your own terms.
- Work Less. We have almost all heard this one—no one lies on their deathbed wishing they had spent more time at work. It is easy to say but not always easy to do, especially when the demands of family and bills get in the way. It takes courage to change your lifestyle to focus less on work and more on what is important, but it is courage that pays off in a big (non-monetary) way.
- Don’t Miss Out on Family Moments. Your family takes on new meaning and importance as you reach the end of your life. Whether you regret missing important milestones in your children’s lives, or if you never remembered to thank your parents for a special sacrifice they made on your behalf, it is important to take advantage of these opportunities while you still can.
- Be Brave. Being brave can mean many different things. It could mean taking a risky career move that takes you overseas. It might be having the courage to ask out that special someone. It may even be speaking your true feelings in situations where you might normally keep the peace. At the end of life, many people look back and wish they had stepped further beyond their comfort zones and experienced more of the highs and lows that come with it.
This is the time of year when it is a good idea to make amends and start fresh. Why not make this year’s resolution to live life on your own terms and start working on minimizing the number of regrets you will have someday?