I met a neighbour on the train the other day and she was reading the German version of the book “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing” by Bronnie Ware (see the list below).
First it made me think if I would end up having any of these regrets, and sure enough, I must admit to being dangerously close to score #3 and #5. Even with my profession as a Grief Recovery Specialist you would think I’d know better, but I’m only human too 🙂
The list also made me check if the Grief Recovery Method® would address any of these regrets, or more specifically if the Method would be able to help people NOT to come to the end of their lives having one or more of those very regrets. And I most definitely think that it would hugely help to go through the Method. How come?
As I see it, if you know how to deal with the occasional curve ball life throws at you and manage to stay true to yourself, honour your values, beliefs and your feelings and dare following your dreams (at least find out what they are), you will have a far lesser risk of ending up regretting any of those things listed below.
So which ones are YOU in the danger zone of? Have a think about it and then start taking the right ACTION to lessen the risk!
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
“This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.”
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
“Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
”This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”
The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing