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Top 5 Regrets of the Dying

A palliative nurse, who has spent years counseling the dying, has recorded their regrets in the final days of their lives. The same regrets come up again and again, showing how similar people are.

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.

The patients seemed to understand, with the clarity that comes at the end of life, that these regrets were the results of choices they had made. Maybe it’s the wanna-be psychiatrist in me that finds this so fascinating. I wonder how, or if, this list will change with the next generation. It seems that, through a combination of technology and the body/mind/spirit movement, our current culture helps people to stay in touch and to live their true life, more than previous generations at least. Will we just have a new list of regrets? What will they be? I would love to hear your  ideas in the comments.

You can read her blog here for an explanation of each regret. She wrote a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. Via The Guardian.