Friday, March 30, 2012

An Article In Review: Top Five Regrets Of The Dying


Song:  Promise

Artist:  Thomas Bergersen


Top Five Regrets Of The Dying

By:  Bronnie Ware

Bronnie Ware has released a book based on her original article.

You may order it from her original article.


Original Article:



The author describes how she had gained her insight into
the major regrets of the dying in how they had lived their lives.

She explains that she had worked with those who had but a few weeks to live.

They had a terminal condition and were sent home to die peacefully.

In her article, she had listed 5 major regrets that she had noticed
had been recited, time and again, by her patients.



1)  "I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself...
not the life others expected of me".


She goes on to explain how so many had not lived their dreams...
their true passions...and how they had realized...too late...
that it was due to their choices in life.

They had also realized how much freedom they really had in life...
and had not taken advantage of their only real limiter to their freedom...
before it had become too late...
their health.


As I have said many times in earlier articles...
it is not the mistakes in life that people regret so much
(unless they are irredeemable)...
it is in their not trying...
their not striving for the pinnacle of their passions.


Many people think that you need only have a dream which is believed
strongly enough and at a deep enough level...
that it will somehow come true.


There are three things that must happen...

A)  A realization...the dream.

B)  A realistic plan to reach that dream.

C)  An unremitting treading of that path to fruition.


It is in the steady walking of that path of passion which gives such beauty to life.

It is what true hope is.

It is what unleashes the energy of the gods in us.

It is what unlocks true love of ourselves...
so we may experience true love of others.



2)  "I wish I didn't work so hard".


The author tells of how so many had missed the opportunity to really 
connect on an emotional level with the most important people in their lives
because of time spent away from them due to their chasing money in order to 
lead a higher lifestyle.


I think the last word "hard" should be replaced with "much".

There are only so many hours in each day.
To have to spend so many of them away from family...
to the point of missing most of the magical moments in their lives...
is to have missed the memories that greatly enrich life.

It is wonderful to work hard...
it is one of life's great pleasures.

But to have to work long...
beyond the hours which would allow you to progress...
and to still enjoy life with your loved ones, is to set yourself up for regret
(to work long hours for a few years to establish yourself
so you may be able to enjoy more time with your loved ones later...
is understandable.  To do it long term... is not).

(The above presupposes that the basics of comfort had been established...
that the extra hours are to sustain an unnecessary lifestyle over family).




3)  "I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings".


This regret related to unfair treatment from others...
of allowing others to manipulate them in order to keep peace.

They ended up keeping silent...
and most importantly...had not done what was right...
and so, had developed regret.

They thought that not upsetting others was important...
even when their demands were invalid.

They had forgotten that, they too...are people.  
They also have the right to be happy.

It is not their responsibility to bow to the manipulator.
It is everyones responsibility to do that which is ultimately right.

Not what is popular...
not what will keep the peace...
not what will be good for the short term over the long...
but that which is right...
that which is best for the long term over the short.


To have self respect is the first, and most necessary step...
to receiving respect from others.

Without self respect...
true love of self...
true love of others...
true love of life...
is not possible.



4)  "I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends".


The author had put it succinctly in these two sentences:

"It all comes down to love and relationships in the end.  
That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships".


To have lived a selfish life...
only for oneself...
is to be more and more alone as time goes by.

It is to have measured life by a mere accumulation of memories
and materialistic wants, with nobody to honor those memories through their 
actions which would benefit others still.

It is to mean to have lived a meaningless existence.

To have benefited others...
to have been part of the battle of good over evil...
is to have gained the only immortality that man can have...
his legacy.

To know that your life mattered...
that it wasn't an accumulation of memories that will die with you...
but ones which will positively change the future for the better...
at least for those whom lives you had touched...
is to have been a warrior for good...
and so you may die a warrior's death.
A death which is not faced with regret or fear...
but one filled with great pride and accomplishment...
 a sense of fulfillment...
a satiation of life...
so you may release yourself from life with ease...
and so, have a good death.



5)  "I wish that I had let myself be happier".


The author explains that many had let fear reign in their passions...
that they had feared leaving their comfort zone to the detriment of their 
ultimate happiness.

They had allowed the approval of others to override what had really mattered to them.

They had chosen to pretend to others...
and to themselves...
a false sense of contentedness...
and so, had sold out their trek to the top of the mountain...
and had settled for a relatively peaceful existence in town...
and merely gazing at the mountain.


Many falsely think that it is only when the peak is reached
that happiness is achieved.

They falsely think that the whole of the trek prior to the peak
is one of unrelenting pain and fatigue...
and so, forgo the journey entirely...
thinking that it is not worth the effort and pain.

What they don't realize is that from the start of their journey...
with each committed step forward...
 energy is gained...
hope is quickened...
passion is stirred...
a love of life becomes more vivid...
the momentary pain is looked upon as an enhancer to the experience...
making the summit all the more satisfying.


What the author had given others is a glimpse into...
Wisdom.

Although it was belated wisdom...
and it had not benefitted them...
their words...
the words of those whom had lived life and were facing death...
and had clearly seen the sum of their existence in crystal clarity...
may now benefit all those beginning their life journey...
and so they may, in essence, be a guide to living life well...
to others.

Through the author's article...
and subsequent book...
she has given a meaning to their lives...
and so...
a measure of immortality to their wisdom
so others may avoid the pitfalls that they had fallen victim to.

The dying and their regrets...
had become pathfinders...
to all of us still on our trek.

That is to honor them...
 and their honesty and wisdom.

Most importantly...
it is to guide all of us to a better path...
before it is too late.



6 comments:

  1. Good morning to all of you...
    Good morning to rainy day today.

    I thank you for your article .
    Since one of my family-member Kuro the black dog passed away yesterday,
    I am really being impressed by your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am sorry about Kuro. I also love dogs. The dogs I have had, had also been family to me. I am sure Kuro had lived a meaningful life...one filled with love...and being loved. I am sure he was fortunate to have been your dog.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Really great points! I think there is something about facing the end of your life that puts everything into perspective in a way that nothing else can. Hopefully, we all can learn this wisdom without having to face our end, but I think it is not always easy to do so, as we let other things distract us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What I like most about the article is that the words had come from the true experts in death and dying....those of whom were faced with imminent death. It was in those few precious weeks that they had finally become experts in living.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This post is different from what I read on most blog. And it have so many valuable things to learn.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes, it is of supreme importance for those of whom may be living a life filled with regret.
    Thank you for commenting.

    ReplyDelete

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