Palliative Nurse Bronnie Ware just released her highly acclaimed book “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.” Nurse Ware spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. During this time, she would record their dying epiphanies which gathered so much attention that she decided to write this book. As for me it certainly grabbed my attention because one’s mortality is imminent. 

The 5 common regrets of the dying

1. I wish I’d had more courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. 

This is the most common regret of all. As for me I refuse to give anyone power and dominion over my life anymore. I lived under that cloud when I didn’t know any better but baby I am as free as free can get. This number 1 regret of the dying should definitely give pause and something to think about now that you know! 

2. I wish I hadn’t work so hard. 

This regret may be hard to believe because we are taught daily to “GRIND!” Nevertheless, it’s a known recorded fact that at the end of life many regretted missing out on their children’s youth, partner’s companionship, or stopping to smell the roses for themselves. Take out the time you need folks for what you may deem the little things now.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. 

It was reported that many of the patients on their dying bed had developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result. It’s important to speak your truth, even if you lose friends or relationship, please don’t bottle your feelings up, LET IT!

4. I wish I stayed in touch. 

Ware shared that people at the end of their lies also regretted losing touch with friends and significant others. We are all busy or take for granted that tomorrow will also be her to do a thing. But none of us know for sure so making a concerted effort now will eliminate the need for regretting such a matter now. I must do better with this one!

5. I wish I had let myself be happier. 

Ware shared that may of her patients expressed that they were afraid of change and stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. Many failed to realize that until the end of life that happiness was a choice. Life is a fleeting moment, and then you wake up to find that years have passed and that there are more days behind you than in front you! 

I don’t know about anyone reading this article, but I am here to tell you that these 5 regrets gave me some fuel and food for thought! I refuse to let another day in my life go by where I fail to acknowledge the person that I am because I am worried about what others think of me. In actuality, most people aren’t probably thinking nothing about you. I believe we anticipate things too much and create entire scenarios about this & that for no good reason. 

Listen honey, in the words of Beyonce “I’m telling everybody, you won’t BREAK MY SOUL!”

Coach Gwendolyn D. Clemons