Posted in health, inspiration, life, observations, people


I recently read a very thought-provoking article by Susie Steiner of the Guardian UK, dated 2-1-12, titled “Top five regrets of the dying.”

“A nurse has recorded the most common regrets of the dying, and among the top ones is ‘I wish I hadn’t worked so hard’. What would your biggest regret be if this was your last day of life?”

The nurse, Australian Bronnie Ware, spent many years working in hospice care for patients in the last weeks of their lives and recorded their last thoughts about what they wish they might have done differently.

It prompted me to think about what regrets I might have in my final days. Tough subject for someone who is not near death, but surprisingly, my own thoughts at this point aren’t all that different from the ones Ms. Ware heard from her patients.

Of the five she listed, I particularly identify with three of them and it’s got me thinking about what I can do to change those things now, so that maybe my only regret will be that I did not do them sooner.

The article expands on these much more and is worth the read, but here are the five that Ms. Ware listed:

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.

Any thoughts about what you might regret?



I'm a writer making my way through life and offering observations as I go. Old enough to know better but that doesn't stop me.

9 thoughts on “Regrets?

  1. I remember reading this it provides much food for thought, and drives home the point you only have one life and to live it the way you wished and to pick up the phone every now and then just to touch base with the people in your life.

  2. Numbers 1 and 5 were what prompted my scary life transition, so I am pleased to have at least tackled those two. 🙂

    As always, another wonderful post.

    1. Thanks, Carrie. I know there’s a story to two in there (scary life transition); I’m just glad you’ve got a couple of these down. Odd that 1 & 5 are two of my regrets.

  3. A South African friend of mine sent me the article a while ago. I think it touched many people. If nothing else, it makes you stop and think about the changes one can make before it’s too late. When I get in a compulsive cleaning mode (which is more often than for normal people), I have learnt to stop and think “Is this what I will be thinking of on my deathbed?”

    1. I should send your response to my sister — she’s a compulsive cleaner and I don’t think she’s yet reached the level of “is this what I’ll be thinking ….”

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