Thanks to a link from Swiss Miss, I read an article in the Guardian about the patterns a palliative caregiver found among her dying patients’ regrets. Among these patients, she found the top five regrets to be:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
I suspect many far-from-dying people want many or all of the things reflected in these regrets—to be able to live and speak freely, to maintain friendships, to work less and be happier. But they are things that can be easy to give up on or let slip away when the pace of daily life and the comfort of familiarity drown out our desires.
What would it take to keep these wants from being regrets? What can we do so that our deathbed regrets are more trivial or nonexistent?
We don’t have forever to answer these questions, so I for one, want to get cracking (and in fact, I already have).