The Five Biggest Regrets People Have on their Deathbed

 

 Author:  John D. Thomas 11 August 2017 Copyright 2017

When faced with their own mortality, most people have at least a few regrets about their life. Hospice and palliative care specialists have documented these regrets and compiled a list of the most frequently voiced end of life regrets. 

It is ironic to note that at the conclusion of life, people often gain amazing clarity into what's important and what is not.  I think we can all learn from their wisdom and apply it to our own lives while there is still time.

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The Five Biggest Regrets People Have on their Deathbed: 
  

#5.  I regret I didn't choose to live a happier life.  Happiness is indeed a choice.  The one person who has the ability to prevent you from living a happy life is yourself.  We all have many good things and many bad things happen to us over the course of a lifetime.  But what we choose to think about and focus on each day will make us feel happy or dour.  It's your choice.  Why not choose happiness?

#4.  I regret I didn't spend more time with friends.  As time goes by, we often lose touch with friends.  Sometimes we never hear from them again.  In the busy world we live in, it is easy to let our friendships slip away.  But when faced with death, it is not money, status, or possessions that truly matters.  It is a fact that in the final weeks of your life, it will be the love and relationships in your life that matter most.  So keep in touch with dear friends throughout your life.  You will be happy you did. 

#3. I regret I didn't express my feelings more often.  If you are like most people, you all too often suppress your feelings in order to keep peace with others.   When you do this, you begin to live a mediocre existence.  Still worse, you forfeit the kind of life you are able to live.  You will never realize your full potential.  Living your life according to other people's demands can leave you feeling bitter and full of resentment.

#2. I regret spending so much time working.  Hospice and palliative care specialists report that dying men nearly always voice this lament.  By investing so much time working, they missed their children’s youth and they didn't spend nearly enough time with their partners.  As the "Baby Boomer" generation (with large numbers of career women) begins to age and pass away, it is expected that this type of regret may become common among dying women as well.    

#1. I regret not living my life in a way that was true to myself.  This was the most common regret of people on their deathbed.  At life's end, people reflect upon how many of their dreams they never realized.  In fact, most people never even pursue half of their life's dreams.  Day-to-day events and activities side-track those dreams.  Don't let this happen to you.  Make it a point to begin chasing a least a few of your dreams.  If you delay doing this long enough, you will eventually run out of time. 
  

As long as you are still alive, there is still time to make important decisions about your life.  You have time to make changes and avoid these regrets.  You can decide to live a happier life, spend more time with friends, express your feelings more openly, spend less time working, and most importantly… live your life in a way that is true to yourself.

 

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