• Anita Hollerer-Squire

The rest of your life.....just ok, or memorable?

Updated: Jun 14

I feel sad when I think of my uncles passing. The saddest part is that he didn't lead a memorable life. He did shift work in a steel company his whole life and when he retired he got sick and spend his last years sitting at home waiting to die.

And he is not alone, so many people live like that. They work hard all their lives - they dream of a better future, which always seems just a little bit out of reach - then they retire, get sick and die before they ever had the chance to do the things they dreamed of when they were young.

Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She wrote a book about their most common regrets - The top five regrets of the dying.

The top 5 regrets of the dying are:

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

"This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it."

2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.

"This came from every male patient that Bronnie nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men she nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence."

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

“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”