Top 5 regrets from a death bed...

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Top 5 regrets from a death bed...

Postby nimby » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:07 pm

Palliative care nurse reveals top 5 deathbed regrets


by Sarah Robinson
We all share common sentiments at the end of life, according to this anonymous nurse.


Death has been called the ultimate equalizer. Money, societal standing and physical appearance become irrelevant in death. But that's not the only way we become one on our deathbeds. According to one nurse, many of us share the same regrets.


The top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed has been spreading like wildfire in the social media world, and it's all courtesy of a nurse who worked in palliative care "for many years."

"People grow a lot when faced with their own mortality," said the anonymous author.

The nurse explained that the post stemmed from experience with patients in the last weeks of their lives.

"When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again."

Here are the most common five regrets, according to the nurse:

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 realize 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."

2. I wish I didn't work so hard.

"This came from every male patient that I 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 I 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."

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

"Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying."

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

"This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again. When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying."

But it wasn't all sad recollections for the patients. The nurse also said that all of her patients eventually came to terms with the life they had lived and experienced acceptance.

"Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them."

If you died tomorrow, would you have any regrets?
"Why do we have asteroids in the hemisphere and hemmorroids in the a$$ ? "
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Re: Top 5 regrets from a death bed...

Postby Guinness Fan » Tue May 01, 2012 3:10 pm

WOW, what a moving article - thanks for posting... Talk about thought provoking...
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Re: Top 5 regrets from a death bed...

Postby nimby » Tue May 01, 2012 3:22 pm

Thank you. I think these lesssons are very profound, yet few will heed the message. That is the truly sad part. Me, I try to change me a little every day.
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Re: Top 5 regrets from a death bed...

Postby Earl Butz » Mon May 07, 2012 7:18 am

Geez I was just looking through old photo albums and realized there has been alot of death in our family the last ten years. Brother, uncles, aunts, father, and mother not far off.

I'm definitely not the same person I was a year ago at this time. I'm getting really tired of life itself. :(

I'm the youngest son in a family of six. My mom was the youngest daughter in a family of six. So we are both the end of the line, watching all the elders die.

The upside of being the youngest was there was more money by the time I had arrived. But the downside, I'm seeing now, is I have to watch everyone die. And it's no fun at all.
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Re: Top 5 regrets from a death bed...

Postby DeckApe » Mon May 07, 2012 8:26 am

I feel your pain, Earl. It still jumps out at me from time to time... a few years ago I was scanning family slides and I came across one with my father, all four of my grandparents, and me.

I melted down when I realized that I was the only person in the photo that was still alive.
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Re: Top 5 regrets from a death bed...

Postby nimby » Mon May 07, 2012 2:59 pm

I'm doing my best to have no regrets. We can't control what happens to us, but we can try our best to use it to our advantage.
"Why do we have asteroids in the hemisphere and hemmorroids in the a$$ ? "
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Re: Top 5 regrets from a death bed...

Postby Earl Butz » Tue May 08, 2012 3:38 am

I never even had grandparents....all were dead before I turned 5 years old. And all my cousins and other relatives lived in other cities. We had a big get together in 1978 when my sister got married, but other than that, zilch.

I've still got mom, 1 brother, 1 sister. But yeah it feels like we are swirling down the shower drain of history as we speak... :?
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Re: Top 5 regrets from a death bed...

Postby nimby » Tue May 08, 2012 8:13 am

That's why people, even gay folks, like to have their own families, to keep the table full at Christmas time. I don't know why people now a days don't want to have families anymore. Is it cause they are expensive? Don't want to give up their personal freedoms? I don't get that attitude when you have no one left to share that stuff with. :?
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Re: Top 5 regrets from a death bed...

Postby DeckApe » Wed May 09, 2012 10:25 am

There are the families you are born into, and the families you choose.
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Re: Top 5 regrets from a death bed...

Postby nimby » Wed May 09, 2012 12:16 pm

^ I just hope that you don't live in North Carolina or any other 29 like minded states. Not much of a choice there, I'm afraid. :(
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