Regrets, I’ve had a few…

Posted: March 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

Bonnie Ware, an Australian nurse, has spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives.  As Ware walked with her patients through the final stages of their lives, she witnessed how many of her patients gained “phenomenal clarity of vision” as they approached death. Ware claims, “When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again.”   According to Ware, these are the top five regrets of the dying:

1.  I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.  Bonnie Ware added, “Health brings a freedom few realize, until they no longer have it.”

2.  I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. Ware observed, “This regret came from every male patient that I nursed.”

3.  I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.  “Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others …. Many patients developed illnesses related to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”

4.  I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends. “There are 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 I’d let myself be happier. “Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits.”

I didn’t live my convictions and speak my mind.  I worked too much.  I was not a good friend.  I didn’t allow myself to be happy.  These were the top regrets of people near death.  What regrets do you have? Where do you feel that you have failed?  May you experience the promise of Jesus who said in Matt. 11:28, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”


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