Regrets in my deathbed
One thing I often ask myself is what will I regret most when I am in my my deathbed. More often than not, I have concluded that spending more time with my kids and wife would be number one. Number two would be that I never got a chance to keep up with so many other people who crossed my life and made me in so many imperceptible ways the person I am (remember “intersection points”?).
But I have been curious about what I might be missing. So often, I ask elderly people what are the lessons they have for me. And once I got into real trouble because the daughter of this elderly person thought that my question was focusing on her parents’ mistakes (with the negative connotation).
Nothing could be further from the truth. Regrets, or mistakes of others can often be the best guiding star and narrating our regrets can often be the best guidance we can give others.
Finally, I came across something that satisfies my curiosity.
Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse who spent many years working in palliative care caring for those who were dying had many many conversations with her patients till they died. She eventually summarized her conversations in a book called the “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying”
They were (with my self grades)
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. (I would give myself a B+ maybe even A- on this)
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. (At best C+ for me)
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. (D- 🙁 )
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. (Maybe I will give a A- on this)
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. (Around B to B-)
Do you see me that way?
How would you grade yourself?
If you change nothing in your life, would you have some other regrets we should learn from?