A nurse said recently : For several years, I worked in the department of palliative care at the hospital. It is difficult to say, but most of my patients were brought to die in a short time, a fate often due to incurable diseases. By sharing with them the 3 in the last 12 weeks of their lives, I have lived unforgettable moments.
When asked if they have any regrets, or if they would have done some things differently, several themes often come back.
Here are the 5 regrets most heard :
1. “I would have liked to have the courage to live my life as I heard, and not as others wanted it to be”.
It is one of the greatest regrets I have made. When each patient look at his past, he realizes that many of his dreams have not been fulfilled. It’s unfortunate, but most people have not even achieved half of their dreams of a kid and should leave knowing that it is because of the choices they have made, or not made. It is really important to live your dreams as long as we can. The health provides you with a freedom which very few are aware of. After that, it is too late.
2. “I would have liked not to work so hard”.
This regret comes from all the patient man that I have met. In general it refers to their children that they have not really seen them grow and their relationship with their partner that they don’t have enough advantage. The women also speak of this regret but as most were old enough they had been housewives, and have thus been able to benefit their offspring. To avoid regret these choices, it is absolutely necessary to preserve a space of healthy living and choosing a job that can go with a family life flourished.
3. “I would have liked to have the courage to express my feelings”.
A lot of people hide their feelings to avoid conflict. Result ? Their existence is minimal, in their eyes and they will never become who they really would have been able to be. As a result, they often develop stress-related illness, or anxiety, such as ulcers for example. By being honest and saying what you think, or you make your relationships more healthy, you spread the more mediocre. In all cases, you come out winners.
4. “I would have loved to stay in touch with some friends”.
Very frequently, up to their last weeks of life, patients do not realize really the importance that we the long-time friends. A majority of them have lost sight of the people who ultimately had a lot. They have had a lot of regrets in not giving some friendships the time and effort that they deserved. According to the job one performs, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and put the friendly relations on stand-by. Yet, at the end of life, what you have left, this is nothing other than your memories, your friends and your loves.
5. “I would have liked to leave me the right to be happy”.
Surprisingly, it’s very common. The vast majority of people don’t realize that, shortly before dying that happiness is a choice ! Over the years, the fear of change has eventually convince them that they were happy like that, but they were in fact the minimum. By the time, they wanted to abandon everything and do only what they liked, but they have never dared, have never taken the plunge. Today, they regret it bitterly.
On your deathbed, what others think of you do not even touch the spirit. The things that count are the ones that have brought you joy, happiness or love.