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The Guardian / By Susie Steiner Original Link   February 15, 2013

5 Top Regrets People Have At the End of Their Lives

A palliative nurse has recorded the top five regrets of the dying.

There was no mention of more sex or bungee jumps. A palliative nurse
who has counselled the dying in their last days has revealed the most
common regrets we have at the end of our lives. And among the top,
from men in particular, is 'I wish I hadn't worked so hard'.

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
recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called  Inspiration and Chai,
which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a
book called  The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the
end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. "When
questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do
differently," she says, "common themes surfaced again and again."

Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware:

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 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

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

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
20 Inspiring Rags-to-Riches Stories
By Max Nisen and Eric Goldschein | Business Insider – Fri, Dec 28, 2012 1:23 PM EST

In a time of rising inequality and sluggish growth, rags to riches
stories are harder than ever to come by. Indeed, many of the
richest people in the world were born into their wealth.

That makes it even more essential that we remember the people
who started with nothing, and through hard work, talent, grit, and
a bit of luck, managed to rise to the very top.

These 20 stories remind us that it's possible to overcome just
about anything, from parents passing away, to extreme poverty,
and more.
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