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5 Deathbed Regrets

We do our best during life. We think we have the priorities right. We are immortal….

Then we find ourselves in the last pages of our last chapter in this book of life. We will think about all the priorities that we held so dear for so long. All those things worried and fretted about… Can you even remember most of them?


Now is the time to ponder what we might be regretting at the end life. Because we can fix it now, alter our priorities and have no regrets at the time of our transition home.

We will all die. That is a fact. It doesn’t matter if you have money or not a pot to piss in.It will happen if you have a lot of friends or have no friends. The end is coming if you are happy or depressed. It will not matter if you had palatial dwellings or rented a spot under a bridge.

No matter where your journey has taken you, I hope you have been happy.

Here are some things to think about. This list comes from an anonymous nurse who worked with hospice patients.

1. I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. When your life is almost over, you can look back with some clarity. Hind sight is 20/20. How many of your dreams have you ignored or let go? Why? We make choices every day. Are the choices you are making bringing you closer to your hopes and dreams or are they moving you away. Think about the choices you are making.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.  Work consumes most of our lives. This includes men and women because we both work. Forty years ago, women decided to work out of the home, but we did not renegotiate the work required to run a home. Many women have two jobs work and home.

So I ask you… How many of your children’s sports/arts events have you missed? How many times with family and friends have you missed because of work? How much stress have you experienced over work? Did it really change anything? Could you reorganize your thinking and work obligations so that you can live in balance?

3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.  Some folks have no trouble expressing their feelings exploding all over everybody. They may hurt a lot of people. But there are just as many or more people who do not express their feelings. Children of trauma will do anything to not rock the boat and keep the peace. When you do this is to choose a life of mediocre. Holding feelings in is also a set up for disease: heart disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune to name a few. It may hasten your end date. Learn to have a healthy relationship with your feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with friends.  You know, it is the relationships that matter. Have you developed good friendships? Are you keeping contact and nurturing those friendships? We need friends for the good times as well as in the dark times. No one can do this alone. Develop good friends and support each other. It is more fun and cheaper than hiring me.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. Do you know how to be happy? How happy are you? Being happy is a choice. Look for delights in the small ordinary things in life. Also change how you frame events. If you have to close your business you can mope and feel like a failure. Or you can say that this chapter is done and wait with abated breath for the next chapter to start. One feels heavy and the other feels light. Be happy.

I would say that most of my patients where able to resolve their issues and regrets and passed in peace. Some could not and it was a rough experience for all concerned.

You have an opportunity to re-think your life. Choose life. Choose joy.

Blessings. Mary Pat

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