The Unnecessary Deathbed Regret

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We’ve all heard from those selfless people who care for dying patients about regrets expressed as death nears. The primary one is usually, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

When we hear of those feelings, most of us nod in agreement and think about our own lives and the lives of our clients.

I don’t buy it.

The regret of unfulfilled dreams

Those facing the end of their lives have expressed regret about not pursuing their dreams and aspirations. This idea gained widespread attention through the work of Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse who wrote the book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. In her book, she shared her experiences of caring for patients during their final days and identified common themes among their regrets.

These regrets painted a poignant picture of lives lived with unfulfilled dreams, suppressed emotions, and the pursuit of external expectations.