(We'll do the actual article first, and then carve out a commentary afterwards.)


Top five regrets of the dying

A nurse has recorded the most common regrets of the dying, and among the top ones is 'I wish I hadn't worked so hard'. What would your biggest regret be if this was your last day of life? 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 existence."

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 result."

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 again."

What's your greatest regret so far, and what will you set out to achieve or change before you die?

The Overnight Guy's Take On All Of This Shit:


Regrets? My Hairy White Ass; Regrets. Stand Back, You Pussies!

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

Fuck other people--especially those who expect shit from you. Next!

2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.

Worked so hard at what? Did you waste your time making money for somebody else, while calling it 'your career'? Ha! I LOVE those people. You CHOSE to bust your ass working. I can't stop giggling. Next!

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

Courage? All you need is a voice! Tell people; 'I believe you are full of shit--and here's why.' Unless you are using those repressed feelings to fuel some other capacity--which is perfectly legitimate (especially in writing), then you should express yourself. In fact, express the crap out of yourself! To Hell with other people, and their hurt feelings. Awww. If you don't want my opinion--then don't ask for it. If you don't want to hear me rant and rave, then go the fuck away! I'm busy--yelling at these idiots who are 'living as others expect them to', 'working too hard', and 'without the courage to express their feelings'. I'm also getting a headache now, but damn this is fun.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Finally! One that "almost" fits in the world of common sense. Not quite, mind you, but very close. Okay; so you had a bunch of friends, and over time you "lost touch" with most of them. No; you didn't. Sorry. Something pissy happened. Money was loaned, a practical joke went bad and festered, or one of you didn't approve of a person the other was dating. Somebody got selfish, or somebody else got taken for granted. This is not brain surgery, folks, this is life. People either go, grow, or slow, in different directions. You will not stay at the same speed, either. Locations will change. Jobs will change. Obligations (or your perceptions of them) will change. Do you really want other 'lost contacts' to waste their time wishing they had stayed in touch with you; and if so, why? I could go on about this for days--maybe longer. So I'll stop now.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This wording here is a bit weak, but I'm pretty sure the intent was for 'life is a journey--not a destination'. Stop and smell some roses--right? Be spontaneous; go throw some frisbee today. Drink half a bottle of hot sauce. Eat a whole bag of potato chips. You need to get some "play" in everyday; don't be so damn serious and grumpy all the time. Now; "serious" and "grumpy" have their place; and some people do well with such as their own 'default setting'. But most people need more laughter in their lives. Me? I'm laughing right now. Why? Well; let's just cross 'em off, one-by-one:

I have purposely tried to defy everything that was ever expected of me by anyone (#1). I have toiled diligently at NOT working hard--except for a few jobs (in my 20's) that involved intense physical labor (#2). If anything, I express my feelings far too often--ask around (#3). Since 1991 I've run from both of my 2 best friends for reasons already listed (#4); ha, it wasn't me who went dumb. And; (#5) happy? Today I will be hosting/playing in a game of poker. And tomorrow I will be smooching on AT LEAST one beautiful girl, and then going to "work" at an amusement arcade where I will play a handful of pinball machines and video games. This arcade also has a good jukebox with over 100 CD's in it, and dancing is encouraged. Bye!

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