Saturday, July 21, 2012

A nurse....a lesson

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

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."


Middle Child said...

I am going to add here what mu husband said before he was killed by medical negligence in 2007 - he had been a quadriplegic since a work accident in 1982 when he was 32...
Maybe he was different but he so often expressed to me how good his life had been, how lucky we were, that he had no regrets whatsoever - he looked long into my eyes as I sat beside him while the nurses and docs neglected and killed him (I am a bit angry here but not with your palliative nurse - she no doubt has done a good job...Don was treated as a guinea pig for their "research" and finally when they spat him out for euthanasia all gilded with the Palliative care nurses who were not to blame...

in amongst all of this he had no regrets, nothing undone, no child left untended to and we were solid... see just to say here not all people who are about to die have regrets...some are clear eyed and bushy tailed and looking into the light
its important to me to express I guess I am still fighting authorities who I know were responsible for my husband's premature death

stag said...

He merely preceeded you on the road by a few years. Give him time to prepare for your arrival, clean up the place a bit, arrange the surprise party with all your relatives and deceased pets.