5 dying wishes: What terminal patients regret

This surfaced on Twitter and caught my attention. It’s an article written by a women who cared for terminally ill patients. It’s her first-hand assessment of the most common regrets people have when they hear they only have a few month or weeks to live.

My views on death are changing. I’m not sure this line of thought will be as relevant to me in a few months. I guess I want to share this now in case that happens. Because right now, it’s a sobering reminder.

Enter the patients:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

They sound trite at first, at least to me they did. I had to let the full weight of the circumstances sink in.

From there, I have three questions:

#1: Why do we have these regrets?

#2: Is it possible, let alone beneficial, to prevent them?

#3: If yes to the previous question, how?

And if we’re going to try to tackle these these questons, we need to focus on finding practical answers, not high level, “oh, just hang out with your friends more often” answers.