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After last week’s post when I discussed talking to children about death here I am again on the same subject. However, much like the last post, I’m trying to find a positive angle on it and this week it comes in the shape of a really interesting-sounding book by Bronnie Ware….

Picture thanks to imaphotog @

Ware, a singer, songwriter and big-time blogger had a career change in later life and became a palliative care worker. Looking after those who often had only weeks to live, Ware repeatedly heard the same regrets from her patients about things they wished they had done or realised before it was too late.

Ware has now written a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing in which she shares these regrets and her own personal story.

Nearly reaching middle-age I thought it would be interesting to see if the five regrets would ring true for me now. If they do at least I have health and time to do something about them. Maybe you could do the same in a kind of ‘death meme’ type way?

Top Five Regrets as found by Ware:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
I can see how this could apply to me in years gone by, however, as I’m getting older I’m beginning to value my own opinion and care less about what other people think. There’s much to say for maturing and having a sense of self.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
According to Ware this was the most common complaint for male patients. However, I’m sure in the 21st-century there will just as many career women who might feel the same. I don’t think this will be one of my complaints though. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a lazy so-and-so but I just don’t think my career path is ever going to lead me to a place where I’m 24/7 deskbound. I enjoy life too much!

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Mmmm, well I guess blogging is helping with this but I do tend to be a bit of a tortoise that hides her head in her shell when it comes to speaking about how I feel. Time to stick my neck out.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
I’ll admit I’m not the best at keeping in touch with friends, however, the friends that I do value the most I do keep in touch with. I rarely feel like chatting to people on the telephone and much prefer to connect via social media and leave the big chats to face-to-face meetings. I’m sure some of my friends find this anti-social. Sorry.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Yes, I feel that there are times that I could have been happier but I blame my hormones on that! I am currently investigating ways to achieve more a balance of emotions and I find that drinking less alcohol and exercising more really play a big part in this.

Perhaps try answering these regrets yourself and sharing them below.

The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing by Bronnie Ware is published by Hay House, £10.99


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(2) Readers Comments

  1. I have one other. I wish I’d spent more money, even on a credit card, when I was on holiday. My parents have the ultimate fear of debt and drummed in to me that absolutely nothing must be bought unless you have the means to pay for it immediately. While I mostly agree, I turned down some really cool opportunities because I didn’t have the money there and then. Looking back, it was such a small amount of money but seemed huge at the time and would’ve only taken a matter of weeks to pay-back. I wish they hadn’t scared it in to me so much and instead allowed me to make my own judgement but with a bit of guidance.

    • Well the good news for you is there is still plenty of time to spend! As they say ‘you can’t take it with you’ and ‘We’re spending the kids’ inheritance’ are often bantered around these days!
      Thanks for commenting.

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