Jan 3, 2012

Top 5 Deathbed Regrets

Recently a nurse who worked in palliative care shared the leading deathbed regrets of those she cared for.  Her patients were those who had gone home to die.  She was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their life as they experienced a variety of emotions including denial, fear, anger, and remorse.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again.  Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. 
It's important that you follow God's plan for our life...not what someone else has planned for you.  What are the dreams God has placed in your heart that you haven't followed because of the boxes others have placed around you?  What are you waiting for?  Make 2012 the year you start fulfilling God's destiny for your life.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. 
You keep telling yourself that the work is going to slow down.  But it won't...so you've got to be the one who slows down.  Make this the year that the kids' ballgames take priority over climbing the ladder. Make this the year that you make it home in time for dinner.  Make this the year that you use your vacation time...all of it.  Make this the year that you replace overtime with extra time with your family.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Who do you need to say "I love you" to?  Who needs to hear "I forgive you?"  Who have you been putting off confronting just to "keep the peace?"  Is silent bitterness and resentment building because you are suppressing words that could bring healing?  Let this be the year you have the difficult conversations you've been avoiding.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
It's easy to get so caught up in our own lives that we let friendships slip.  But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away.  It is not money or status that holds the true importance.  It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end.  Pick up the phone in 2012 and call that friend you've lost touch with.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
We can get so caught up with the mundane tasks of everyday life that we forget to laugh and be silly. We can take ourselves way too seriously.  Do you spend more time frowning than you do smiling?  Tell more jokes this year.  Learn to laugh at yourself.  Let go and smile again.  Let the joy of the Lord flood over the problems and pressures you are facing.

As we enter 2012, let's live with these things in mind now so we are not full of regrets later.

Posted by Dale Hudson

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