The main laments of people on their deathbed that have been revealed by a nurse can bring us closer to what the important things in our life really are, and that many times we leave neglected.

For many years I have worked in palliative care. My patients were the ones who had gone home to die. Very special moments were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives. People grow a lot when faced with their own mortality.

I learned not to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experiences a variety of emotions, as expected: denial, fear , anger, remorse, further denial, and final acceptance. However, each patient finds his peace before leaving, each one of them.

Major deathbed laments

When asked about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes came up over and over again. Here are the five most common regrets:

1. I wish I had been more true to myself

I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not to the life that others expect of me .

This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is about to end and they look back clearly at it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled . Most people had not yet fulfilled half of their dreams and had to die knowing it was due to the choices they had made or the choices they had not made.

It is very important to honor at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment you lose your health, it is too late. Health gives a freedom that very few realize, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard

This came from every male patient that I cared for. They missed the youth of their children and the company of their partner. The women also spoke of this regret. But most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All the men I cared for deeply regretted spending so much of their lives at work .

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious decisions along the way, you may not need the income you think you need. And by creating more space in your life, you are happier and more open to the opportunities of new destinations, which better suit your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I 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 what they were truly capable of becoming. Many illnesses developed in connection with bitterness and resentment leads as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, while people may react initially by changing the way they are speaking honestly, eventually the relationship is raised to a whole new and healthier level. Either that, or it’s letting go of the sick relationship in your life. Either way, you win.

4. I would like to have been in contact with my friends

They often do not truly realize the full benefits of their old friends until their final weeks arrive and it was not always possible to locate them. Many of them had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let go of golden friendships in recent years.

There were many deep regrets about not giving the friendship the time and effort it deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It’s common for anyone with a busy lifestyle to drop friendships. But when you are faced with your death approaching, the physical details of life disappear. People want to have their financial affairs in order, if possible. But it is not money or status that is truly important to them.

They want to do things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually, however, they are too sick and tired to handle this task each time. This all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That’s all that’s left in the last few weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish I had let myself be happier

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice . They were stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called “comfort” of familiarity overwhelmed their emotions as well as their physical lives.

The fear of change had left them pretending to others, and to themselves, that they were happy . When deep inside, they longed to laugh properly and fool around in their life again. When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is far from your mind. How wonderful it is to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *