Inside Thoughts

The Number One Regret of Dying People


The Number One Regret of Dying People

Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse and counsellor who looked after terminally ill people in palliative care. Most of her patients were typically older folk who had serious illnesses with which there was no cure.

Her job was about providing counselling and relief for her patient’s, as they came face to face with their mortality.

One of the topics she would often talk about with those in her care, was whether or not there was anything they would do differently if given a second chance.

According to Bronnie the number one regret was this:

“I wish I pursued my dreams and aspirations, and not the life others expected of me.”

In fact one of her dying patients, Grace, made Bronnie promise that she would pursue all her dreams and never consider what others would say.


What would I regret if I died today?

I found this article deeply confronting. It made me re-evaluate afresh whether or not I was truly pursuing my dreams and aspirations. Moreover, it made me reflect on what it would look like to live a life without any regrets.

It is alarming to think that we could work our whole lives, pursuing the things we thought were important, and get to the end of our lives and realise we had missed the point. To think when it was all said and done, we could have regrets about how we lived. How we loved. How we spent our time.


Pursuing all the wrong things

There was a time where I too was caught up with pursuing success, my career, finance and stability. While there is nothing wrong with this in any way, I just wasn’t doing it for the right reasons. I was clambering to meet other’s expectations, societal norms and making myself too busy to realise I was deeply unhappy.

After years of doing this, I was burned out and confused. It took nearly one year to realign myself with what was on my heart, what I was truly passionate about and what was worth living and fighting for. The article said:

“The regrets of the dying can be sound and invaluable advice for the living.” – John Paull

In fact Bronnie was so inspired by the regrets of the dying she cared for, that she authored a full length memoir about this experience titled “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying – A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing.”


What are you passionate about?

Beloved one,

Are you living a life worth dying for?

Are you pursuing the right things?

Is what you are devoting your time and life to, bringing you joy working towards your destiny?

If not, perhaps it is time to re-evaluate.

For surely reigning in life is living a life passionately pursuing our own dreams and aspirations.
Surely to reign in life is to live, so when we die we have no regrets.

What does that look like for you? What does that look like for me?

Maybe it is time to find out.

Until next time,

You are deeply loved and richly cherished.

Christine Greenwood

Reign in Life

Wink: What an incredible excuse to plan the most ridiculous opulent trip to the Maldives. Right? And wear channel bathers while I am at it. Can’t imagine regretting that on my deathbed.

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