The Most Common Regrets People Have On Their Deathbed

The Most Common Regrets People Have On Their Deathbed

There may be no better way to learn about life than by listening to people who are facing death. A palliative nurse has posted the top five regrets people have in the last few weeks of their lives — lessons for us all now.Photo by Adam Baker

The top regrets centre largely around living a more authentic life:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. […]

3. I wish I’d 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 who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

Many of the patients also wished they had spent less time working and pretending to be content, and more time with friends and actually allowing themselves to be happy. Notably, these people didn’t regret not getting promotions or making more money or being famous.

We’ve touched on this theme of following your own path, not bowing to others’ opinions, and other happiness essentials. These real life stories of people with unfulfilled dreams, however, are more poignant. Go make the life you want to proudly think back on.

The Top 5 Regrets People Have on Their Deathbed [The Next Web]


  • You can’t do everything. Maybe those who did have ” the courage to live a life true to myself” and have ” the courage to express my feelings” regret not having a closer relationship with their family, friends and community (not saying that is the consequence of being true to yourself but a life that is self focussed may have other costs). Maybe life is a series of decisions that lead us down one road, rather than another, each with things to savour and things to regret?
    I think this is a result of our move towards individualism rather than thinking in terms of being part of a social group. As part of a social group we see that everyone’s life has different parts but all our lives go together to make something that is complete.

  • I heard a saying about ten years ago which I live by and often tell others. . .

    No one on their death bed regrets not working enough.

  • And one I’ve always heard is:

    People regret what they DIDN’T do more than what they DID do.

    Ie, your more likely to regret not taking a chance than you are to regret making a mistake.

  • Maybe people don’t regret not working enough, but if they worked less they might regret not being able to afford to visit the doctor a bit earlier or buying that cheap car with the dodgy tires. Being blunt, poor people die younger.

    The survey population is going to be biased. Those who ‘lived fast, died young and left a good-looking corpse’ might have regretted their choices too.

  • what statistics did Gary get his diagnonsense from, hard working low paid workers like coal miners not the coal industry office workers or managers, engineers working with fuels and oils, like car, motorcycle and aircraft mechanics,farm workers working with toxic sprays pesticides and fungicides these are just some of the working poor that die of ill health, young not wealthy, but hard working. POOR people die younger what crapp get over to any major hospital and see what people are really dying of.

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