The Five Regrets of the Dying


January 22, 2015 by Brian


Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. “When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently,” she says, “common themes surfaced again and again.”

Someone made a kinda-cheesy youtube video listing those five things, and a little detail about each.  We watched the video and then broke up into 5 groups, with each group taking on one of the five regrets.  The purpose was to fully understand the issue, and come up with observations about how we can make changes today to avoid having the same regret on our death bed.

There were great conclusions and comments by each group.  For example, one guy from the group that took on regret #1, said he lives in a house that is way bigger than he needs, or wants.  And, that he only bought it because of the expectations of his wife.  He’s not upset about it at all, but recognizes that if he was being true to himself, and not living up to the expectations of others, he would have purchased a smaller home.  Many guys agreed that the pressure of other’s expectations often shows up in smaller, day-to-day decisions, not in major life situations.

We also decided that some of these 5 specific regrets are generational, and will not be the same when we get to be in our eighties.  For sure, number four has been changed somewhat with the invention of Facebook.

In any case, since we know about these five now … there is no excuse for us not doing what is necessary to avoid them.

Check out the video here:



One thought on “The Five Regrets of the Dying

  1. Bill Bramer says:

    Looks like a great session. My pastor says legacy is simple: “Will you be missed”. If your paid job demands too much of your life, simplify right? Blessings to all.

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