I’ll admit that my curiosity was peeked when I found the article written by Bronnie Ware, the palliative nurse who worked for many years caring for patients in their final weeks of life. Assisting patients as they worked through the varied emotions (anger, denial, guilt, fear, regret, and acceptance), Nurse Ware found that many common themes emerged when patients were faced their own mortality.
I think many of us can learn valuable lessons from the biggest, final regrets of dying patients…
1. Standing Up, Speaking Up
Many of us still harbor shame and guilt over not standing up to life’s bullies—many of which are ghosts from the distant past (i.e., elementary school, high school, first job). Hostility aimed inward for lacking the courage to stand up, speak up, and fight back often haunts us in adulthood and impacts our behavior and self-esteem in adulthood.