Some Truths about Dying

My mother sent me a review of a new book by this title**. She said she was fascinated by the list of five regrets, and shared her thoughts about it (my mother is 89 years old):

“A beautiful article that all should read. It is rather surprising that so many folk have the same regrets. And how can we deal with another’s regrets unless they are willing to share and discuss them with us? This can be difficult, especially if we have lived with a person who has regrets which involve us!

On the source of regrets:
I believe many regrets depend on circumstances at the time which could not be changed. And regrets often involve folk who are hurting. It is part of our nature to be impulsive (eg, when we are under pressure), and we all have known times when we were sorry we didn’t think through our words, or how our actions might hurt someone. No matter how hard we try, we are not perfect, we make mistakes, we will hurt someone, and we will have regrets.

But regrets are not just for old folks near death. I find it hard to believe there might be someone who had no regrets at all. Young folk aren’t exempt from regrets. I was painfully shy as a child, and wished I could be more outgoing like my best friend. Life would have been a great deal easier if I had known how to deal with my shyness earlier than I did!

On dealing with regrets:
I believe regrets need to be brought out of hiding, dealt with, and fully let go. It’s not much different from asking for God’s forgiveness and accepting His mercy – this brings the only true cleansing. It’s hard, but only then can we find our own peace of mind. Without going into details, my toughest assignment by far came late in life – it hurt beyond measure — but in time after lots of chats with my Friend, I accepted His cleansing and now I can cope with it all. Although my heart still grieves, I have found peace.

On helping others with regrets:
Maybe we can help others to find this peace, even when close to death.
Certainly we can tell others about the book, which may help them decide to live differently and avoid the regret traps”.

Thank you Mom for sharing so transparently about this…..your words are like treasure!

The top five regrets of the dying (from the book**):
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier

Jesus to Nicodemus:
“For God so loved and prized the world that He gave up His unique Son, so that whoever trusts, clings to, and relies on Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world in order to condemn the world, but that the world might find salvation, and be made safe and sound through Him” (John, chapter 3, Amplified Bible).

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** The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departed. By Bronnie Ware. (Hay House, USA).

9 comments on “Some Truths about Dying”

  1. Kim says:

    To live in the moment and appreciate the people and blessings in my life, instead of letting my mind run ahead to what I feel I need to get done.

    1. IanPalmer says:

      Thanks Kim, your words spoke directly to me……I definitely need to do just what you said to do.

  2. Cleta says:

    Very thought provoking article. I agree – I’m sure we all have regrets. When I’m faced with a decision – I always try to ask myself if it’s something I don’t do – will I regret it later. It has helped me. Blessings to you!!!

    1. IanPalmer says:

      What a terrific thought Cleta. I don’t think I have ever tried that, but I will try to do that.

  3. SHERRY ANDRUS says:

    My regrets are my ability to express myself to those who have hurt me, and have stated that they would never apologize. My second regret is not allowing myself to be happier. I felt for so long that if I was happy it meant, or so I thought it meant, that I didn’t love my children. I allowed it to happen and it still continues. I have grieved and hurt for so long that my heart is experiencing Takosumo Cardiomyopathie. It is termed “the broken heart syndrome” by both American and German doctors. This is not the life I thought I would have.

    1. IanPalmer says:

      Oh my! Your words are packed with pain Sherry, and I can feel for you just a bit (I have a cardiac palpitation). I offer a little prayer for your happiness. This quote comes to mind: “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls” (Amplified Bible, Matthew 11). Thank you for sharing so honestly.

  4. Marie says:

    Be sure and thank your Mother for giving you the information you gave us. Mother’s are always thinking about their children. My Mom died a year ago at 95 and was still cutting articles out she thought I should know about. Death is such a reality that we should be thinking about our time here on Earth. We all want to hear “Well done My good and faithful servant.”

    1. Ian says:

      My Mom will appreciate your comment Marie, thanks. And I appreciate your closing remark. It reminds me of what Jesus said “Lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven”.

  5. Mary Ann says:

    When I opened the blog and saw the wedding pic, it brought back memories of how important your Mom and Dad were to me, and it made me cry. After losing a best friend just a few days ago, the words of this blog meant a lot to me. One of the regrets that I have had is I wish I had been better at living my own life instead of living a life I thought other people expected of me. Your words Mom are well chosen, with a lot of wisdom. Please keep adding your comments on the Gray Nomad’s blogs, because I so enjoy reading them.


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