Palliative Care Nurse Shares What Patients Regretted Most When They Were Dying

Shola Lee

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Palliative Care Nurse Shares What Patients Regretted Most When They Were Dying

Featured Image Credit: Angela Hampton Picture Library / Alamy

A palliative care nurse has revealed the top five regrets of dying patients and it's sobering, to say the least.

Get ready to dial up your Sunday scaries a notch because these regrets aren't for the faint of heart.

This dedicated healthcare worker has spent years of their life seeing patients through the last 12 weeks of their own lives and wrote a book called, you guessed it: Regrets of the Dying.

The regrets might surprise you. Credit: Sergio Azenha / Alamy Stock Photo
The regrets might surprise you. Credit: Sergio Azenha / Alamy Stock Photo

So, here goes - five morbid messages from the dying.

First up was: I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

Ah, it's an oldie but a goodie. Who would we be if we didn't give a flying f**k what other people thought?

Well, according to the nurse, "This was the most common regret of all."

And, honestly, it makes a lot of sense because when you're laying on your deathbed, reflecting on your life do you want to say you lived it for yourself, or the opinions of those around you?

The nurse goes on to add: "Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made."

“Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it."

The book has some pretty great advice. Credit: Debra millet / Alamy Stock Photo
The book has some pretty great advice. Credit: Debra millet / Alamy Stock Photo

So, with some much-needed perspective, let's head on to the second up on the list, which is: I wish I hadn't worked so hard.

Here's to all those doing overtime, working three jobs to pay the rent, or just trying to make ends meet.

According to the nurse, this regret was most common among male patients: "All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence."

Now, we're not here to tell you to quit your job - Beyoncé's already done that - but, we will say that if you can try to not bring your work home, it'll do you the world of good.

Next up? I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

Most people regretted not keeping in touch with friends or telling people how they feel. Credit: Phanie / Alamy Stock Photo
Most people regretted not keeping in touch with friends or telling people how they feel. Credit: Phanie / Alamy Stock Photo

“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."

So, if you need a sign, stop holding back, stop making your feelings small to comfort others - it's not doing anyone any good.

Fourth up on the list? I wish I'd stayed in touch with my friends.

"Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years," the nurse wrote.

"There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying." Heck, we miss our friends after going on holiday, and if you haven't in a while, drop your close mates a text.

The fifth and final regret?

Exactly what you need to hear on a Sunday. Credit: BSIP SA / Alamy Stock Photo
Exactly what you need to hear on a Sunday. Credit: BSIP SA / Alamy Stock Photo

I wish I had let myself be happier. This seems simple but is, apparently, 'surprisingly common', which is actually pretty heartbreaking when you think about it.

"Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to themselves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again."

And there you have it, live your life for yourself, don't work yourself to death, tell people how you feel, stay in touch with your friends and let yourself be happy.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected] 

Topics: News, Health, UK News

Shola Lee
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