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临终病人最后悔的五件事情(REGRETS OF THE DYING) by Nurse Bronnie Ware


最近有一篇文章在Facebook, twitter上频频被转,Nurse reveals the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed,它的原文是一名叫Bronnie Ware的护士写的。Bronnie Ware专门照顾那些临终病人,所以有机会听到很多人临终前说出他们一生里最后悔的事。她作了一个概括,有5件事是大多数人最后悔的。

很好奇为什么这么多人转载它,也许,因为这是一种你永远无法提前经历的事吧。你不会时常面对别人的死亡,你更不怎么时常有机会听到一个临终前的人告 诉你他最后悔的事是什么。而即便你听到,你又会觉得自己来日方长。我们似乎永远无法感同身受;也许,只有我们自己的生命到了尽头时,我们才会意识到自己究 竟错过了什么,最后悔什么。


1. 我希望当初我有勇气过自己真正想要的生活,而不是别人希望我过的生活。


心理学上有个理论,较之那些我们做过的事,人们后悔的往往是那些没做的事。所以当人们在生命尽头往回看时,往往会发现有好多梦想应该实现,却没有实 现。你的生活方式、你的工作、你的感情、你的伴侣,其实我们多少人过着的是别人希望你过的生活,而不是自己真正想要的生活——又可能,一直以来你把别人希 望你过的生活当作是你想要的生活。



2. 我希望当初我没有花这么多精力在工作上。




3. 我希望当初我能有勇气表达我的感受。




4. 我希望当初我能和朋友保持联系。




5. 我希望当初我能让自己活过开心点。









For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.


People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone's capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

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. 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.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn't work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

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.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.


Regrets of the Dying is soon to be a full-length book, full of personal and inspiring stories about Bronnie's years with dying people. Please join the mailing list, on the contact page, to be advised of its release.
 Coming soon in 2011.