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Regrets of the Dying

By Aila and Sumay

Nobody likes to think about death. But it’s going to happen to everyone and we might as well know it’s going to happen so we can be cognisant and conscious about our choices. Death gives life meaning. What would be the point of doing anything if there was always a tomorrow? In this article (link below) we will be talking about five regrets of the dying to think about how we can avoid having these same regrets ourselves. So we can try to live a life that when we come to our deathbeds we can say confidently, I lived a good life.

The first regret of dying is this, I Wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. Everyone craves validation, and one way we try to get it from others is changing how we live our life to the way we see others living their lives. But you only have one life, and when you are about to die it becomes transparent to you that you should take the opportunity to find out what you want. But this takes effort. It’s not always easy to know what you want. You may ask why people don’t just do what they want and why they just go along with what everybody else does. This is because it’s easier to be wrong with everyone else than to be right by yourself. It’s hard to be the odd one out, it’s hard to be different. I hope you find this insightful!

The second regret of the dying is I wish I hadn't worked so hard. This doesn’t mean that people who were dying wished they had been more lazy. It’s that they wished they hadn’t worked so hard on the things that weren't very important. Many adults spend most of their mental energy on their jobs, but what we learn from the regrets of the dying is that you will probably live a happier life if you prioritize things like family and relationships. It’s so easy to get distracted from the things that are actually important. And thinking about death can be really helpful in separating the things you should be spending mental energy on, and the things you shouldn’t. So ask yourself, what do I want to do with the day I have today, the time I have with my family, and the mental energy I can use to help those around me.

I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings. It can be really frustrating when you aren’t able to tell people what you feel about certain things. Sometimes you’ll be in a situation and it would be beneficial to tell someone that you don’t really like the situation you’re in and they can try and help you. Either way, sharing how you feel about things can be extremely therapeutic. We like to think that we are very data driven creatures like vulcans from Star Trek. But we are very emotionally driven and our emotions can be the thing driving very important decisions in your life at times. But most importantly the way we feel is very important because it can dictate whether or not we feel happy with how our life is unfolding. It’s important to express that so we can work things out so we do feel happy with the life we live because you only have one.

I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. People should stay in touch with other people such as friends and extended family. If you don’t pay attention to your social life then it can lead to long term stress or depression. People need friends to grow themselves, have fun, and to have someone there when they need help. Those are the three kinds of friends, to learn more click here. If you don’t have friends then what is the point? People live life to get to know others and have an effect on the world, and that is why people wish they had stayed in touch with their friends.

The last regret of the dying is I wish that I had let myself be happier. We can control how happy we are every day, how much negative thoughts we let come to us, and whether or not we focus on the good parts of our lives. This can be really hard sometimes, and it rarely becomes a priority in people’s lives. No one can always be happy, because sadness is what makes happiness something significant. If there was no sadness, what would happiness be? But we can decide whether or not we are going to focus on the sad parts of life, or remain optimistic and hopeful for the future. Bad things do happen, and sometimes you just need to be sad. But let yourself be happy, know it’s never something you have to earn, and you being happy helps everyone around you.

In conclusion, we wish to share the lessons we take from the regrets of the dying. This is how we hope to leave this world feeling good about the choices we made.

  1. Dream big - Do not let the expectations of others stop you from living your life.

  2. Prioritize family - Do not let work stop you from spending time building your marriage and loving your kids.

  3. Be yourself - Do not hide your feelings or try to be someone else.

  4. Build relationships - Do not let day-to-day struggles stop you from spending time with those you enjoy.

  5. Be happy - Choose to see problems as opportunities and not let others drag you down.

Thank you for reading.


Aila and Sumay McPhail


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