Monday, April 9, 2012

regrets of the dying: a nurse's perspective

over the weekend, i read this interesting blog post.

the essay is written by bronnie ware, a former palliative care nurse. during her time in this position, bronnie had a chance to speak with many patients who were facing the end of this beautiful life. they often voiced their regrets. things they wished they had a few days, months or lifetimes to correct.

the post details the reasons behind the regrets, but here is a summary: 
1. i wish i had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. i wish i didn't work so hard.
3. i wish i'd had the courage to express my feelings.
4. i wish i'd stayed in touch with my friends
5. i wish that i had let myself be happier

man. my gut fell to my knees. because i am young. and in many aspects, just starting. i'm still a rent-paying, stay-up-late because i can, take-a-roadtrip-down-the-pacific-coast-highway-whenever-i-get-the-fancy newlywed trapped in the chasm between student and worker, teenager and adult. it's hard to think about my plans for this weekend, much less my long-term plans for life.

but i can relate to almost all of these five regrets. already.

this summer will be the summer of staying outside longer. feeling dirt under my nails and playing in the grass. closing the laptop. doing more of the things i did before i discovered facebook, and the wonders of computers in general. when all i knew about the bulky machine on our office desktop was how to access microsoft encarta to look up information for school papers.

when i called my friends daily, and played with them often. when i cried deeply and laughed without sound.

i'm headed back there again, if that place still exists. even if it doesn't, i'm determined to recreate it. to live again in my world of exploration. so when i reach the end of it, i can tell God, in the same way erma bombeck did: i used everything you gave me. every single day was used. every day.


Kira said...

TO still be young enough to change these things is both encouraging and challenging.

ruthy ann said...

I read this post over the weekend it hits ya right in the gut. Life is short, and we have the opportunity to make it sooooo sweet.

Ruthy said...

It is true that technology has taken so much away from us. It is rare to hear a voice over the phone anymore. Relationships are not as personal as they use to be.

Emma Frances said...

Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to go and read the actual post. Such a strong, sweet message that we need to take advantage of all that God has given us. Beautiful!

Suz said...

Awesome, amazing, and SO darn true! I just read this aloud to my traveling companion. As always, your words capture reality. And btw, the original lady of your cottage was known for laughing without sound.:) Thank you for reminding me of the joyful image of my Mamaw at her finest!

Brhea {NoPlaceLykeHome} said...

This list rings true. I am so inspired by those that take life by the reigns and live true to themselves. I am trying to be that courageous!

Ana Magdalena said...

I am going to read the original post "right now." I am so happy you wrote about this, I was thinking about life, and death last night, and about the people around me, and how I choose to talk to them or show my affection: I am just starting this journey of life (it seems,) and if it ended now I would be left with one regret: not saying enough I love you. It's alarming, yet refreshing because I can change this.

chambanachik said...

Gorgeous and powerful. I'll be reading the original post, too. I am hoping to be in a similar good place soon.

Thisisme. said...

Such a great post my friend, and a reminder to us all to perhaps get out there in the 'real' world a bit more, and to take a break from our computers a little more often. I'm as guilty as anyone, I admit it! But as soon as the lovely weather is here, I shall be outside much more often and taking in the beauty of all God's glory. Blessings.

Anna said...

If we just realized how short everything between our childhood and death is, we wouldn't have these regrets at all.

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