Health week; Top 5 regrets of the dying


I don’t think death or dying is a comfortable topic for anybody, and why should it be? It is such a sad time for anyone when they loose a loved one and it is as everybody knows..very final. We all would love to think we have long and healthy lives ahead of us, a wish I hope for everyone, however you never know when your time will be up. I don’t think that should be a morbid thought however – in fact I use it to inspire me. To live with no regrets and make each day exciting, loving, and really ake each day count. I stumbled upon an incredibly profound and inspiring article in Good Health magazine talking about the Regrets of the dying. If there was ever any advice you can draw inspiration to live more fearlessly and truer to yourself it is that of people who are at the end of their life – and sharing what they wished they did differently … here is that advice brought to you by author Bronnie Ware with commentary by me. 

“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me”

Bronnie: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’.

Me: It is SO important to try to honour your dreams, do what you love in life, not be dictated by others opinions or living other peoples lives or expectations. Remember from the moment you loose your health – it can be too late so start living your true life that you’re meant to be living now, not tomorrow. 

” I wish I hadn’t worked so hard”

Bronnie: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.’

Me: I just don’t think it’s worth working yourself in to the ground your whole life to enjoy retirement when you’re too old to really actually enjoy it. Instead, I aim to have mini retirements my whole life – travel when I’m young, live hard & fast, so I never look back wishing I hadn’t worked so hard and missed out on breathe taking, awe inspiring experiences and opportunities throughout my whole life – not just at the end of it. 

“I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings”

Bronnie: 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.
Me: I have a theory in life – that I don’t mind if I don’t know what others think about me (it’s none of my business anyway) but I always ensure that everybody knows exactly how I feel about them – that I love them, that I am lucky to have them in my life. I use handwritten letters and birthday & Christmas cards to remind people whenever I get a chance of my feelings. What are you doing to make sure this isn’t a regret at the end of your life?

“I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends”

Bronnie: “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.”

Me: I think maintaining ANY relationship is incredibly important for your well being – life is richer and a lot more fun shared so make sure you are working on your own relationships no matter how busy you think life is for you (advice I need to listen to myself!) 

“I wish that I had let myself be happier”

Bronnie: “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.”

Me: Happiness is a choice. YOUR choice. You are the only person responsible for your own happiness, and it isn’t a choice you make just once, you have to make that choice every single day you’re alive. What do they say? Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans – it’s so true. Life can be a struggle sometimes and things are certainly not always fair, but there are always lessons to be learnt, new days for fresh beginnings and beauty in the mundance. Don’t have this regret on your own death bed – choose happiness.

So there you have it. The Top 5 regrets. I wish for each and every one of you that you live with no regrets and always have love & fun surrounding you in your life. xx


  1. Morgan Reply

    Love this. Thank you for sharing! A little reminder of how we should be embracing life is always wonderful!

  2. Anna Reply

    Morgan you couldn’t have put it more simply but perfectly – I just think advice from older people & dying people is worth it’s weight in Gold, I am always more than willing to follow advice from those who have been there and done that x

  3. Cindy Reply

    Your posts are always so inspirational! I feel as though most of these I’ve already experienced unfortunately, just a little reminder to always live life to the fullest

    • Anna Reply

      Thanks hun – and yes I agree. I have also experienced almost all 5…I think the trick is to not make these BIG regrets at the end of your life> In fact, try not to have ANY regrets at the end of your life 🙂 x

  4. trishie Reply

    what an interesting post. I don’t like to think about dying or death too much, but it’s important to learn from these top 5 regrets. I hope i die a happy person with little regrets

    • Anna Reply

      Believe you me, I used to be exactly the same…in fact I had such a hard time dealing with death it was actually an ‘issue’. Mum used to have to try to always talk to me about it so if I did loose loved ones (friends, that happened, grandparents, that happened too) it didn’t devastate me completely. I’m a LOT better now. I certainly don’t accept it as part of life haha but I use it to make sure I live with no regrets. Volunteering in oncology at a kids hospital has helped me tremendously as well. You learn fast the real meaning of life & love and death is all just sadly a part of that xx

  5. I just need to remember what my nanna said about her secret to living til 90 – drink (beer, gin, whisky) and go dancing – do the jitterbug in particular! One of my cousins asked my nanna why there weren’t many photos of her and my grandpa when they were younger and she replied “we were too busy making love to take photos” 🙂

    • Anna Reply

      Vanisha!!!!! haha You need to share your Nanna with the world! Stop hogging such a treasure 😉 I can’t believe how wise her words were. Now wait a minute while I burn this in to my memory … beer, gin, whisky, the jitterbug and love making. Love love love it xx

  6. Miss Laia Reply

    This is a topic that we always avoid because is too hard and we don’t like it but is true that we should remember to live as it was the last day.
    How many days for your trip?
    Are you coming to Spain? Let me know if you need any info

    • Anna Reply

      12 sleeps until we go!! 🙂 It literally doesn’t feel real anymore it’s so close and so exciting 🙂 We are going to Spain!! We will be in Barcelona, Mallorca and San Sebastian (4 nights in each) so hoping to do a little bit of travel to other small towns when we’re there. When it’s getting closer to our Spain leg of the trip I will enlist your help for sure xo

  7. I’ve had 3 friends that literally dropped dead suddenly and they were young. I guess one never know when your last day is up. These advice are sound and full of wisdom.

    • Anna Reply

      Oh I am so sorry to hear that – what a horribly tragic thing to have to go through. Loss is never easy especially when its such dear loved ones x

  8. O Reply

    I find it difficult to admit the regrets and enjoy life when you carry them around. Life is to be enjoyed and cherished! xoxo

    • Anna Reply

      What a beautiful comment & a beautiful message to share – I agree. I think that’s the trick though, be aware of others regrets and never have your own. Life IS to be enjoyed and cherished, you are so right xx

  9. rooth Reply

    Allowing yourself to be happy is really important – is it as difficult to get to happiness as we make it out to be though? It’s an admirable goal but why is it so difficult to achieve


    Such a great post. My 2 best friends passed away in the past 3 years and ever since then I’ve been trying to lead a healthy life with little to no regrets. It’s in our own hands, isn’t it?

    Hope you’re having a fabulous day, love! 🙂 xoxo

    • Anna Reply

      Oh Dawn! I am so sorry to hear that, truly I am. Life can be a cruel and unrelenting place to live sometimes especially when it takes away your nearest and dearest way before their time. Leading a healthy life and one with no regrets is absolutely in our own hands 🙂 That is the lesson to learn I think. xx

  11. Bree Reply

    First of all thank you for your comment.
    I’m going to need all those positive vibes!!!
    This article/post made somethings pretty clear
    for me and made me realise to move on and trying to
    enjoy all this I like. Eventhough I still find
    that hard to do but thank you for making me made
    the first move.


    • Anna Reply

      Well I’m so glad Bree – I’ve been touched and moved by readers comments on this post – so much wisdom to share 🙂 But yes life is just one big lesson but the real lesson is to not live with ANY regrets. xx

  12. Izzy Reply

    another great post! I totally agree with you about the mini retirements- you can’t work so hard for most of your life and then only relax at a time when your youth has been long gone.
    it is definitely very sad when you are on your deathbed and then realise you haven’t made the most of your life. we should be appreciating every moment that we are alive, and really utilising them!

  13. hope in high heels Reply

    This is such an incredibly thoughtful post… it all rings true and two things especially resonated – the first was the don’t work too hard – sometimes I lose perspective when I’m right in the middle of an intense project and that’s when I usually remind myself that it won’t be work keeping me warm at night when I’m 70! the other thing is living in the moment, you’re so right on that saying that life is what happens while you’re busy planning. A wonderful reminder to live each day to the fullest, thank you x

  14. Belinda Reply

    Amazing Anna. A-MA-ZING. Best post I’ve read in a while. Thank you for reminding me that life is precious and should be enjoyed and embraced and lived to the fullest. xoxo

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