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5 greatest deathbed regrets

 
Find out the 5 greatest regrets expressed by dying patients.
By Scott Dunlop

Pic: Shutterstock

Article originally in Parent24
A palliative nurse recorded the greatest regrets expressed by hundreds of patients on their death beds, according to MyScienceAcademy.org. It’s no great surprise that one of them is probably common to all working parents.

The great regrets are:
  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
While the nurse made her own deductions from these, it’s easy to see how these could relate to parenting:

Courage: Parents often feel overwhelmed and obliged to follow the norm rather than express their own personalities when looking after their kids. The pressure of wanting your children to conform can rob you of your sense of individuality.

Work: This is obvious. When your children are young, the years go by in a blur. One minute you’re trying to keep it all together, working all day to make enough money to pay for all of the child-related expenses which often coincide with a time in life when you’re buying property or cars. Suddenly you’re left with a few vague memories and the wish that you could pick up your baby son and throw him in the air again.

Feelings: As parents, we tend to repress more than we express our feelings. An exaggeration of the “big boys don’t cry” myth. Things get bottled up, and may even lead to damaged relationships, long term. Having children can be exhilarating and exhausting- how much more fulfilled will we feel if we have a belly laugh or do the Ugly Cry.

Friends: The loneliness that can parents can place themselves in can be terrifying. When your friends get bored of hearing you say you can’t go to that birthday party or attend that party, they may melt into history. When your kids are grown, you find yourself in that unenviable position of having to reinvent friendships, or else face social isolation.

Happiness: We don’t have children simply to carry on the family name, or fulfill our dreams by proxy. A parent’s happiness should come from each aspect of life, from personal development to the enjoyment experienced in watching children grow up. There may be times of stress and hardship, but it’s vital to seek out times of happiness in between.

You can check out the original article, but this is just a little food for thought for parents.

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Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

What would be your biggest regret if you were to die today?


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