According to palliative nurse Bronnie Ware’s “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying - A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing,” individuals facing life’s final season often reflect back on their decisions with similar regrets. In addition to the traditional benefits of locking in costs and preventing an avoidable emotional and financial burden on your family, the process of burial planning has also been known to give pause for thought as we secure our final arrangements.
Are we making the most of our lives? Will we have any major regrets when our time comes? After all, health is something that can be taken for granted until it’s gone. To consider the qualities of a life well-lived we can look to those who have gone before us and the regrets they expressed at the end of their lives, which include:
1. Not staying true to yourself
It was common for many of Ware’s patients to remember lifelong dreams that went unfulfilled. If you do not honor your dreams and pursue your passions, you run the risk of regret. Whether it’s performing in front of a crowd or starting a business – you run the risk of regret if you do not pursue your dreams.
2. Never taking risks
“What Ifs?” creep in when reflecting back from the twilight of life. What if you took that risky career opportunity you ignored? What if you took a chance on a relationship that scared you away? Looking back on your decisions, you might regret opting for the easy way out.
3. Working too little or working too hard
Ware reported that many of her male clients regretted working too hard and missing essential time with their families. On the flip side, you could look back on your life and realize you didn’t reach your full capabilities or success by not working hard enough.
4. Not having the courage to express feelings
Not having the courage to express your feelings can lead to bitterness and can cripple you from fulfilling your potential. Do you “practice” confrontations in your head, but opt instead to suppress your anger? You could look back and regret never having the difficult conversations.
5. Worrying Too Much
Most worries never materialize – but the time spent on worries and anxiety can add up, amounting to lost time and lost opportunities.
As you reflect on this list, you may consider making some changes to avoid these common regrets at the time of your passing. One thing that you will not regret, however, is planning for when that time comes. By beginning the process of purchasing a prepaid burial plan, you can avoid leaving a financial burden on your family.