Top 5 Regrets of the Dying

Wow what a week it’s been. My heart breaks for those involved in the earthquake in Nepal. Such devastation is unthinkable. Harry and I went to Nepal many years ago and trekked through the Himalayas from village to village. It was an amazing experience and the people were incredibly welcoming, helpful and friendly. We have such fond memories of Nepal. It’s hard to imagine what they’re going through now. I also just realised that, Renu Fotedar, the Melbourne woman who died there was a customer of ours. She was such a beautiful soul and our deep sympathy goes to her family, friends and all those who knew her.

The other thing that many people are struggling with this week is the imminent executions in Bali. It’s also unthinkable in this day and age that capital punishment is still occurring. It seems so unenlightened. I wonder what might happen if it was the President or the Judge who passed sentence, who were the ones to pull the trigger. They may quickly decide to stop the practice.

Now I don’t usually start my Enews on such a sombre note but I really want to acknowledge this week how precious life is and how real and unpredictable death is. In Western culture we tend to be in denial about death. We don’t talk about it or think about it until we are confronted with it in some way. Then we realise our mortality. Until then we spend our lives pretending we will never die, or our parents will never die, it then comes as a shock. Death seems like the enemy that ambushes us out of the blue.

Years ago I began reading “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche. It’s not light reading so I don’t think I actually finished it but it did give me an understanding of how valuable it is to maintain an awareness and respect of death so that we fully may appreciate life.

So often we hear of people who are diagnosed with a terminal illness or they have a brush with death. They then reassess their lives. They suddenly realise what’s important to them. Usually it’s their friends and family as opposed to money and work. They also suddenly realise the value their health and wish they’d taken better care of it. I’ve worked with people dying of end stage lung disease and they tell me how they wished they’ll stopped smoking when their lungs were still working, before it was too late.

I recently saw a reference to the “Top Five Regrets of the Dying” by Bonnie Wares. Bonnie is a palliative care nurse and counsels people in their last days.
Here are their top regrets….
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
“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. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
“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.”
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
“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.”
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
“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.”
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
“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.”


There’s a short film called “5 Wishes” that had a profound effect on me. In the film there’s a conversation between two men at a party. They were discussing the fact that neither of them liked small talk so they decided to have “Big Talk.” The older man asked the younger one this question. “If when you get to the end of your life and you’re asked ‘Was your life a success?’ if your answer is no, what’s the one thing you could have done differently to make it a success?”

I’ve watched this film many times and the young man’s answer always makes me cry. You can watch the trailer here I think we might need a have a screening at Kindred Spirits at some stage. I would love to share it with you.

What’s more important though is what would you answer to that question? I encourage you to really consider that and have the courage to make the changes now while you can.

On a lighter note I’m guessing that one regret of the dying is that they wish they had more massages. Well, we have three wonderful new massage therapists starting this week and their fantastic introductory offer is a 75 minute massage for the price of 60 minutes ($89). You know that feeling when it comes to end of a massage and you don’t want it to stop?? Well this week and next week you get an extra 15 minutes with our compliments. Our new practitioners all do Remedial Massages as well as beautiful Relaxation Massages so rebates may apply.

We also encourage you to take advantage of 15 minutes in our Sauna prior to your massage at no extra cost. Here’s what Nicholas Kanaris, one of our Massage Therapist, has to say about the Sauna…

“A Far Infrared Sauna combined with massage can be an awesome experience. Both the sauna and massage aim to increase blood flow which improves healing within the body.

As a Remedial Therapist I often find clients who’ve had a sauna prior to their treatment are easier to work on. Their muscles are already softer making it easier and more comfortable to work on those deep muscle knots. The body responds better to the treatment.

The heat which the body absorbs during the sauna increases the circulation of blood within the muscles releasing what I call “Superficial Tension”. As a therapist I use kneading and rubbing techniques to further improve blood circulation but more specifically to a damaged region of the muscle tissue. An increase of blood flow means more proteins, nutrients and oxygen go to the affected area which speeds up healing.

Keep in mind that the sauna would also have removed toxins from your body through perspiration, so now you have rejuvenated blood rejuvenating your muscle tissue. Pretty awesome… well I think so anyway.

Although I am only touching on an aspect of the benefits to the Far Infrared Sauna, the list of health benefits is amazing. I encourage you to do your own research or come into the clinic to learn more on the benefits of a Far Infra Red Sauna.”
The Far Infrared Sauna is normally $35 for 30 minutes.

Call us today to book in on 9842 7033

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That’s all for now. Have a good week and remember to cherish your precious life,

Warm Regards,
Alison Burton
pioneering the future of healthcare

Simply Natural Therapies
41 Tunstall Square
East Doncaster
VIC 3109
03 9842 7033

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