Top five regrets of the dying

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VictoriaF
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Top five regrets of the dying

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:56 pm

In the [url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/01/top-five-regrets-of-the-dying]article[/url], Susie Steiner wrote:A nurse has recorded the most common regrets of the dying, and among the top ones is 'I wish I hadn't worked so hard'. What would your biggest regret be if this was your last day of life?
What do the Bogleheads think?

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by auntJovie » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:08 pm

Wish I'd spent more time with my family, especially young kids.

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by dhodson » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:10 pm

I have no doubt that people feel this way. Unfortunately you sort of need to know when you will die in order to determine if you are working too hard or not enough. A certain amount of income is necessary in order to prevent other regrets.

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by cheese_breath » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:13 pm

I'd regret that it's the last day of my life. :twisted:
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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by vset » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:15 pm

Hi,

most important is quality time with main persons of your life.

Unfortunately society runs for material items only.

Everyone wants to have better then neighbour.

Very bad...

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by englishgirl » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:17 pm

I think the top one is more telling "I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."

I have been trying to do this, but it is hard. It sort of blends in with the "I wish I hadn't worked so hard" thought - if you are really living a life that is true to yourself, then working hard is not a chore that takes you away from other aspects of your life you might enjoy more. Of course, there is a need to spend enough time with family too, but again to me, that goes back to living a life that is true to yourself - if you can take enough time for family as you need/want, then there's fewer regrets later.
Sarah

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by House Blend » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:19 pm

A colleague and friend of mine was struck down by ALS a few years ago. (Age: early 50's.) From the time of diagnosis to death was about one year.

I was very surprised by his response after the initial shock/anger/grief wore off.

He didn't drop everything and start on a bucket list (taking up skydiving, exotic travel, trying new things ...). Instead he poured his soul into finishing a research project that he had been working on for the past few years.

He didn't finish it, but got it far enough along that someone else was able to take over and get it to a reasonably finished state. And it was sufficiently noteworthy that it--the project, not his personal tragedy--merited coverage in the NY Times.

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by BenBritt » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:39 pm

My biggest regret would be having regrets.

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by NAVigator » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:54 pm

Perhaps I would regret not buying more things on credit. :wink:

Actually, I am working through a book now taking a longer approach; One Month to Live: Thirty Days to a No-Regrets Life. If I do it right, I won't have any regrets on the last day of the program.

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by nisiprius » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:35 pm

Hard to know until the day arrives. On those five criteria, not doing too badly.

So far, one of the things I have managed to do in retirement is to "allow myself to be happier." My chief regret is that I'm not a better person than I am. One of my retirement goals is, at least, to be a more cheerful person than I've been, and I've actually made some incremental progress toward that goal.

I don't know whether it would have been possible but I wish that I had talked more to my parents before they died and tried to extract from them a franker version of the family narrative than we learned as kids. My brother and I are constantly coming up with questions of the kind, "Why didn't dad's mom leave any family memorabilia like photo albums?" The family narrative was simply "Oh, she was the least sentimental person who ever lived," but at some point we looked at each other and said "hey, wait, there had to be more to it than that."
Last edited by nisiprius on Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by Renaissance Man » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:51 pm

dhodson wrote:I have no doubt that people feel this way. Unfortunately you sort of need to know when you will die in order to determine if you are working too hard or not enough. A certain amount of income is necessary in order to prevent other regrets.
For some reason your post reminded me of this famous quote (and it also has to do with regrets). I am sure you have heard it but, the Dalai Lama was asked what surprised him the most and he replied:

"Man, Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;
the result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by JMacDonald » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:55 pm

Hi,
Here is a great film about what a man does when he learns he is going to die: http://www.criterion.com/films/353-ikiru
Best Wishes, | Joe

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by newbie_Mo » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:10 pm

I may spend one year of my life regretting I worked too hard, save too much, and not enough travel around the world. But if I don't work hard and save a lot, I may spend all my undying years living in fear that I wouldn't have enough for my dying years. I think we will save as much as we can until we are 45, then start to enjoy life a bit more.

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by Fallible » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:03 pm

This may sound a bit strange, but I’m not sure I’ll have regret. At 69 I’ve done more than I ever thought I’d get in, and having known too many people who died young and never had the chance to do much of anything in their short lives, I wonder what right I have to regret anything (other than their deaths). Maybe I’ll just have gratitude, which is what I already have for a relatively long, reasonably healthy, and hopefully productive life (and certainly a very lucky one).

This is almost off-topic, but I often wonder when I read about deathbed regrets whether people sometimes are not realizing, or maybe have forgotten, the good they've done in their lives, the understanding, opportunity, or happiness they've brought to others and the contributions they've made to society. I wonder because I've heard regrets from people I knew well who did all these things in their lives and yet their last thoughts were only on what they thought they'd done wrong. This was hard for me to understand and it still is.
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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:34 pm

Fallible wrote:This is almost off-topic, but I often wonder when I read about deathbed regrets whether people sometimes are not realizing, or maybe have forgotten, the good they've done in their lives, the understanding, opportunity, or happiness they've brought to others and the contributions they've made to society. I wonder because I've heard regrets from people I knew well who did all these things in their lives and yet their last thoughts were only on what they thought they'd done wrong. This was hard for me to understand and it still is.
Some research of happiness has shown that people's perception is strongly influenced by the peak experience and the final experience. For example, when the subjects were made to suffer by putting their hands into ice water, they had more positive evaluation of the experience if after the end of the suffering a few minutes of tepid water were added. The duration of the ice-water unpleasantness was the same, the overall duration was longer when tepid water was added, but that tepid water surely has changed the subjects' sense of their well-being.

Considering that the deathbed is one of the least pleasant experiences we can think off, it is not surprising that it may color the perception of the entire life.

Another possible explanation is the human desire to keep all options open. Dan Ariely has a nice chapter on this in Predictably Irrational. College girls don't want to let their inferior boyfriends go even as it damages their relationships with far better ones; and mathematically strong subjects make irrational choices in computer simulations where the winning strategy is to let go of the known poor choices in order to explore better ones. The death is the ultimate closure of all options.

Victoria
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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by FafnerMorell » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:38 pm

Well, the article is of the top five regrets of the dying in a hospital. For a more balanced overview, here's some other top regrets of the dying:

"I guess I could have waited to send that txt"
"What was the parachuting instructor saying about cord again?"
"I knew I should have checked that the bungie cord was securely tied"
"While following my heart seemed like a good idea, maybe I should have checked if her husband was a gun nut first, or at least made sure he wasn't going to get home from work early"

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by market timer » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:43 pm

I've often heard of people regretting time at work at the expense of family time. What if one's vocation also happens to be one's avocation, such as for professors or musicians? I wonder if the same is true.

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:48 pm

market timer wrote:I've often heard of people regretting time at work at the expense of family time. What if one's vocation also happens to be one's avocation, such as for professors or musicians? I wonder if the same is true.
I think vocation cannot be avocation by the definition of avocation. Of course, one man's vocation can be another man's avocation.

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by Sheepdog » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:51 pm

My regret is that I can't change my regrets. It's too late. Wish I could.
It's not what you gather, but what you scatter which tells what kind of life you have lived---Helen Walton

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:51 pm

FafnerMorell wrote:Well, the article is of the top five regrets of the dying in a hospital. For a more balanced overview, here's some other top regrets of the dying:

"I guess I could have waited to send that txt"
"What was the parachuting instructor saying about cord again?"
"I knew I should have checked that the bungie cord was securely tied"
"While following my heart seemed like a good idea, maybe I should have checked if her husband was a gun nut first, or at least made sure he wasn't going to get home from work early"
"I should not have had the ninth vodka shot before driving home."

Victoria
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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by S&L1940 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:53 pm

Christopher Hitchens: http://www.slate.com/authors.christopher_hitchens.html
said something about realizing 'the party is going to go on, but without you'
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by chaz » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:04 pm

1530jesup wrote:Christopher Hitchens: http://www.slate.com/authors.christopher_hitchens.html
said something about realizing 'the party is going to go on, but without you'
Well said by Hitchens.
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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by Ozonewanderer » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:07 pm

...I wish I wasn't drunk the whole time my kids were growing up. I can't change that.

Ironically, considering the framework of this thread, a near death experience two years ago was the luckiest thing that happened to me - it sobered me up.

The best thing I've done in my life is marry a wonderful person who took care of the family. At least one smart decison...

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by SP-diceman » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:19 pm

I don’t have any of those, so I guess I’m doing well?

I think there’s a difference between being 47 and dying vs. 93 and dying.
(you may not regret work if it funded more of your retirement)


Id probably regret that I couldn’t see the world move forward anymore,
and any pain my death caused family, friends.



Thanks
SP-diceman

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by retcaveman » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:26 pm

englishgirl wrote:I think the top one is more telling "I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."

I have been trying to do this, but it is hard. It sort of blends in with the "I wish I hadn't worked so hard" thought - if you are really living a life that is true to yourself, then working hard is not a chore that takes you away from other aspects of your life you might enjoy more. Of course, there is a need to spend enough time with family too, but again to me, that goes back to living a life that is true to yourself - if you can take enough time for family as you need/want, then there's fewer regrets later.
While not a direct response to the question.This response from englishgirl reminded me of a Social Ethics course I took in college wherein the professor asked, "if you had some new insightful way to live your life, would you have a moral obligation to share it with others or to just live it?" Generated quite a discussion. Of course it would depend on one's ethical values ie the criteria by which you judge the rightness or wrongness of behavior. If it was to bring about the most good, you could argue the person should spread the word. On the other hand, if it was to, "live your life in accordance with the teachings of your true self" (Herman Hesse in Demian) you would just go off and live it.

Turning 65 this year but retired at 51. The older I get, the happier I am that I left early, although I was not so confident when I first did it. While I enjoyed my work, I am happy to have my life back. Also to be able to "take in" more of life. Because of the intensity and focus I brought to my job, working really did limit my world view. I am grateful that I was able to have this time to experience life. While I have no great achievement to show for my retirement years, I have been able to live my life quietly and do what I wanted.
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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by Fallible » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:47 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Fallible wrote:This is almost off-topic, but I often wonder when I read about deathbed regrets whether people sometimes are not realizing, or maybe have forgotten, the good they've done in their lives, the understanding, opportunity, or happiness they've brought to others and the contributions they've made to society. I wonder because I've heard regrets from people I knew well who did all these things in their lives and yet their last thoughts were only on what they thought they'd done wrong. This was hard for me to understand and it still is.
Some research of happiness has shown that people's perception is strongly influenced by the peak experience and the final experience. For example, when the subjects were made to suffer by putting their hands into ice water, they had more positive evaluation of the experience if after the end of the suffering a few minutes of tepid water were added. The duration of the ice-water unpleasantness was the same, the overall duration was longer when tepid water was added, but that tepid water surely has changed the subjects' sense of their well-being.

Considering that the deathbed is one of the least pleasant experiences we can think off, it is not surprising that it may color the perception of the entire life.

Another possible explanation is the human desire to keep all options open. Dan Ariely has a nice chapter on this in Predictably Irrational. College girls don't want to let their inferior boyfriends go even as it damages their relationships with far better ones; and mathematically strong subjects make irrational choices in computer simulations where the winning strategy is to let go of the known poor choices in order to explore better ones. The death is the ultimate closure of all options.

Victoria
No doubt there's more than one explanation and your examples go a long way toward understanding it. Add to the actual deathbed experience what may have been a long and debilitating illness and I suppose there would be more reason for expressions of regret, for remembering only the negative aspects of their lives and not the positive.
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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by MossySF » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:48 pm

When I'm dead, I will have no regrets because my brain won't work any more.

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by stemikger » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:55 am

I like what Warren Buffett has once said.

In the end the only thing that matters is that the people you love, love you back.

I hope when the end comes for me, I will be at peace with all the people I love. Sometimes life gets in the way and silly hurts and grudges hold you back from that.

I personally wouldn't care if I didn't travel that much or fulfill my bucket list, but I would care if I left this world feeling I didn't love the people in my life the way they deserved to be loved.
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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by stemikger » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:58 am

Ozonewanderer wrote:...I wish I wasn't drunk the whole time my kids were growing up. I can't change that.

Ironically, considering the framework of this thread, a near death experience two years ago was the luckiest thing that happened to me - it sobered me up.

The best thing I've done in my life is marry a wonderful person who took care of the family. At least one smart decison...
+1

I think most people have regrets. I do also and I have a hard time letting go of the guilt, but I keep trying. You are not alone with feeling this way. I have to keep telling myself that I can't undo the past.
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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by Mrs.Feeley » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:02 am

stemikger wrote:I like what Warren Buffett has once said.

In the end the only thing that matters is that the people you love, love you back.

I hope when the end comes for me, I will be at peace with all the people I love. Sometimes life gets in the way and silly hurts and grudges hold you back from that.

I personally wouldn't care if I didn't travel that much or fulfill my bucket list, but I would care if I left this world feeling I didn't love the people in my life the way they deserved to be loved.
+1

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by OnFire » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:08 am

market timer wrote:I've often heard of people regretting time at work at the expense of family time. What if one's vocation also happens to be one's avocation, such as for professors or musicians? I wonder if the same is true.

I am a little different than most BogleHeads, in that I quit medical school and went into a different field at the expense of a potentially more lucrative paycheck. I went back to school and became a firefighter/paramedic. I also waited until I was sure the right girl came along, not getting married until I was 34. Those two things are BY FAR the most important decisions in my life, and those that have made me the most happy. We also traveled the world for about two years before we had kids, and loved every minutes of it.

I have wanted to be a firefighter since I was 9 years old. I work 90 days a year, spend the rest of them with my two young sons, and absolutely LOVE my life. I am especially highly trained amongst my peers, and so I make very close to six figures. My wife is a dentist and makes slightly more. We have a god balance of work/time off. I really couldn't ask for much more. If I died tomorrow, I wouldn't have any significant regrets. I hope to keep things going on my current path.



I'm not sure if I came up with this myself, or got it from somewhere else. (My gut says I thought of it.) The way I live my life is thus: Whenever I have an important life decision to make, I think about my deathbed. I think to myself, "If I was laying on my deathbed, many years from now, and I was looking back on my life, which decision will I have regretted more?" And then I do the opposite. It's my way of living a life without regrets.
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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by climber2020 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:04 am

market timer wrote:I've often heard of people regretting time at work at the expense of family time. What if one's vocation also happens to be one's avocation, such as for professors or musicians? I wonder if the same is true.
I briefly considered a career in music. The hours I spent in college practicing as a music major were far more stressful than the hours I spend now when I have no audience and no one grading my performance. Once it becomes your job (at least for me), much of the enjoyment factor definitely takes a hit.

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by Mitchell777 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:51 am

I read the Bogleheads comments here, and then read the comments on the link provided by the original poster. I was amazed at how much more positive the posts here were, relatively speaking. Huge difference

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by Lbill » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:04 am

I guess the article substantiates the saying that influenced my decision to retire: "No-one on their deathbed has been heard to say, 'I wish I'd spent more time at the office'". Apparently they have been heard to say, "I wish I hadn't spent as much time in the office".
All but a few of us will kick off way sooner than we're planning. Our heirs will thank us for working so hard, saving as much, and never breaking the "4% rule" in our retirement spending. :oops:
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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by gatorking » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:34 am

From easwaran.org (Thought for the Day, April 20th):

Thou shalt understand that it is a science most profitable, and passing all other sciences, for to learn to die.
– Heinrich Suso

As long as there is something we want to get out of life before we go – a little more money, a little more pleasure, a chance to get in a parting dig at someone we think has hurt us – there will be a terrible struggle with death when it comes. As long as we think we are the body, we will fight to hold onto the body when death comes to wrench it away. The tragedy, of course, is that death is going to take it anyway. So the great teachers in all religions tell us, “Give up your selfish attachments now and be free.” Then, when death does come, we can give him what is his without a shadow of regret, and keep for ourselves what is ours, which is love of the Lord.

There is great artistry in this. Death comes and growls something about how our time has come, and we just say, “Don’t growl; I’m ready to come on my own.” Then we stand up gracefully, take off the jacket that is the body, hand it over carefully, and go home.

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by Old Guy » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:18 am

Warren Zevon--"Enjoy every sandwich."

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by Random Musings » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:18 am

I looked at the list and feel pretty good - will I have any regrets (if I have time to think about it) - yes - but my biggest regret will be that I will miss being with the people that I love.

RM
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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by Go Blue 99 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:44 am

With most Americans being fat these days, I'm sure a common regret is "I wish I had taken better care of my health by eating better and exercising".

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by HomerJ » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:52 am

Maybe the people who didn't work very hard last regret was "I wish I could afford pallative care"

:)

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by HomerJ » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:05 am

I wrote an essay once when I was like 27 (I cannot find it!!) titled... "If I die tomorrow..."

And I listed all the great things I had done in my life...

Things like... "I've eaten warm chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven" and "I've skinny-dipped in Lake Michigan under a thousand stars"

I need to update that essay...

I am SO lucky... Even if I died tomorrow, I've had a great life.

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by hsv_climber » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:06 am

I am curious about the case of "survivorship" bias with this article. Nurse who has recorded that was working in Palliative care.
So, she was dealing with people who were:
- rich or at least well off to afford it. So, obviously, they worked really hard in their lives.
- sent by their families to that care facility. That could mean that they either did not have kids, kids were away, etc. In other words, their kids were not with them when they were dying.

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by retcaveman » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:08 am

Hi again. Since posting my earlier response, I have given this some more thought.

While painful to admit, I wish I had lived my life with less anxiety and worry. It interfered with my happiness to varying degrees and of course didn't make any difference.

To say it a little differently, if I had known things would work out as they did eg health and wealth, I could have relaxed and enjoyed the journey more. I am not saying I was miserable and didn't enjoy things, it's just that fear and worry diminished the level of joy I could have experienced.

My biggest take-a-way from life so far is balance. Work a little, play a little, save a little, spend a little. Doing any of these things to excess can be a problem.

Also, something that has been written about a lot (eg "The Station by Robert Hastings http://www.thestationessay.com/"), there is no final destination (aside from death), only the journey. So you had better enjoy it. If not, I think you increase the likelihood you will die with regrets. Reminds me of the Peggy Lee song, "is that all there is", http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCRZZC-DH7M

Good luck to all.
"The wants of mortals are containers that can never be filled." (Socrates)

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rustymutt
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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by rustymutt » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:31 am

I'd remind all that we all are dieing. Some slower than others. Live each day as if it was to be your last. You won't have any regrets.
Last edited by rustymutt on Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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tadamsmar
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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by tadamsmar » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:33 am

I will most likely regret leaving that huge windfall to my heirs, the large expected terminal value of a portfolio managed according to the Trinity Study safe withdrawal rate. I can't take it with me.

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dgm
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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by dgm » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:35 am

market timer wrote:I've often heard of people regretting time at work at the expense of family time. What if one's vocation also happens to be one's avocation, such as for professors or musicians? I wonder if the same is true.
A close friend of mine is a professional musician and she is about to retire. Just like anyone, she complained about work over the years but as she nears the age where she sees her colleagues retiring, she is trying to prolong her career as much as she can by working out, eating better and losing weight. At 65, I worry that when it is time for her to retire, she will not go gracefully but will fight to continue performing. She has often said management will have to pry her musical instrument from her cold dead hands. However recently, she is slowly starting to accept that she cannot perform forever.

On the other hand, plenty of her colleagues could not wait to retire and got outta there as soon as they could.

Even for those of us that like what we do, the day to day issues can get in the way and make us forget the bigger picture. As fallible says, I think it is important to step back and see everything that we are grateful for.

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mephistophles
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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by mephistophles » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:41 am

We all have to pay rent for our space on earth. That is called work. If lucky, we love our work; but that often is not the case. Even so take pride in the value-added of your career and ask if you have left this earth a little better off for having been here.

As for dying, that is not a concern if one has self-actualized, per Maslow, and had the peak experience known as self-transcendence. That completes our mission on this planet. It just doesn't get any better than that.
Best wishes,
ole meph
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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:41 am

If I kicked the bucket today, my only regret would be not being there for my young child.
Other than that, no regrets, I've lived an honest life and all those who know me can attest to that.
I've had great experiences in all things, have never taken anything for granted and have been extremely fortunate. I likely could have pursued a profession that would have been more financially rewarding (I will say I've always enjoyed the different jobs - I hesitate though because most people I share that with make faces, such is life), there are somethings that money just can not buy or replace like time.
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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by reggiesimpson » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:01 am

I certainly dont regret working hard. It all paid off and if i had it all to do again i would do exactly the same thing.
My final words............Thank you all i had a wonderful time.

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by Mortgasm » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:02 am

My wife, 47, was just diagnosed with terminal cancer. They are reluctant to give her any estimates but it might be 10 years, and is much more likely to be just a few.

I don't have any wisdom except to offer this thread except that 'live each day as if it is your last' isn't really possible. What we would really do if we were certain we only had one day (or month, or year) is a lot different than if we don't know. Even for my wife, having 1-10 years left, the decision to balance short term vs. long term is still very hard.

Should she work (she'd like more money)?
Should she get her entire bucket list done this summer? (She'd rather spread it out a little.)
Should she care? (It's hard to.)

When she was first diagnosed, we did make adjustments to our lives, reducing work stress and traveling more with our kids. It has come at the expense of some long-term retirement safety, but we don't regret it.

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Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Post by RobertAlanK » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:11 am

JMacDonald wrote:Hi,
Here is a great film about what a man does when he learns he is going to die: http://www.criterion.com/films/353-ikiru
On a similar but perhaps opposite track, another great film that asks us to ponder our lives is After Life, a 1998 Japanese film by Hirokazu Koreeda. In this film, the recently deceased arrive in a way station where they are assisted in choosing the one scene from their lives that they most wish to re-live. An important choice it it as, once chosen, a film is then shot of that life event and the individual will then live within it for eternity.

So, regardless of one's belief in an after-life, perhaps on our death bed we should ponder not our regrets but the memory of the moment or moments that meant the most to us. Hopefully, the importance of our final days will help us discover that our most precious memory is about what was truly important and made our lives meaningful.

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