Regrets Of The Dying

My wife graduated from Bloomsburg University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Systems – with honors.  She then went on to enjoy an illustrious career as a Systems Analyst.  And then she retired. Three years later.  Her boss even told her, “You’ll be back.” Yeah, no. Ever since, she has been fully engaged in her true life’s passion – her current occupation – being a full-time wife and mother.  We tend to be very good at what we like to do. And she really likes this occupation!

Which brings me to a recent podcast I heard from Andy Stanley in which he referenced an article by Bronnie Ware, called Regrets of the Dying. Like you, that title sure got my attention.  Even though we are all going to die, and in most cases we don’t know when, there’s something captivating about the wisdom of a person’s perspective on dying. 

In the article, Bronnie Ware, a hospice worker in palliative care, cites the two most common responses to any regrets they have or what they would do differently. The #2 regret was that they worked too hard. The #1 regret was that they wished they had the courage to live a life true to themselves, rather than the life that others expected of them.


Amy was groomed and encouraged to do something with computers when she was in school. Graduating from high school in the mid-‘80s, computers were just coming on in the professional world – what a time to get in on the ground floor of an amazing career field! Yes, and she’s also smart – graduating with honors. The world was her oyster, whatever that means.  Yet, what was her passion? It was obvious when she became pregnant, yet it had always been there.  Computers, software – whatever the career – it’s all fine. But for Amy to live a life true to herself rather than the life that others expected of her – well, that meant leaving the professional career plans and dedicating her full time and energy to yours truly and our kids. This is not to say that she could not have been both – wonderful mom and wife, and career success. Yet, for Amy, focusing solely on one has always been her passion.  And while it took great courage and faith to pursue, posing some real challenges along the way, there are no regrets.

In reference to Ware’s article, I believe Amy will be able to say without question that she does not share the #1 regret. She may, and I’d agree, relate to regret #2, but we’d both agree that’s better than #1!

What are you pursuing? What is your passion? What gives you energy, clarity and purpose? What do you really want to do? If you were one of Ware’s patients, what regrets might you have? My hope and, likely yours, is to have little regrets, with lots of great memories.