The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing
by Bronnie Ware
My Rating: ***** (5 out of 5 stars)
Why Did I Read?
I read this book because I have heard it recommended from several different sources and it sounded interesting to me. I am always interested in learning about the wisdom people have acquired through their years.
Summary (from the back of the book)
“After too many years of unfulfilling work, Bronnie Ware began searching for a job with heart. Despite having no formal qualifications or experience, she found herself in palliative care.
Over the years she spent tending to the needs of those who were dying, Bronnie’s life was transformed. Later, she wrote an Internet blog about the most common regrets expressed to her by the people she had cared for. The article, also called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, gained so much momentum that it was read by more than three million people around the globe in its first year. At the requests of many, Bronnie now shares her own personal story.
Bronnie has had a colourful and diverse past, but by applying the lessons of those nearing their death to her own life, she developed an understanding that it is possible for people, if they make the right choices, to die with peace of mind. In this book, she expresses in a heartfelt retelling how significant these regrets are and how we can positively address these issues while we still have the time.
The Top Five Regrets of the Dying gives hope for a better world. It is a story told through sharing her inspiring and honest journey, which will leave you feeling kinder towards yourself and others, and more determined to live the life you are truly here to live. This delightful memoir is a courageous, life-changing book that will leave you feeling more compassionate and inspired to live the life you are truly here to live.”
What Did I Think/My Recommendation
I loved this book and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in living a happy and authentic life and having no regrets when they get to the end of it. I think Bronnie Ware is an excellent writer, and I find her life to be fascinating! The book is a memoir, so she takes us through many stages of her life. In her earlier years, she was so carefree! On several occasions throughout her life, she entered unknown lands with no possessions and no plan in place. She enjoyed a life of freedom that many people would envy, but that freedom was only possible because of her deep faith and complete trust that God would provide all that she needed. The following quote demonstrates the deep sense of faith she possessed during this time period and throughout her life: “As every move was done intuitively, I tried as best to always move forward with trust, knowing I would be looked after.” p.30 She allowed her life to flow naturally, trusting that she would be taken exactly where she needed to be to live the life meant for her. This took her through some dark times throughout her life, but those times were necessary so she could ultimately live a life true to herself.
Sadly, death is a subject many people fear and they do not want to think about it until it is too late and they are forced to. We are all going to die someday. The sooner we accept that truth, the sooner we will be able to set our own priorities and live a life focused on the things that are really important to us.
In this book, Bronnie Ware reveals many of the regrets that her dying patients admitted to her. The #1 regret her patients expressed was not living a life true to themselves. Instead, they spent their life pleasing others and living the life that others expected of them. Other patients expressed their regrets of working too hard, not keeping in touch with friends, not being able to express their true feelings, or not allowing themselves to be happy. I am grateful to Bronnie Ware for sharing this wisdom with us in this book, and I believe we can all learn from it so we will not come to our own deathbed with these same regrets.
Some of my favorite quotes from the book are as follows:
“If we are able to face our own inevitable death with honest acceptance, before we have reached that time, then we shift our priorities well before it is too late. Once we acknowledge that limited time is remaining, we are less driven by ego or by what other people think of us. Instead, we are more driven by what our hearts truly want.”
“The only way to experience love is to accept people totally as who they are and have no expectations of them.” p.45
“The freedom to be you is the greatest freedom of all.” p. 193
And my favorite quote of all:
I think it’s all great advice!
For more reviews on this book or for more information about Bronnie Ware, visit Goodreads here.