What five things nobody really knows

Insight: Five Things That The Dying Regret Most

Wrong decisions and failures move people in their final hours. What everyone else wanted - a secure job, for example, a steady income - Bronnie Ware never wanted. After years in a bank, the then in her late twenties quit her job and traveled the world, first stopping at a South Sea island, where she worked in a bar, then in Surrey in the south-east of England.

It is there that the Australian is working for the first time in the job that she will have for more than eight years: Bronnie Ware will be a palliative nurse - for the terminally ill, for the dying, for those who see their death coming and those who do not want to know anything about it.

Bronnie Ware accompanies her patients to death at home - and over the weeks, days and hours in conversations with the dying they always hear the same regrets and reproaches: regret for not having lived the life they wanted. Repentance at the choices you made and didn't make. Accusations against yourself because this realization only came when it was already too late.

"When they die, people get a lot of fear and anger," says Bronnie Ware, "and that 'I wish I had ...' keeps coming back." Bronnie Ware has now written a book about this, "The Top Five Regrets of the Dying", which translates as "The five things that the dying regret most".

Bronnie Ware decided for herself that she only does what she really wants. "I know what else I regret on my deathbed," she says.

1. "I wish I had the courage to live my own life"

For decades, Grace did what was expected of her: she married, had children, and sacrificed herself for her husband and the household. She comes to terms with her marriage and does not revolt when her husband bullies her. Grace breathes a sigh of relief when her husband is admitted to a nursing home: "She thought she could start a new life afterwards," writes Bronnie Ware in her book. But within a few months, Grace becomes terminally ill. She struggles with herself and wrestles from Bronnie, her carer, a promise to "never let anyone dissuade you from what you want to do". Goods give her the promise. The old woman dies. "Almost everyone regrets that. There are so many people who go through life and most of the time do things that they think others would expect them to do." , writes goods.

2. "I wish I hadn't worked so much"

Margaret has been waiting for more than 15 years for her well-paid husband to finally retire. When he agrees after many arguments, Margaret literally blossoms and begins hastily with the planning. All the trips they've wanted to do together all these years! But it doesn't come to that anymore, Margaret gets sick and dies. "Of course I loved my job," says John when Bronnie Ware becomes his caretaker, "but for what? The really important thing - my beloved Margaret - I've lost sight of." John also regrets that he gave too much attention to what those around him thought of him, that he gave too much to his career. "All the men I've cared for said that," says Bronnie Ware. "Almost everyone worked too much and lived too little - because they were afraid of not making enough money or because of their careers."

3. "I wish I had the courage to express my feelings"

Jozsef, a Holocaust survivor who moves to Australia with his wife after the war, realizes shortly before his death that he has never shown all of his feelings to his family. "I wish my family had really known me," he tells Bronnie Ware. "Many people suppress their feelings for the sake of peace," says the nurse.