Lately I have been giving some thoughts to last words and regrets of dying people. The article in the Guardian above presents the top five regrets from dying people. The number one regret is “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
I would like that – to live a life true to myself. Every day I compromise to meet the expectations of others – or even what I imagine they expect of me. And the reason why I do is always about the future. All my fears are connected to the future, so the day I really accept the fact that I am dying, I imagine that I will only have one thing to fear – dying. I will have no other future to contain fear.
At this moment, with no future and no fear, I might look back at my life without the perspective of my fantasized consequences of my decisions. I can regret that I did not tell my boss what a fuck he really was, and just walked out of the office – choose to live my way. Lying there, dying, I would not think about the bills I have to pay, taxes, car repairs, leaking roof.
In my moment of death, I might have a kind of “big” perspective that I can recognize from my everyday life when looking back. When looking back it is often hard for me to understand the decision made at that previous moment. And without respect for myself, criticize that I hadn’t the guts to be or say otherwise in a given situation. But looking back from that situations future, knowing what happened or did not happen, isn’t fair. It is so easy to forget the fantasies, the fears, about the future that affected my decisions. And be hard on myself.
When I lie there, in my moment of death, without the perspective of the future, I hope I will be able to look back and accept the way I have chosen to live. To remember my fears and fantasies limiting my life, and that it is human – and OK.