The month of November reminds us of our dearly departed. We spend hours especially during this month in the cemetery visiting their final resting place. This is because dying doesn’t mean they no longer matter to us. Their death doesn’t mean the end of our love for them.
This month also reminds my friends and me of people we got to meet during our outreach projects. They were the people whose pain and hardships we saw before their death.
What could be their thoughts when they realized their days were numbered?
They got to tell us the things they were glad they did, and the things they regretted not doing.
There are so much we can learn from the lives they lived. We can also learn from the things they regretted they weren’t able to do. This way, we won’t regret those too, should we find ourselves nearing the end of our journey in this life.
What could be the common regrets of dying people? Below are some of them:
Not spending too much time with their loved ones.
This was the major regret of people whom we met before their death.
They wished they got to spend more quality time with the people they loved. They said it was a mistake that they got to prioritize material things over those that matter most in their lives.
Likewise, the only regret of kids with cancer whom we met was that they wouldn’t be able to spend many years with their families. But they said they’d be their loved ones’ guardian angels when they finally reached heaven. What mattered to them was to love and be loved in return.
Not preparing ahead for the future of their family.
Though many of the dying people we met were hardworking and good providers for their loved ones, they still wished they prepared more for the future of the persons they’d left behind. They would have become much happier had they been able to invest in stocks, apply for insurance, buy a house and encourage their children to apply for scholarships.
They said preparing for loved ones who still have to live many years on earth was really important. Well, they reiterated that it wasn’t for material gain or for living a luxurious life. They just wanted to make sure that they wouldn’t be hungry and they would get good education.
Always thinking of competitions in life and getting ahead of others.
In this world where titles and ranks matter, people whose days were numbered regretted competing with others. This wasn’t right because they got to step on other people’s toes. They realized that there were more important things than those kinds of competition.
Not appreciating what should be appreciated.
“In this fast-paced world where we just find ourselves filled with very hectic schedules, we seldom notice the things that are worth appreciating. The simple act of kindness of people around us, the beauty of Mother Nature, the fact that we still wake up to a brand new day, all these things must be appreciated,” said a person diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Not doing the right things.
A man who only had a few months to live told us that if only he knew how short life could be, he wouldn’t have done all the wrong things he did. He also said that nobody was perfect. Yet if we knew that what we were doing wasn’t right, we should have avoided doing it.
“We couldn’t avoid to sin, but if we could prevent ourselves from doing the same mistakes again, then we should control ourselves. It is an indication that we take life for granted, that we think we have so many years ahead of us to change for the better. But life is a mystery. We don’t know how and when it’s gonna end,” he said.
Not forgiving enough.
A ten-year-old poor boy who had leukemia wished to see his father because he knew he only had a few months to live. His father left them just after the family knew about the boy’s condition. But his father didn’t want to see them again.
The boy was deeply hurt, but then he forgave his dad. What was more, he collected the money given to him by people. He then requested his mother to buy a TV for the family. He said that would be his remembrance for the loved ones he’d leave behind. Also, he said that he wished his father well, and that he loved him in spite of his decision to not see them again.
Forgiving the people who did us wrong would give us peace of mind. It would allow us to leave this world with only love in our hearts.
Not thinking about the welfare of others.
“We have the tendency to think only about ourselves and our own families. Seldom do we notice the less fortunate people who need our help. We only realize how important it is to help others when we are already on the brink of death,” said a woman diagnosed with breast cancer.
She told us that helping others would also help us realize how meaningful life could really be. The happiness we’d feel for doing acts of kindness could never be bought by money. But it would be something we could bring with us in our hearts when we finally leave this world.
Not having a personal relationship with God.
All the dying people we got to talk to believed in God. Yet they wished they had a longer and more personal relationship with Him. They said that there was something painful and sad about knowing Him later in life. It wasn’t right to want to know God only when they were already diagnosed with terminal diseases.
Having God in our lives, they quipped, would help us realize the beauty of life despite all our trials and difficulties. More importantly, they said that through God, they would be able to leave this world in peace. Dying could be beautiful because they had God in life. What was more, they had faith, hope and love in their hearts.