21 Regrets People Confess on Their Deathbeds

21 Regrets People Confess on Their Deathbeds

Sarah Trumbull on her deathbed by John Trumbull 1824

21 Regrets People Confess on Their Deathbeds

Some of these seem all too familiar…

We’ve all heard the old saying that “People on their deathbeds don’t say, ‘I wish I’d spent more time at work…

More often, people’s regrets are truly about “what I have done, and what I have failed to do.”


A Spanish priest, Father Nelson, has listed the sort of regrets he has often heard while accompanying the dying, and we reprint it here from our Spanish edition, with permission.

These regrets seem all too familiar to us, and the list seems well-worth keeping before our eyes, for the good of our souls, and our hearts and minds, too! We might even use this list as an examination of conscience or to help us to pray for the grace to live in a way that might prevent our feeling of these regrets later in our lives.

  1. For the times when I set a bad example, and some people followed my lead.
  2. For my indifference in the face of someone’s suffering
  3. For failing to say so many words of praise, recognition, and encouragement to those who deserved them or needed them.
  4. For claiming credit for my triumphs, but blaming my failures on circumstances
  5. For having failed to respect someone’s innocence or having blocked someone’s dreams
  6. That I wasted money on things that I didn’t need and never used
  7. For the times I took too much time and not enough effort to forgive
  8. For taking advantage of someone who loved me to get something for myself
  9. I should have educated myself for not being careful to guide those before it was too late.
  10. For not visiting or sharing time with people because I thought they weren’t interesting, educated, or useful
  11. For fleeing the cross so many times
  12. For savoring adulation even while knowing it was false
  13. For complaining much more often than I gave thanks
  14. For the stubborn, vulgar, or rude words that came out of my mouth
  15. From participating in conversations, making fun of God, the faith of the Church
  16. For wasting so much time on empty things… time that can’t be gotten back
  17. For the promises, I didn’t keep
  18. For the times that I could have and should have prayed more, and above all, with more love
  19. For ignoring Jesus. The solitude of Christ in the tabernacle hurts me.
  20. That I hurt or harmed someone in any way
  21. For lacking love. I should have loved God and my neighbor much more.


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Acknowledgements: Images from the Net.
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