Life Lessons from Those Who are Dying


By Lea Brovedani “The Trust Architect” & “Soul Journey Doula”


ON BIG BLEND RADIO: Lea Brovedani, the “Soul Journey Doula,” discusses what one can learn about living, from those who are dying. Watch here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Acast.

If you still have two feet above the ground, you can start living the good life now. It’s not about possessions or things, it’s about joy and love! Here are the top five things you can do to live a good life.

Bronnie Ware, a nurse from Australia wrote on the 5 regrets of the dying. Let’s flip the regrets into positive actions for life. Those regrets are:
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
– I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
– I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
– I wish that I had let myself be happier.

I was at the dog park and struck up a conversation with the owner of the puppy that was play wrestling with our rambunctious new pup. They mentioned that they were in medical school and were sitting for their final board exams. After congratulating them I found out that what they really wanted to do was be an actor but were coerced into medical school by parents who were adamant that they have a career that “paid the bills”.

I’m not suggesting for a minute that they drop out of school, drive to Hollywood, and start standing in line with thousands of other hopefuls to audition for one coveted spot, but I did suggest that they start exploring their creativity.

As a late bloomer to Improv, I can attest to the joy and terror I feel every time I walk out on the stage. I am deeply satisfied that I am, in my retirement years, living the life I want.

I met my husband before cell phones, online dating sites, and social media had taken hold. We met the old-fashioned way… in a bar. The song “Some Enchanted Evening” says it here:

You may see a stranger

Across a crowded room

And somehow you know,

What I believe to be true is if I had let my family influence me, I would not be happily married to this great guy for the past 40 years.  He is 7 years younger than me and there were more than a few attitudes and obstacles in our way. I was the youngest child from a blue-collar family, and he was the oldest and only son from an Italian academic family. Against the opinion of many, we put our careers on hold and traveled across Africa and Europe when we were still just dating and not sure where the relationship would take us. We knew after being together 24/7, through dysentery, sleeping in train stations, and missed rides that we could handle whatever life threw our way. After 8 months of traveling, we got married in a beautiful village in Southern France with nary a family member in attendance. I suspect they would have tried to talk us out of it, so the fates intervened, and no one attended but friends we made along the way.

What about you? Ask yourself the lottery win question. If you won the lottery today, what would you do tomorrow? Make a list. You may not be able to walk away from your job, but what could you do to give yourself a respite from work and obligations? Start there. Perhaps you can do a staycation in your hometown. Maybe paint a picture.  Karaoke? Improv? Do it!

Put a travel note on your email letting people know you are unavailable and then lock the computer and phone away for a day, a week or as long as you can.  Stay off social media and resist checking the news. Give your heart and soul a rest.

Make a call or visit with a friend…

Who is the person you can completely be yourself? When was the last time you talked to them? Give them a call and let them know how important they are to you. Start reconnecting.

If you are a parent, do you really know your kids?  What are they doing when they are not with you? Who is their best friend? Why? How much time do you spend interacting with your child? I’m not talking about being in the same location but talking, laughing, and exploring with your child.

There are enough studies to show the negative effects of too much social media.  Don’t just ask them to put it down.  Go hiking, play catch, walk to the park… you get the drift. Find something outdoors that you can do together. Do you want them to mourn the loss of their favourite video game more than the loss of you? No? Then act now!

“No one on their death bed wishes they would have spent more time at the office”. It’s a cliché for a reason because millions have expressed regret for not spending more time with the people they love.

I come from a family that is uncomfortable with strong emotions. It’s been a lifelong quest to fully express myself and what I can tell you is I had to let go of the worry of how my emotions were received. Maybe you can relate. Perhaps you came from a family that was only comfortable expressing anger. It’s not uncommon since anger is often a secondary emotion that hides fear, guilt, shame, anxiety, or a myriad of other emotions people have been taught to hide.

Brene Brown said, “Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

Let yourself feel happiness…

When you look back on the life you’ve lived so far, what happy memory do you have? When you were in that moment, were you aware that it would be something that you looked back on with such joy and fondness? I am coopting the Asian meaning of double happiness. The symbol is for a happy marriage and is an auspicious feng shui symbol. What if it meant you were able to experience happiness in the moment and again in the memory? Today look for something that makes you feel happy. It can be as simple as enjoying the sound of laughter, or the taste of honey on your tongue. Savour it. Close your eyes and use all five senses to truly experience it. Tonight, when you go to bed, relive the moment. Experience double happiness.

Who will hold your hand in those final moments and what will they say?

Lea is a speaker and workshop facilitator on trust who is recognized as a Top Thought Leader on Trust for by the organization Trust Across America and is the author of “TRUST Me – Restore Belief & Confidence in an Uncertain World” and “TRUSTED – Secret Lessons from an Inspired Leader.” Lea is also an end-of-life doula. More at: and

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

No Feedback Received