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The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  4,495 ratings  ·  553 reviews
"After too many years of unfulfilling work, Bronnie Ware began searching for a job with heart. Despite having no formal qualifications or experience, she found herself in palliative care.

Over the years she spent tending to the needs of those who were dying, Bronnie’s life was transformed. Later, she wrote an Internet blog about the most common regrets expressed to her by
Kindle Edition, 247 pages
Published (first published 2011)
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Mar 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
I bought this book due to the positive publicity which the writer received on her article the top five regrets of the dying. I expected some open and honest accounts from people who faced death and encountered their regrets about the life they had led and their fears about the future. What I didn't expect to find was a long diatribe about the author, her belief systems and what led to her writing the book in the first place. A paragraph should have been sufficient. Sadly it was so interminably d ...more
Apr 24, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When I'm dying, one of my top five regrets may well be having read this book. It was like reading a dull person's diary, complete with the bad spelling and grammar you'd expect from such an offering.
This book contained mainly self-indulgent drivel, briefly punctuated by five points of wisdom gleaned from the writer's dying clients while she worked as a palliative carer. Instead of an enriching insight into their experiences and what we could learn from them to use our own remaining time more eff
Carrie Poppy
Jul 15, 2019 rated it liked it
The content of this book is lovely, and the author has clearly had a fascinating life, worthy of a memoir; however, she clearly was not given a very skilled editor. While the five major regrets (that she witnessed) are very telling -- and not always obvious -- Ware is gifted with more insight and compassion than pure writing prowess. She writes nearly every sentence in the passive voice, sometimes rambles for a page or two, and occasionally veers into the troublingly unscientific (she even devot ...more
Anna Lundberg
Feb 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
Hmm. Honestly I had to force myself to finish this book. I'm afraid that it's long and poorly written, all tell and no show, and very repetitive. The author has clearly led a very a troubled life, from drug problems in her youth to depression and several suicide attempts (or at least plans). I'm happy for her that she seems finally to have found her own form of peace and happiness, and in a way I think the book is a kind of therapy for her. She has also had rare insight into the regrets of the d ...more
Vasudhendra Vasudhendra
Feb 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book can be split into two books. Author was a care taker of critically ailing clients. She writes about these experiences and the clients regrets. Generally it is believed that the person on death bed will not lie. Hence the regrets of such people are important. I am touched by these details. However there is a second part of the book. This contains the autobiography of the author and her belief system. This has been written with lot of self pity and preaching. It was difficult for me to d ...more
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: advice-for-life
Very easy to read, inspirational and challenging, makes you question whether you are living the life you want to be living.
Amy Moritz
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
A very interesting book. This book was recommended to me by a friend and I just jumped in without knowing much more than the title. I wasn't expecting so much memoir/autobiography from the author. At times it was wonderful and at times I felt as if it interrupted the story. But overall an incredibly beautiful reminder and message. Two regrets struck me most. One was from people who wished they had the courage to be themselves, to be true to themselves. This is a theme which comes around in my li ...more
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book has changed my life. Bronnie Ware is an amazing woman with an incredible story to tell. There's no one who wouldn't learn a lot from reading this fantastic memoir. Go and buy it. ...more
Sleepless Dreamer
Oct 28, 2016 rated it liked it
I went to my first funeral last week. Now, some of you may be surprised to know as a whole, I'm a pretty morbid person. Being interested in philosophy and constantly being on the edge of a personality and existential crisis does that. So I was curious about this book and knew I wanted to read it.

How do I begin? I have so much to say.

First of all, this book felt pale. That's my best adjective. I see death as a natural part of life. I don't think we need to be sad about it. I think we need to ta
Debbie Young
Mar 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone struggling with work-life balance - so that'll be most of us, then!
I bought this book (Kindle Version)having read brief but rave reviews about it on Facebook and it wasn't quite what I'd expected (the perils of buying on Kindle rather than flicking through a printed book in a shop!) - there was much more about her own life than about those she had nursed - but even so I found it absorbing and compelling. Ware breaks the last taboo by talking so much about death, recounting her personal experiences of providing palliative care and witnessing many people's final ...more
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"Depression is an illness that can be the most catalytic gift for positive transformation, if one is allowed to move through it at their own pace. Depression is the name given to it in modern society. But it is in fact, an opportunity and enormous time for spiritual transformation and awakening. It may be a breakdown. But it can also be a break-through, if approached with determination, the willingness to surrender, and faith. Of course, this doesn’t actually make it fun"

"Overcoming the mind a
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
If I could describe this book in one word, it would be underwhelming. It took a lot for me to finish this book, only because the writing was a bit lackluster. I am generally drawn to books like this that offers advice on how I can better live my life but I just could not get into the writing.

I felt the book could have been at least 100 pages shorter, a lot of the book is repetitive and a bit forced. I wanted to hear more from the dying persons and how they put their advice into practice before t
Dan Connors
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What would you be thinking if you knew you only had a few days left to live? Besides being sad and afraid, would you feel like you lived a pretty good life, or would you have regrets? There's nothing like impending death to shake our awareness out of day-to-day problems and force us to look at the big picture.

This book, written by Australian writer and speaker Bronnie Ware, goes where no other book has dared to go- right into the souls of those who knew they were about to die. Ware spent sever
Ham MS
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Reading this book was a regret, purchasing it was a regret and now I must live with said regret to the grave.
Apr 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
I had been looking forward so much to reading this book, as it's been (and still makes for) an interesting topic. Alas, it is definitely NOT written professionally and focuses way too much on the author's musings instead of the wisdom of the dying. In my view, the low point is reached when a depressive episode of the author is dealt with in a way that suggests Mrs Ware is proud of having toughed out her depression, leaving it to providence that her potential suicide has been averted.
In the light
Sep 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
I was about to throw this book out of window
You know what thus book is? An autobiography and what's even worse author is keeping it a secret (she is not succeed tho) through all reading she keeps prasing herself while adding little stories of dying people she nursed.
"I do meditation, I'm a vegetarian I decided and did everything all my own I'm so brave."
But you know what she is so so selfish, she didn't think about the people she left behind when she decided to "live freely" and wow she is so o
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you want to understand what are those 5 things, read the table of contents and save some time.
Read the whole book if you want to read the biography of the author.
Feb 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The book reminded me a lot of 'Tuesdays with Morrie' and if you liked that book, you will like this one too! I must state that it is a very emotionally heavy book though and hence, should be given sufficient time!

A lot of people felt that Bronnie has written too much about her personal life. I actually liked reading about her own life because she showed how she was using all the lessons she had learnt from the dying to make her own life good. I would actually recommend this book to everyone!
James Mason
Jul 11, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sanctimonious. It took some google/dictionary searching to figure out that one word that described how I felt about the text in this book. My dissatisfaction with this book is partly (mostly?) my fault: I didn't read the full description that said that this book is largely about the author and not about what the title suggests. In fact, I think a more appropriate title would be something like "Me, me, me: The musings of a self-proclaimed spiritual being who happened to spend some time caring for ...more
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
The writing is not great, and the stories of the people Bronnie cared for are interspersed with stories about her own personal experiences, which is where her writing style got too flowery. However, the stories of the people are told simply and are incredibly effective. While the "top 5 regrets" are not all that surprising, the stories give them meaning. A great perspective, I highly recommend it even if the writing isn't spectacular because the message gets through and it's worth getting throug ...more
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Definitely a book that everyone should read at least once in their life. No matter what you do, where you live - it will make you think about your life, your choices and hopefully will help you start living a regret-free life
Poor Bjorn - Books & Experiments
Life moves fast these days. I’m not sure who’s the main culprit? Is it  the busyness trap, kids, the hyper connected world, or a lack of novelty that makes life seem as on auto-pilot?

Bronnie worked as a caretaker of the dying. Someone who gets hired to tend for people during their final months or weeks in life. Through her work she was able to identify the most common and deepest regrets people had during those final days—what they wished they had done differently, what they wished they had the
Wilde Sky
This book reflects the thoughts of people who are close to death – in terms of things that wish they had or hadn’t done.

Some of the points made in this book struck home, but a lot of it was too woolly / long winded for me – for me it would probably have worked better as a magazine article (10 pages).
Jesoos Mrtnuz
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. It really puts everything into perspective!
Apr 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
Ware gives some interesting insights into how to live a meaningful life, even though unfortunately most of them seem to be in the last two chapters of the book.

It took me so long to read this book mostly because I couldn't bring myself to deal with the bad drafting, long discussions on her personal life and unnecessary added words (I have never read the word "though"so much in my life). However, I persevered to the last page, and I have to say that the last two chapters are what would bring thi
Dec 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
I read an article about the topic that listed out the top five regrets of the dying. I wanted to read the book to go more in depth on the topic than an article might provide. However, the book is not exactly a more in depth examination of the topic, so much as it is an autobiography of the author's experiences with the various people she cared for in her line of work as a Carer. She herself seems to have a more nomadic, natural flow perspective to life. In this instance, I found it difficult to ...more
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a gift, Bronnie Ware has shared with the world! Through her work and journey of self-discovery, she has offered us both insight and grace. As Bronnie began her work in palliative care, she quickly realized that not only was she able to offer her healing gift to others, but received so much in return. She states, "We will all die, but this work was reminding me we all have a choice, too, on how to live in the meantime."

Through Bronnie's own life journey, she experienced both pain and joy...t
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this book was incredibly moving and heartfelt and the stories were told with such care that I felt like I was experiencing it too. There were many tears shed over some of the stories and the author shares so deeply that it is hard not to relate on many levels. She describes many of her clients with such love and kindness it is very easy to love this author and who she is as a person.
Aug 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
I had heard great reviews of this book and it had so much potential to be a great book however there was much more about her own life than about those she had nursed. Having said that it did remind me of a few lessons that I have learnt along the way.
Dec 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book is a heart warming wonderful experience... I read this book with tears, laughters and insights.
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Bronnie Ware is an author, songwriting teacher, and speaker from Australia. Her inspiring memoir, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, has connected with hearts all over the world, with translations in 27 languages. Bronnie lives in rural Australia and loves balance, simple living, and waking up to the songs of birds.

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