Thoughts on Graduation and Regrets of the Dying

This is a reprise, in honor of the graduation season. Hard to believe it was two years ago that my son graduated high school, and four years ago for my daughter.

My how time flies when we aren’t looking.

This past Friday, my son graduated from high school, which is a milestone in and of itself, but under the circumstances, I feel particularly blessed to witness this moment, as I did when my daughter graduated.

graduation | Dianna Bonny Photography

I love graduations. They fill me with hope in the same way that weddings and pregnant women do. It is so easy to get swallowed up and spit out by all the negativity in the world today, but attending a high school graduation is to be immersed into a buzzing hive of hope and positivity. The talented performers and inspiring speeches were a lovely reminder to stay firmly planted in optimism.

My father traveled down from Northern California to share in the celebration, as he has done for the last two years of graduations. It is always incredibly helpful to have him here as part of the celebration team. His reassuring presence keeps me grounded as the lives of my children march onward. As an added benefit, he brings a humorous element to the social media learning curve. He refers to my blog as a “glog” and texting is known as “twixting.” He has yet to successfully send one to me. He is utterly confounded by Facebook and Twitter, but he cheers me on nevertheless.

When my daughter graduated two years ago, my cancer-ridden mother also made the trip, which still amazes me given that she was just this side of death’s door. Quite a feisty woman, she was adamant about coming to show her support. Her imminent death seemed to give her a permission slip for brutal honesty and she did not mince words about my husband’s choices.

If only we had the freedom to be that honest in everyday life when we think we are going to live forever.

A student giving one of the graduation speeches on Friday mentioned the top five regrets of the dying, as researched by palliative care nurse, Bronnie Ware. He highlighted the three that resonated with him the most, being a young man just starting out on his journey, and expanded on how he intended to incorporate them into his life.

In the spirit of hope, I thought I would share all five because they are worthy guideposts for life:

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 (every male patient expressed this.)

I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

I wish I’d let myself be happier.


Who is Dianna Bonny?

Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.

  1 comment for “Thoughts on Graduation and Regrets of the Dying

  1. June 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    congrats, my dear!! these are indeed remarkable milestones. i am honored to have you in my life!! xoxo

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