Family history: Before it’s too late!

Family history: Before it’s too late!

Today I read a moving article in The Guardian – “Top five regrets of the dying.” It made me wonder about my own life. The first thing that came to mind was my family history project.

The article is based on Australian nurse Bronnie Ware, who spent several years working in hospice care with patients in the last few months of their lives. She included the patients’ comments in a blog, Inspiration and Chai and authored a book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Among the common regrets:

  1. I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected.
  2. I wish I had not worked so hard.
  3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish I had let myself be happier

I believe many people also hold the regret of not having explored their family history. Often we rush to work on family history  as our most senior relatives can be lost at any time.

But, what about us? It can happen to us independently of our own age. Perhaps now is the time to begin or to continue our family history exploration. Tomorrow may be too late.

What are your thoughts?

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  • Lynne Jarche Ford

    February 9, 2012

    What I wish is that I had been naughtier! Especially in the 60’s.

  • Smadar Belkind Gerson

    February 9, 2012

    I second your thoughts! I’m just writing a blog post titled “Are You on the Fence, Top Ten Reason to Start Your Family History Research Today.” I do believe everyone has a different process in terms of when they become interested in family history, and often they sit on the fence to long. I’d like to encourage those who are already contemplating it, to over come what ever hurdle is holding them back and start now, so they don’t have regrets later on.

  • Michael Brits

    February 11, 2012

    Always live your live true to yourself! Loving others first!

  • Reg Ogden

    February 12, 2012

    I regret not having questioning my Grandparents about their lives and memories. The same can be said of all the Aunts and Uncles who are no longer with us and who took all their memories with them.
    It is so sad that we only start thinking about our family roots when all those with the information are no longer in a position to pass the knowledge on to us.

  • karen ellison

    February 12, 2012

    SOOOOOOOO true, I’m only just starting, but I realllllllly wished I had quizzed the olds when I had the chance.

  • Barbara Smith

    March 16, 2012

    I agree with you Karen, I regret not ever asking any questions, such as the reason for my Grandparents coming to New Zealand, but in saying that I have really enjoyed the journey, and found out so much about them all anyway.