Woman who's watched 2,000 people die says most people share the same regret on their deathbed

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By VT

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Death, an inevitable part of life, often carries an air of grimness that we cannot escape. For one woman, who has witnessed approximately 2,000 people pass away, this stark reality serves as a daily reminder of life's fragility.

Meet Dr. Sarah Wells, a dedicated palliative care doctor with two decades of experience in her field, currently serving as the medical director at the Marie Curie Hospice in Solihull, West Midlands.

Through her tireless work, Dr. Wells has come to view death as something "natural, normal, and often beautiful."

At the helm of a team of 10 doctors responsible for the care of 12 to 20 patients at a time, all with terminal diagnoses and typically just weeks to live, Dr. Wells has gained unique insights into the final moments of her patients.

In a heartfelt piece she penned for The Telegraph, she shared these profound observations, describing the experience as "a special, humbling time."

Dr. Wells recounted the story of a lady suffering from heart failure, haunted by the memories of her father's painful death as a result of the same condition. In this poignant tale, Dr. Wells and her team offered reassurance, unveiling the serene truth that dying is, in most cases, a peaceful process.

She explained, "People get sleepier as their organs slow down and they slip into unconsciousness, able to hear and feel the touch of a hand, even though they can’t communicate. Once people understand it takes much of the fear away, although of course, that can’t stem a sense of regret, the biggest of which is not spending enough time with their families."

Beyond the clinical realm, Dr. Wells also delved into the emotional aspects of life and death. She made a striking observation about the common anxieties tied to our professional lives. She emphasized that none of her patients had expressed a wish to have spent more time in the office.

Sacrificing precious family moments in pursuit of professional validation, she noted, often becomes a source of profound regret. In one poignant anecdote, she recounted a fellow doctor's regret about working through holidays and sacrificing time with loved ones. His realization, too late, was that these professional pursuits ultimately held little meaning.

Despite her personal lack of religious affiliation, Dr. Wells revealed that her work had deepened her spiritual beliefs. While her patients didn't always talk about God, they frequently shared experiences of seeing deceased relatives approaching them as they neared the end of their journey.

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Credit: David Sacks/Getty Images

In conclusion, Dr. Wells offered her personal perspective on mortality, stating, "I’m not scared of dying myself. I understand what’s going to happen and will make sure I am surrounded by the people I love because above all else, this job has taught me that our connections with others are what truly matter."

Dr. Wells' extensive experience as a palliative care doctor provides invaluable insights into the human experience during its most vulnerable moments. Her wisdom serves as a poignant reminder to prioritize what truly matters in life: our relationships and the time we share with our loved ones.

In the face of death's inevitability, her words offer solace and perspective, emphasizing the importance of cherishing the moments we have and nurturing the bonds that give life its profound meaning.

Featured image credit: Brett Sayles / Pexels

Woman who's watched 2,000 people die says most people share the same regret on their deathbed

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

Death, an inevitable part of life, often carries an air of grimness that we cannot escape. For one woman, who has witnessed approximately 2,000 people pass away, this stark reality serves as a daily reminder of life's fragility.

Meet Dr. Sarah Wells, a dedicated palliative care doctor with two decades of experience in her field, currently serving as the medical director at the Marie Curie Hospice in Solihull, West Midlands.

Through her tireless work, Dr. Wells has come to view death as something "natural, normal, and often beautiful."

At the helm of a team of 10 doctors responsible for the care of 12 to 20 patients at a time, all with terminal diagnoses and typically just weeks to live, Dr. Wells has gained unique insights into the final moments of her patients.

In a heartfelt piece she penned for The Telegraph, she shared these profound observations, describing the experience as "a special, humbling time."

Dr. Wells recounted the story of a lady suffering from heart failure, haunted by the memories of her father's painful death as a result of the same condition. In this poignant tale, Dr. Wells and her team offered reassurance, unveiling the serene truth that dying is, in most cases, a peaceful process.

She explained, "People get sleepier as their organs slow down and they slip into unconsciousness, able to hear and feel the touch of a hand, even though they can’t communicate. Once people understand it takes much of the fear away, although of course, that can’t stem a sense of regret, the biggest of which is not spending enough time with their families."

Beyond the clinical realm, Dr. Wells also delved into the emotional aspects of life and death. She made a striking observation about the common anxieties tied to our professional lives. She emphasized that none of her patients had expressed a wish to have spent more time in the office.

Sacrificing precious family moments in pursuit of professional validation, she noted, often becomes a source of profound regret. In one poignant anecdote, she recounted a fellow doctor's regret about working through holidays and sacrificing time with loved ones. His realization, too late, was that these professional pursuits ultimately held little meaning.

Despite her personal lack of religious affiliation, Dr. Wells revealed that her work had deepened her spiritual beliefs. While her patients didn't always talk about God, they frequently shared experiences of seeing deceased relatives approaching them as they neared the end of their journey.

wp-image-1263246450 size-full
Credit: David Sacks/Getty Images

In conclusion, Dr. Wells offered her personal perspective on mortality, stating, "I’m not scared of dying myself. I understand what’s going to happen and will make sure I am surrounded by the people I love because above all else, this job has taught me that our connections with others are what truly matter."

Dr. Wells' extensive experience as a palliative care doctor provides invaluable insights into the human experience during its most vulnerable moments. Her wisdom serves as a poignant reminder to prioritize what truly matters in life: our relationships and the time we share with our loved ones.

In the face of death's inevitability, her words offer solace and perspective, emphasizing the importance of cherishing the moments we have and nurturing the bonds that give life its profound meaning.

Featured image credit: Brett Sayles / Pexels