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Most people are only faced with death on the rare occasion that a relative or friend passes away. However, when you work with people who are dying, it truly changes how you view the world and how you live.

When I first started working as a hospice sitter, I didn’t expect nor fully understand what I was getting myself into. I knew it was going to be difficult, and that I would experience seeing many people pass. But the true extent of the experience didn’t sink in until it happened. After the first patient passed, it broke my heart. I cried for hours, for days, and weeks.

And while it truly put my mortality to the forefront of my focus, it wasn’t until the second hospice patient passed away that it got me thinking. What hit me hard about this one, was the fact that while I watched her, she always reminisced about life with me. She had told me multiple times all the regrets she had about life. She told me she wished she had hugged her loved ones harder, she wished she had woken earlier each day to see each sunrise. She wished she had lived more.

When she passed, I felt her regrets to the bottom of my soul. I felt her regrets for her. And it got me thinking. Am I truly living the best life I possibly can? Am I thriving or am I surviving?

By the third patient, I sat within the hospice, I truly felt the weight of my own life holding pressure on me. When he passed, I swore I would start living my life to the best of my ability. I would spend more time with the people I love. I would eat better food to feel my best, but never turn down an opportunity to splurge and have my favorites with my favorite people. I would hug my husband hard each time he came home from work. And I would never stop saying I love you.

Even if you don’t experience the same things as I do, you can take my word: you don’t want to enter into hospice feeling like you missed anything. You don’t want to lie down on your deathbed with regrets. You won’t ever regret missing a day of work- but you will regret not spending more time with your favorite people or not going on that trip. You don’t want to miss out on loving the people that matter most in your life.