>>1500 people did not have the choice. I expect he got over it.<<
What's known of his life afterwards would suggest that he did not. While Mr. Ismay remained interested and active in a number of charitable affairs, and enjoyed hearing the latest news on shipping, any discussion of the Titanic was known to be a taboo subject in his presence and in his house. I think he was the first one to "Get It" in regards the question of lifeboats as he made adaquate boat provision for all an order for every White Star vessel long before the regulatory bodies got around to it.
His wife was supposed to have remarked on the Titanic "That ship ruined our lives" and I believe it. It didn't take much to drop one of the upper crust into "ruin" in those days. A tarnished reputation was all it took.
While I haven't really made much of an in depth study of Bruce Ismay the man, I don't really buy into the reductive stereotyping which casts him as the evil Snidely Whiplash. I think at his very core he was a decent guy who had the misfortune of getting in the way of history and thereafter, no matter what he did to try make things right, it was always seen with a Machiavellian spin.
Catch-22 in other words.