This is a tough question to answer – hopefully not because you have so many to choose from, but because the memory isn’t an easy one to dredge up – but these 13+ people are baring their souls for us.
#15. A few feet short.
“Finding my father face down on the kitchen floor dead. As best we can tell he’d been in the middle of a very serious heart attack and was trying to get to the phone but was a few feet short of making it.”
#14. We knew he was gone.
“August 2nd 2018
The day my dad passed away suddenly and completely unexpectedly. My dad was just about the healthiest he’s ever been, except when he was in his 20’s. He was 69 years old.
My mother called me and said something was wrong around 11pm, I was out of bed and at their house in less than 5min.
He was laying in bed, he wasn’t breathing, his heart wasn’t beating. My mom was on the phone with 911, crying. I was doing CPR, the woman from 911 was counting out the beats. I switched over places and my mom took over, I ran to make sure the front door was open and look for the ambulance or anyone. I ran back inside and continued CPR. Then a police officer was there. She took over the compressions, I ran back outside to flag down the ambulance. They arrived and started working on him. I had to keep my mom out of the way, keep her sane, I had to stay strong, not break.
He was gone when I got there. They worked on him at their house, in the ambulance, and at the hospital. We knew he was gone. Telling them to stop was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. My mom was… no words can describe her. I had to be strong, make the calls, talk to people.”
#13. Just up and left.
“My partner left me after 9 years of living together and 17 years of friendship. Just upped and left in the night, and I later discovered that plans had been in the works for several months. I awoke to the house and car keys and a letter saying “I hated you the entire time.” I try very hard never to think of it.”
#12. She was there and we needed it.
“The night of september 14th and morning of the 15th, 2012.
I remember it quite vividly. I was making tomato soup. One of my favorite things to do is dip toast into soup. Try it.
Anyways my soup was almost ready. I was house sitting my parents house while my dad was in the hospital for surgery. He had ALS and was getting a feeding tube installed because he couldn’t eat anymore.
I’d talked to my mom earlier that day and dad had been doing well. They were talking about discharge.
It was 9:34 according to the stove. I answered the phone and my mother was in tears. She wanted us to say goodbye to dad. The surgery had gone fine, but the ALS had reached his lungs. This was it.
After the phone call we frantically called all of our childhood friends. My dad had always been a mentor for many of them as well and they needed a chance to say goodbye as well. One of them was even there the next morning despite living on the opposite end of the country.
One of them had the brilliant idea of asking someone from the church to aee if we could get a ride to Kingston to see dad. They “happily” obliged.
We got to kingston just before midnight. 11:57. I brought my guitar along to sing to dad as he went. I figured if he sang to us bringing us in to the world, I would do him the same honour.
And so we got to the hospital and they took him off life support. He had requested a do not recessitate order. The hospital ignored that for long enough for us to get there. Thank you Kingston General.
And for the next seven hours I watched my father die. Slowly suffocating as his lungs failed to function. I remember feeling so guilty because I wanted him to just die quickly. But we were afforded no such luxury. His skin got more and more pale, and his breaths weaker.
Worst day of my life. I was 20. He was 52.
In some kind of divine sendoff he died at 6:54. Just as the sun was coming over the horizon. The flag of the hospital was also at half-mast.
Afterwards we dropped by a gas station to pick up a pack of cigarettes. I walked into the store and the clerk made a friendly offhanded comment. “You look like you had a rough night” assuming I had been out drinking or something. Me, my mother, and my brother all broke down and told her what had just happened. That cashier just hugged us as we cried into her shoulder for like 30 minutes.
It’s not normal to cry on the shoulder of a cashier you’ve never met. But she was there and we needed it.”
#11. I’d probably lose it mentally.
“Really more like a month but it was earlier this year when I was passing a 10 millimeter kidney stone. After a couple days of writhing in pain I went to the ER only to find out it was too big to pass naturally. So I had to wait a couple of days in sheer pain before having a surgery that involved a tube with a small saw on the end going up into me (through the urethra) and breaking up the stone. Luckily I was passed out for the surgery, but after I woke I was in even more pain than before. Peed blood for two weeks straight, and it hurt like you couldn’t believe to go to the bathroom as well. Had to pass around 20 kidney stone fragments over the next few weeks that each hurt on their own. I then had to go back to get the stent they put in me removed, and that involved the doctor sticking another tube in me (also through the urethra) and grabbing a foot-long tube and pulling it out, however I was not put under for that procedure. That was easily the most uncomfortable and painful experience I’ve ever had. To summarize, if someone told me I’d have to go through that again I’d probably lose it mentally. I wouldn’t wish that experience on my worst enemy.”
#10. The worst 24 hour day.
“The worst 24 hour day was when I was in New York while my husband was in Florida – he was misdiagnosed and died of internal bleeding. I was getting updates from the hospital all day while I was trying to get a flight and he died that evening. When I got to the house in Florida, I found out it had been robbed.”
#9. A year later…
“Sept 11 2017. I got fired, someone hit my car, and I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. A year later I got the all clear tho and a better job with a 30% raise.”
#8. She never came back.
“I’ve had some extremely bad times in my life but the first of them was 31/12 1969. My mum was sewing and said she was going to her friend’s house to borrow her sewing machine. She never came back. She just abandoned 3 young children to be with another man with 5 children.”
#7. The day my son was born.
“20th August 2014, the day after my first son was born (which incidentally was the very best day of my life)
Out of nowhere we were told he has a critical heart condition, would be transferred by ambulance to a children’s hospital and require surgery to save his life.
The bottom fell out of my world with no warning or expectation. Fucking sucked. The difference between the extreme high of the day before (plus hormones, first time mum nerves and post labour exhaustion) made the drop that much harder to bare.
Fortunately the surgery went very well, his doctors are fantastic and 4 years later he is doing great. Although he will require further open heart surgery one day.”
#6. Weird out of body experience.
“4th January, 2018.
The timing could not have been worse. Within literally 60 seconds of one another, I discovered that:
– The only person I have ever loved, my long-term partner, had cheated on me with one of his friends who I had met before, including other inappropriate things that they were sending/receiving – particularly pictures of me.
– My 29 year old sister had stage 3 breast cancer.
I was on his phone and saw the evidence to which my heart just sank and I was trying my best not to show any feelings. I didn’t want to over-react and wanted to think clearly in the moment, so I waited around 30 seconds trying to process what I had just seen and how I am about to go about this. As I am about to call him over to come and sit with me whilst I tell him what I’ve just found, I receive a phone call from my mother telling me that my sister has cancer. I was staying at my partner’s home at the time after spending a few days away at New Year. I’ve never felt such a clusterf**k of emotions. I needed someone to lean on and talk to about the news I just got about my sister, but the only person I could do that with, and the only person I have ever done that with, is now sat next to me, not knowing what I’ve just found on his phone and realising that my trust and love has been betrayed. I felt like I had no control over my life for that moment and when I recall on it, all I can see is me having this weird out-of-body experience, looking at myself from the other side of the room whilst I try and cope with the news.”
#5. Lying next to me in bed.
“Sept 6 2013, I woke to find my 47 year old wife, dead of a heart attack, lying next to me in bed.”
#4. I missed reading the message.
“I woke up to the news of the terrible tsunami in Japan on March 14 2011. An hour later I was told that my best friend committed suicide in another country.
I found out that she actually messaged me on MSN(back in the day when WhatsApp was still new), asking when am I going to visit her. I missed reading the message until the day I found out she committed suicide.
I have a hole in my heart ever since and still have days when I’ll break down. We were like sisters.”
“My car got stolen and my grandpa died on the same day. When I got back from the funeral my apartment had been robbed.”
#2. He didn’t give any sign at all.
“Today. I just found my room mate who had hung himself in the garage. The house is full of cops & EMTs. He didn’t give any sign at all.”
#1. The same thing.
“When I was 17 my sister died of cardiac failure on her 20th birthday. When I was 28 my best friend died on father’s day of the same thing, he had a 1 month old.”
I don’t even want to think too hard about the question because the answer would be too tough!