31 Existential Stories to Leave You Thinking “What If…”


Sometimes there are scenarios in life that just make you think. They remind us to stop and smell the roses, to call that friend, to help a stranger, and to remember to just be kind to people.

These 31 instances do just that. Take a look.

1. I found my own engagement ring

Today, on the one-year anniversary of my boyfriend’s death, I decided it was time to clear his clothes out of our closet. In one of his coat pockets I found a diamond engagement ring and concert tickets to my favorite band dated the Saturday after he passed.

2. At his funeral

Today, my water broke at my husband’s funeral.

3. 48 more hours

Today, I’m a neurosurgery candidate, going under the knife in 2 days. Last month I was a healthy 24-year-old female athlete. Today, signed a DNR, just in case I come out as a vegetable. Today, I had to make a living will. Is it really my time? In 48 hours I’ll find out.

4. Isn’t it ironic

Today, it is ironic that on the same day I am contemplating suicide, my brother learns he has a tumor on his pancreas.

5. Quite the realization

Today, I realized that if we all had told her how we felt BEFORE the funeral instead of AT the funeral, it’s possible there wouldn’t BE a funeral.

6. Most chipper person

Today, a girl who I see everyday at work, who’s always the most chipper person in the office, committed suicide.

7. Licked the tears off my face

Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying. And just before he died, he licked the tears off my face.

8. Celebrate the green ones

Today, while I was driving my grandfather to his doctor’s appointment, I complained about hitting 2 red lights in a row. My grandfather chuckled and said, “You always complain about the red lights, but you never celebrate the green ones.”

9. Sad day

Today in downtown San Diego, I watched a blue-collar Mexican man get harassed for being Mexican. It was a blatant act of discrimination. And the man actually began crying. As he left the office building, he took off his jacket. His T-shirt underneath read, ‘I love the USA!’

10. What an interview

Today, I interviewed a woman who is terminally ill. ‘So,’ I tried to delicately ask, ‘What is it like to wake up every morning and know that you are dying?’ ‘Well,’ she responded, ‘What is it like to wake up every morning and pretend that you are not?’

11. What a way to meet

Today, it’s been exactly 25 years since my husband risked his life and carried his female neighbor out of a college apartment complex as it burned to the ground. And that’s how I met my husband.

12. Selfless

Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn’t eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy. Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating. The first thing the man said was, ‘We can share it.’

13. Also, selfless

Today, as I was waiting at a red light I saw an old woman with a cane helping a young man in a wheelchair cross a street that was riddled with potholes from road construction.

14. Because, love

Today, I was working in a coffee shop when 2 gay men walked in holding hands. As you might expect, heads started turning. Then a young girl at the table next to me asked her mom why 2 men were holding hands. Her mom replied, ‘Because they love each other.’

15. Patience

Today, when I asked her, ‘What are you thinking about?’ she said, ‘You!’ I’ve been waiting to hear her say that for almost 10 years now.

16. Perception sucks

Today, I was looking through the Facebook remembrance groups of two people that died from my high school. The girl was sweet, smart, quiet and unpopular. She was killed by a drunk driver. The guy was inconsiderate, rude and popular. He was the drunk driver. His group has 602 members. Hers has 48.

17. Having a conscience sucks

Today, I met someone who is making $30,000 a month selling drugs. I make less than that in a year at my legal job.

18. A Stolen Purse

Today, Sean asked me to marry him. I said yes! Exactly 1 year ago today, I was walking to my car when a man ran up behind me and stole my purse. I called 911. Sean was the cop that responded to my call. If that jackass never stole my purse, I would have never met the love of my life.

19. Always answer

Today, one of my best friends, Charlie, shot himself in the head at approximately 2PM. And I just noticed that I have a missed call from him on my cell phone with a timestamp of 1:56PM.

20. Help strangers

Today, I was driving to a job interview when I saw a businesswoman standing next to her BMW on the side of the road. She had a flat tire. I pulled over and helped her put on the spare. When I arrived to the interview, the woman who I helped ended up being the CEO of the company. I got the job.

21. Can’t take it with you

Today, I waited on an elderly woman at the local restaurant where I work. She left me a $90 tip on a $10 tab with a handwritten note that said, ‘I’m 86 and I can’t take this money with me. So please spoil yourself with it.’

22. Out of the mouths of babes

Today, I asked my 6-year-old son what he wants to be when he grows up. He said, ‘Mommy, all I want to be is happy.’

23. Wow

Today, after a 72-hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to me at the grocery store and gave me a hug. When I tensed up, she realized I didn’t recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said, ‘On 9-11-2001, you carried me out of the World Trade Center.’

24. And to think, that’s what got him…

Today, my cousin died. He has been a Marine for 6 years. He fought for our country overseas on 3 separate tours in Iraq. He came home on leave 2 weeks ago and was killed by a drunk driver.

25. Pros and cons

Today, my father told me, ‘Just go for it and give it a try! You don’t have to be a professional to build a successful product. amate*rs started Google and Apple. Professionals built the Titanic.’

26. Awww

Today, as soon as my 5-year-old baby brother came into my room, I yelled at him to get out without even looking up at him. When he didn’t listen and I turned around to yell again, I noticed he had a bowl of cherries (my favorite) in his hands. He said, ‘Sorry, I just wanted to share these with you.’

27. Neither did you

Today, I returned home after being stationed in Iraq for 9 months. While I was still in uniform, I went into an ice cream shop near the airport to get a milkshake. The girl behind the counter handed me my shake and said, ‘It’s on me.’ ‘Thanks, you didn’t have to do that,’ I said. ‘Neither did you,’ she replied.

28. Resemblance

Today at the diner where I work, an elderly couple came in for the 4th time this week and requested my table. I asked them what kept them coming back. They told me that I reminded them of their granddaughter who passed away 6 years ago. Then they told me her name. She was my best friend at the time.

29. Pass it on

Today I was approached by a homeless man who asked if I had any change. I only had two dimes, but I gave it to him anyway. As I watched him walk away, he put the dimes in an expired parking meter of a stranger’s car.

30. Do I?

Today, I met a cute white guy at a local bar. In conversation he mentioned that he supports same-sex marriages. I politely asked him if he was gay. He chuckled and said, ‘My mom supported the Civil Rights Movement. Do I look black to you?’

31. It’s the little things

Today an old woman at the gas station came up to me and said, ‘I’m so embarrassed, but could you help me?’ I thought she was going to ask for money, but she told me that last week her husband died and she had never pumped gas before. She had no idea what to do.

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You rock! Thanks for reading!