"Still Gives Me Chills"

"'Have a good flight.'

I said that at work to four customers who were about to board their plane.

When it took off smoke fumed the cockpit, I saw it turn back toward the airport, and it crashed soon after.

It killed all four of them.

Still gives me chills."

"It Always Stung"

"My brother said, 'We need to try out your Mauser tomorrow.'

I replied, 'Yeah we do.'

A few minutes later he shot himself in the head.

My brother and I had collected guns for about a year by that point. I had just gotten a Mauser a few days before but for a variety of reasons we hadn't used it yet. It always stung that the last words I exchanged with my brother were about a gun before he used one to end his life. In retrospect, I should have suspected it was coming. He had been threatening suicide for awhile. Though he had gotten help for it and we thought he was past it. Also, that day he had been kind of taking me for a tour down memory lane. Watching favorite movies and cartoons from our childhood and things like that. I still miss him."

The Last, Tragic Fight
The Last, Tragic Fight

"'Yup, just walk away like you always do! You piece of $#*&!'

My fiancé and I had our worst argument ever in a parking lot. He walked away from me and disappeared. I sat inside my car for a quite a while, in that parking lot, debating if the relationship was worth the amount of stress I was currently dealing with. An ambulance came flying down the street and turned into the grocery store across from the parking lot where I sat; I thought nothing of it, started my car and drove home. I didn't hear from my fiancé that night, or the next morning, but I was so furious I really didn't care.

The next night, I received a call from a hospital, telling me that my fiancé had been found unresponsive in a grocery store the previous evening. They assured me he would be fine, he was resting and would be released within the next couple days. But the doctors failed to catch a blood leak in his brain, and when I went to the hospital my fiancé became unresponsive again and went into a coma.

I was able to talk to him while he was in the coma, though doctors told me he couldn't hear or feel anything. I ended up removing his life support and watched his heart beat for the last time. I regret that night of anger and hostility SO. MUCH. If only I had known what would follow..."

A Touching Promise
A Touching Promise

"'I'll take care of mom.'

I said that to my dad while he was in a coma from which he would not recover. The decision had already been made to turn off his life support the next morning.

He had been sick for a long time. I lived far away from my parents, but he and I had made arrangements for me to help my mother transition when he died because he knew it was coming soon. He wrote down all of his passwords, financial information, etc. for me and told me where I could find it when he passed.

His final thoughts, before he went into a coma, were of making sure his wife, my mom, would be ok without him."

Multiple Tragedies

Marjan Apostolovic/Shutterstock

Multiple Tragedies

"'See you tomorrow!'

My friend Steven died in a car crash that afternoon. I didn't know until after school the next day when my dad told me the news. A lot of things ran through my mind, like how I forgot to return his pencil and wouldn't be able to invite him to my 9th birthday party. I miss him like f--k despite being friends for only a few months.

'Yeah right! I'll turn straight the same day you become Queen of Sheba.'

If I had known that Seth, along with his two younger sisters, would be murdered by his father that night, I would've held tightly onto his sleeve and insisted that he slept over at my house --- something the two of us did frequently. If I did, maybe he'd be here today and we'd see each other every day at MMA practice and grab snacks afterward like we always did.

'In case that doesn't work, you could do what I did and pour glue into her backpack.'

The last conversation Amanda and I had was about how she could get revenge on her sister for graffitiing Amanda's room with lipstick. What I didn't know was that she would use bleach to poison herself in that same bedroom. I visited her house shortly after she passed and I found that, in the back of her closet, was a paper pride flag folded to look like a large butterfly.

'Whelp, here's my stop.'

Damn, I regret this one the most. Courtney was almost a sister to me ever since we met in first grade. We gossiped and shared secrets all the time because we had each other's full trust. She was the first person I came out to and the one I went to if I needed advice on fashion or dating boys. And I would do anything for her, too. I cross-dressed many times and always covered for her if her parents asked where she was. She hung herself that evening and I found out later that night.

'Thank you!'

I'm still trying to process the fact that my Drama teacher jumped in front of a subway after school..."

Making Death Threats
Making Death Threats

"I hissed in my mother's ear that if she continued to treat my sister, who had been taking care of her like a f--king slave, the way she had been treating her, I would put a pillow over her face and kill her myself. Specifically, I said, 'You will NOT treat [insert sister's name] like that ever again! She has been slavishly taking care of you and you treat her like s--t! You do it again and I will put a pillow over your face and kill you myself!' Yes, I said that to my own mother. My last words to her.

My mother's passing was traumatic for all involved. She was treating my sister like s--t. I couldn't take it anymore and literally hissed into her ear. I defended my sister against our father when we were young. I defended my sister against our mother during her decline and passing.

She died the next morning in her sleep.

Although I feel like s--t, I make no apologies. Nobody treats my sister like that. Not on my watch. Not my father. Not my mother. Nobody."

"Still Think About That Phone Call Every Day"

''I can't chat right now, dad, I'm out with friends, I'll call you...'

My estranged father was terminally ill but didn't tell me. He had made contact after not talking for a few years. I was 19 and out with friends celebrating Christmas Eve. He died on the 27th of December without me ever calling him back.

If ever there was a single phone call I wish I could change the outcome of, it would be that one. We'd never had a healthy relationship, my parents hated each other and lived in different states. I hadn't seen him since I was 17 and we'd had a massive fight and he'd sent me back to live with my mom because I was 'too much like her.'

He'd really started making an effort when he got sick, but he didn't tell me why and I thought it was just him, I don't know, trying to play a game of one up with my mom, or something.

I can still remember I was at a local beach, literally getting out of my friend's car, it was about 7 pm and we were on our way to have dinner and drinks and do some dancing. I can even remember exactly what I was wearing, and the disappointment in his voice when I told him that I couldn't talk.

This was several decades ago now. I still think about that phone call almost every day."

He Didn't Realize
He Didn't Realize

"I said, 'Don't be f--king stupid."

That was the last thing I said to my best mate from University after I shagged a girl he liked. I didn't know he liked her that much. I didn't realise that he'd commit suicide a week later."

Absolutely Heartbreaking


Absolutely Heartbreaking

"'It's okay Cory, Momma and Dadda get sick too - you are being very brave, now get some sleep, I love you.'

My two-year and nine-month-old son, who's name was Cory, had the best day of his life on Saturday. Two birthday parties - one at the beach and one at his cousins' house with great friends and family.

The following day, he woke up with a headache. He was very smart and well spoken and told my wife and I that his head hurt. We assumed he was probably a little dehydrated and just not feeling the well from all the cake and party action on the previous day.

My wife had to see clients that day, so I spent the day with him. We watched the movie 'A Bug's Life,' but he was throwing up and napping throughout the day. I just thought he had a general sickness. My brother-in-law was a pediatrician at the time, so he advised us to make sure Cory stayed hydrated with some Pedialyte. We did that, then put him down for bed that night, which is when I said, 'It's okay Corey, Momma and Dadda get sick too - you are being very brave, now get some sleep. Sweet dreams. I love you.'

And to be honest, I don't really know if I said 'I love you' - I regularly tell my children that, but for the life of me, I cannot exactly remember. It feels better to think that I did, even though he knew that anyway. I told him a few times throughout the day that he was being brave because he didn't cry or complain at all.

He never woke up from that final sleep. We ended up taking him, unresponsive, to the trauma room that night. He had an undiagnosed brain tumor that I guess just slowly grew as he got older. Slow enough that his brain could adjust and we never once saw any symptoms. And finally, on that day, it ruptured an artery in his brain and that was the end of his very bright, very full, very short life. But we were able to donate Cory's very healthy heart to a little girl that now gets to live on. We know that Cory's time on this earth was short but very impactful on many lives."

Ignored The Warning
Ignored The Warning

"'You don't know how to swim dude. Don't go.'

I repeated these words three times. He still went ahead. He was shouldered by two of our friends.

He panicked. And strayed away from the shallow end. He ended up drowning, while the other two barely managed to get out of the current.

My brain has unsuccessfully tried to suppress these memories. But whenever I have a flashback, I end up hyperventilating.

His parents are wonderful people, but the shock of losing your child is overwhelming.

Never ever try to swim in rivers, unless you are an experienced professional."

"Still Makes Me Cry"

"I told my mother, 'It's okay, Mom. We're okay. You can go.' All my siblings were there, telling her to hold on. She was 89, comatose, and dying from breast cancer. So, I walked up to her and whispered in her ear that she didn't need to take care of all of us anymore. She died just a few minutes later. After 5 years, it still makes me cry."

Didn't Know What To Say
Didn't Know What To Say

"We were called to a man with severe abdominal pain. On our arrival, my friend was able to see that this patient was in the process of suffering from an aortic aneurysm. This, for anyone who doesn't know, is a Muy Grande problem that requires a lot of work and a very quick drive to the hospital. Then they might ---I stressed MIGHT--- have a chance of surgical repair.

We worked as quickly and as hard as we could for him whilst the responder drove the ambulance quickly. We arrived at the pre-alerted hospital and they were just preparing the O.R for him. After a scan, they informed him that he had a very small chance of surviving and it was up to him to decide whether he wanted the operation. We were just leaving when a nurse came up and told us he wanted to speak to us before we went.

We walked in and he smiled at us. I still remember the exact words he said.

'Gentlemen, I want to thank you for working so hard to try and save my life. It is a humbling experience knowing what you tried to do. I am ready to go now. I've lived a good life and I'm ready to go and see my wife again. I miss her sooo much.'

We didn't really know what to say to him so I said 'good luck.' I hate that term; I just didn't know what else to say and I couldn't say nothing.

He died within half an hour.

I will always remember him."

Will Never Forget That Sight
Will Never Forget That Sight

"I told a fellow (a stranger) rock climber, 'Watch out. There's an eight-foot drop off at the end of that granite slope.' He said, 'Don't worry about it, dude! I know what I'm doing!' About one minute later I heard a loud boom when he hit the bottom of a different 50-foot drop off. When my brother and I got down to him, he was in bad shape with spinal fluid coming out of his ears. We waited into the night for the medical helicopter to take him. We found out later that he died from his injuries.

That had to be on of the strangest and most memorable days of my life. My brother was wearing his rappelling harness and was able to get down to, let's call him Joey, in a minute or two. I had no harness or belay person, so I had to climb down. Given the adrenaline in the air, that climb seemed like it took forever. When I finally got to the bottom of the drop-off, my brother, a trained army medic, and a few Boy Scouts were trying to stabilize Joey, who could have possibly survived the fall if it hadn't been for the back of his head hitting a pyramid-shaped rock on the ground. I'll never forget the sight of his eyes rolling around, his wet bloody hair and the clear spinal fluid coming out of his ears. I'll also never forget the SOUND of him trying to speak. It was like the moan of someone having a nightmare with no distinguishable words. The ghost was definitely not connected to the machine anymore.

At the time there was no cell phone reception at ER, so the Boy Scouts got their quickest member to run all the way back to the park ranger's office to call for a rescue chopper."

Can't Throw It Away
Can't Throw It Away

"'Alright, thanks. I'll bring it back to you tomorrow.'

Let me explain. So, in high school, I was wearing a pair of boots- I don't normally wear boots, but there was a lot of snow outside and my regular shoes weren't going to cut it. Except one of the soles was coming undone, because they were old boots. A girl in my class, Laura, noticed. She told me she could bring me a bottle of super glue tomorrow (This was on a Wednesday). I thanked her and went on about my day.

The next day was Thursday. She brought the glue- but I wasn't wearing my boots. She said it was no problem, I could take the glue home and fix my boots. 'Alright, thanks. I'll bring it back to you tomorrow.'

The next day was a Friday, but it was a snow day. Then it was the weekend, so I didn't see her then, either.

I came back on Monday with the tube of super glue, only to learn that she had committed suicide over the weekend. I still have the tube of glue- it just didn't feel right to throw it away."

"All That’s Left Now Is To Die Young Like Hendrix"

"'Get going a--hole. I'll sort you out later.'

My best friend and bandmate died the next morning. He was hit by a truck. When his dad called to tell me the news, my world literally stood still that very moment. I went into a state of shock. I just couldn't fathom it. Part of me refused to believe I wouldn't see him again. That we wouldn't jam again, get high together again, mess around on the college campus again. It was all so surreal. He looked a lot like Jimi Hendrix; played the guitar like him too. In fact, one time he had jokingly said, 'All that's left now is to die young like Hendrix.' I still miss him. And whenever I pick up my guitar, or go down to my college campus, I expect to see his afro bobbing at a distance, and he, playfully calling out insults to me, middle finger raised."

He Knew
He Knew


Although, I wish I had.

My father had a cardiac arrest before and was suffering from heart related problems ever since because his heart was severely limited in function.

He had problems before and had to be taken to the hospital a couple of times but was normally back in a couple of days.

One day, he came from office and said he had some problems. He called me down to give him his medical file and said he is going for some tests and called his friend to accompany him.

I had a feeling something was gonna go horribly wrong. But, I was 16 and 16-year-old's don't think a lot. I gave him his reports and went home.

He had a cardiac arrest on the way, his friend drove to the hospital but couldn't save him.

Just like that, my father was no more.

I never said how much I loved him. I never thanked him for all he did for his family.

I know you can't hear this but I love you, dad."

Heard Him Smile
Heard Him Smile

"'I really want to see you.'

My boyfriend/fiancé of 4 years was battling cancer and was very far in his last stages.

He was currently in palliative care and during that time (and leading up to it) we had argument after argument. Over such silly and small things. Over huge things. Over things that were sorted. We argued, oh we argued.

So we 'unofficially broke up' - we told people but they didn't know that secretly in our hearts we were still together.

He was a major part of my life since I was 16, and now at 20, I didn't care what state our relationship was. I loved him and I wanted to just see him. But he was unwell and didn't want anyone to see him.

I texted. I called. His mum would answer and say 'I'll tell him you called," but he never called or texted my back.

Then one late night he was a little delirious. Medication made him hallucinate. And he called me. And I cried and cried. And I said those words. And I HEARD him smile and he said he'll see me soon.

A few days later I got the news and it broke my heart. Still does. My life has moved on, but my heart is still broken."

Summed Up The Relationship
Summed Up The Relationship

"When my grandmother died, I was not there to be with her. I was away at school. I was supposed to come home to see her one last time, but she died sooner than expected. She had lung cancer and after a long fought battle, she decided to call it quits on the dialysis.

I'm happy I wasn't there to see her die, because my last memory of her is so much happier than that.

I visited her at the hospital one last time before going back to school. I didn't know this would be my last time seeing her, but I'm glad that was the case. As she lay in her bed, we made prank phone calls together. My cousins, uncles and I would tell her what to say as she called pizza places and what not to make the most old school prank phone calls in the book.

'Is your refrigerator running?' They didn't get much more complex than that. But we were laughing, she was laughing, and it was as if we were sitting around at a holiday dinner rather than comforting my grandmother on her death bed. It was very natural.

This last moment with my grandmother summed up our relationship with each other in a nutshell, and I'm sure neither of us would've wanted it any other way. RIP to my best friend."

Couldn't Figure It Out
Couldn't Figure It Out

"'Would you like a shave?'

I had just moved my father from the porch over to the dining table. He tried to ask for something, but I couldn't understand him. It was alarming as well to see that his eyeballs had already fallen back into his cranium. He made writing motions, so I brought him a pen and paper. He scrawled something that I could not read, it looked something like 'injshewgee masringe.' For some reason, I guessed to mean he wanted a shave. So, I asked him. He looked up at me as if he had conceived an idiot gargoyle and angrily twisted his wheelchair around and crashed into the side of the hall. This brought the caregivers and family running and they took him to his room. I watched as he died within minutes.

Later I asked a nurse what she made of what he wrote. It didn't take her anytime at all to say, 'Injection Syringe.' He wanted his pain medicine..."

Trying To Stay Strong
Trying To Stay Strong

"'You can't die. Many people suffered from similar diseases and overcame them. You just.. you can't die.'

I said these words as I held his hand in one hand and my philosophy book in the other, unable to imagine that my life would go on without talking to him or being near him.

He did nothing but nodding calmly and throwing a tired look at me.

Dad passed away the next day before I could have the chance to say goodbye. If I had had more time to talk, I would have told him that I am sorry because I couldn't help. All I did was pretended to be strong although I knew that he was dying.

Perhaps that's why I still pretend to be strong. At the most painful moment I went through, I had the power to talk and smile.

I'll stay strong for you daddy and someday I'll be able to do more than just talking."

Choose Your Words Wisely
Choose Your Words Wisely

"To my beloved husband & best friend of 25 years as he was wheeled into the operating room after a massive heart attack - 'I love you so much, please don't leave me, but if you have to, please come back and see me when you get to the other side.' He died on the operating table 2 hours later.

To my mother who was in a coma in Intensive Care after a massive stroke - 'Thanks for doing the best you could. Let's do it better the next time we get together.' She passed 1 hour after I left her hospital room. We had a very difficult relationship for our entire time together, but I felt at peace about what I said.

To my father in the hospital for tests - 'Thanks for being the best dad in the world. I love you and will always be here for you no matter what happens.' He died of a massive heart attack 12 hours later.

To my best friend Pat who was crying on the phone because her boyfriend had dumped her - 'You are beautiful and special. The right person is out there for you. I promise.' She died suddenly in her sleep later that night from a blood clot. She had just turned 40. Her mother found her slumped by the phone.

To my dear friend Chris of 20 years who was having what he told me was an asthma attack. I told him - 'I am so sorry you're under the weather. Please let me know what I can do to make you feel better.' The reality? He had lung cancer and was keeping it quiet from everyone. He passed 2 days later. I realize now he had called to say goodbye but didn't want to cause me pain and anguish.

To my friend Robert who had been battling lymphoma for all of the 10+ years we had been friends. He had lost a lot of weight and the last thing I said to him was - 'Now hang up and go eat something yummy and put some meat on your bones.' He lapsed into a coma the next day and passed away a week later. I was in shock for months.

I have learned to really be careful what I say when ending a conversation with someone I love because you just never really know."

The Death Breath
The Death Breath

"I was starting an IV on an elderly patient. He was obviously very ill- probably Sepsis. As I prepared to insert the needle I said, 'Little poke and then it will be over.' He smiled and shook his head to affirm understanding.

I held his right hand with my left hand as my right hand guided the needle into his vein. I heard him sigh just after the needle broke the skin, but the sigh turned into an extended exhalation that lasted an inordinate length of time. Every nurse recognizes this death breath expiration. I looked up at the daughter and asked, 'Does he have advance directives?'

'He is a DNR,' she said.

'It's time,' I said and placed his hand in hers.

I wish I had chosen my words better. It is bothersome that the last words this man heard were so utilitarian and insipid."

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