Our time here is not guaranteed.

We know that people die––death is all around us––but the fact that we could die at any moment doesn't usually hit us until something really sudden or terrible happens. It's times like those when we realize that absolutely nothing is within our control.

After Redditor Sponge-iopotortoise asked the online community, "What is the closest you have come to dying?" people lined up to share their stories.

Warning: Some uncomfortable reading ahead.

"Experienced surgeon..."

Appendix burst. Experienced surgeon said it was one of the two worst cases he'd ever seen. Sepsis almost got me.


"When I was 2 years old..."

When I was 2 years old I started having random seizures. A really bad one put me in a coma for 2 weeks. During that one week doctors were struggling to find out what was wrong with me. They had doctors fly in from other states to run tests n stuff. Everyone thought I was never going to wake up and die while in a coma. Turns out I had a rare iron deficiency that caused blood to clot in my brain. The doctors had to go in there and get rid of it. One misplaced snip would've either killed me or left me mentally handicapped. Luckily the doc snipped the right spot and all was well. I woke up a while after that but had lost all of my memories and forgot how to do everything. I learned quickly though according to my parents.


"What I remember..."

One time when I was 10, I was at a public pool on top of the highest diving board. I tried to be cute and jump as close as possible to the edge of the board.

What I remember is seeing the concrete of the edge of the pool JUST miss my head by millimeters. I seriously was panicking at the bottom of the pool thinking I was dead. My Mom thought I was dead. The lifeguard probably thought he was gonna be sued for not seeing me be this stupid at the board in the first place.

But I'm still here, twenty years later, and I like to think in an alternate universe I'd be dead from cracking my skull.


"On the interstate..."

Driving home from college. Exhausted. On the interstate, going through the mountains. I was driving, and the I woke up going 70 mph straight down a switchback, on the wrong side of the yellow line and careening right for the edge. I was able to slam the brake and wrestle the car away from the guardrail that certainly wouldn't have stopped me going over the edge at that angle of impact. If I'd woken up a half second later I wouldn't be here.


"The worst part..."

Nearly being strangled by my batman cape when it got caught in the elevator door at my grandparents house. The worst part was having to explain the giant red mark on my neck the next day at school.


"I fell off..."

I fell off a 175 foot cliff in the desert. The ground I should've landed on was hard dirt. There happened to be one singular bush as far as I could see and I landed on it. That bush broke my fall just enough that I only broke one rib. I was totally fine. Then as I'm laying there in shock, I see that the quad I was riding before I fell was falling down as well and coming right down on me. I was in too much pain and shock to move and by some miracle, the quad landed upright with the wheels on either side of me. Barely even grazed me. I was convinced that god was real.


"I'd been out for a night..."


I'd been out for a night on the town with a friend. We bought some food and got in a cab to take us home. We were both sitting in the back. The cab driver said that it was OK if we ate the food in the cab, so I started eating mine (a mixed kebab). My friend was talking to the driver and he said something that made me laugh, just as I put a piece of steak in my mouth, and I involuntarily inhaled it and started choking.

For the first 30 seconds or so, I was trying to either swallow or cough it up, but neither worked. I couldn't breathe at all. At that point I started to panic. I was trying to get my friend's attention, but he was still talking to the driver. I started whacking him and pointing to my mouth, and thankfully he realised what was going on. He grabbed me and twisted me round and started whacking me on the back, and just as I felt like I was about to lose consciousness, I coughed the piece of steak up.


"When I saw..."

Crushed in a head on with a semi and actually felt myself leave my body as my bowels tried to void themselves... Every sensation was that of death and in my state of hyper awareness and more real than real perception I was floating in a void knowing without question I had been killed.

When I saw the stereotypical light at the end of the tunnel I realized what I was seeing was what my eyes were seeing through my slumped over body. In the image I was seeing, I saw my cell phone on the floor of my truck and had a thought that if I could get to the phone I could say goodbye to my family before I pass. With that thought, I was pulled forwards and back into my normal perspective within my skull where I got to experience every degree of pain and shock while bleeding profusely.

Since I had revived and was in a normal state of awareness again, I decided it would be pretty awful to call my loved ones and let them listen to me bleed out so instead, I grabbed for my exposed arteries and squeezed and screamed until help arrived and I got bandaged together enough to ride in the back of the job site ambulance for some 300kms before meeting the real ambulance and getting some gas...


"My car was full of glassware..."

Clipped a barrier in my car. Spun five times and the Pontiac flew backwards up a hill. My car was full of glassware so it was a broken glass tornado. Got out without a scratch and worked a 12 hour shift. May be indestructible.


"I had to be rushed..."

After I had my first daughter, my cervical tear started hemorrhaging. I had to be rushed into surgery, then a bunch of blood was transfused into me. Scared my poor husband. I always joke I would have died in Victorian times.


Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Life is hard. It's a miracle to make it through with some semblance of sanity. We are all plagued by grief and trauma. More and more people of all backgrounds are opening up about personal trauma and its origins. Finally! For far too long we've been too silent on this topic. And with so many people unable to afford mental health care, the outcomes can be damaging.

All of our childhoods have ups and downs and memories that can play out like nightmares. We carry that, or it follows us and the first step in recovery is talking about it. So who feels strong enough to speak?

Redditor u/nthn_thms wanted to see who was willing to share about things they'd probably rather forget, by asking:

What's the most traumatizing thing you experienced as a child?
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Image by klimkin from Pixabay

Being single can be fun. In fact, in this time of COVID, being single can save lives. But the heart is a fickle creature.

And being alone can really suck in times of turmoil. None of us are perfect and it feels like that's all anyone is looking for... perfect.

Now that doesn't mean that all of us are making it difficult to partner up. Sure, some people are too picky and mean-spirited, but some of the rest of us are crazy and too much to handle. So one has to be sure.

The truth is, being single is confusing, no matter how much we try to match. So let's try to understand...

Redditor u/Mcxyn wanted to discuss some truths about love and our own issues, by asking:

Why are you single?
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Tiard Schulz/Unsplash

Whether you're an at home parent, a college student just leaving the nest, or a Food Network junkie, there are a few basic tips that everyone should know.

Chef's gave us some of their top tips for amateurs and beginner at home cooks that will really make a difference. They are trained professionals with years of experience in the kitchen, so they definitely know what we're all missing.

If you're looking to improve some of your cooking skills and techniques, but you're still learning how to boil water correctly, this list is for you.

Redditor BigBadWolf44 wanted in on the secrets and asked:

"Chefs of Reddit, what's one rule of cooking amateurs need to know?"

Let's learn from the masters!

What a common mistake!

"A lot of the time when people add salt to a dish because they think it tastes flat, what it really needs is an acid like lemon juice or vinegar."

- Vexvertigo

"Instructions unclear I drugged my dinner party guests and now they're high on acid."

- itsyoboi_human

"Yes! Or tomatoes. They're pretty acidic too and go with so many things. Our dinners are so much better once the garden tomatoes are ripe. Or if a dish is too acidic, oil/butter or a little sugar can help add balance to it."

- darkhorse85

"Like tomato and eggs. Every Chinese mom makes those slightly differently and I haven't had a tomato egg dish I didn't like yet."

- random314

"There's a book called 'Salt Fat Acid Heat' that comes highly recommended to amateur cooks."

- Osolemia

"Reading even just the first chapter about salt made a lot of food I cooked immediately better, because I finally understood salt wasn't just that thing that sat on the dinner table that you applied after the meal was cooked."

- VaultBoy42

"Salt is important for sweets. A batch of cookies without that little hint of salt doesn't taste quite right."

- Osolemia

Unfortunately, this tip might not be accessible to everyone. Many people who contracted COVID can no longer use their sense of smell the way they used to.

"Have a friend that lost his smell from COVID, and now he only recognizes if food is salty, sweet, sour or bitter."

- AlphaLaufert99

"Just wait until he gets his sense of smell back and a ton of foods smell like ammonia or literal garbage now. Yeah, that's fun... It's been 7 months for f*cks sake just let me enjoy peanut butter again!!!!!!!!!"

- MirzaAbdullahKhan

You can't take back what you've already put in.

"You can always add, but you cannot take away."

- El_Duende666

"I find people's problems usually are they're too scared to add rather than they add too much."

- FreeReflection25

"I see you also grew up white in the mid-west."

- Snatch_Pastry

Safety first!

"Not really a cooking tip, but a law of the kitchen: A falling knife has no handle."

- wooddog

"I'm always so proud of my reflexes for not kicking in when I fumble a knife."

"If I drop anything else, my stupid hands are all over themselves trying to catch it (and often failing). But with a knife the hardwired automatic reaction is jump back immediately. Fingers out of the way, feet out of the way, everything out of the way. Good lookin out, cerebellum!"

- sonyka

"Speaking of KICKING in. On first full time cooking job I had a knife spin and fall off the counter. My (stupid) reflex was to put my foot under it like a damn hacky sack to keep it from hitting the ground. Went through the shoe, somehow between my toes, into the sole somehow without cutting me. Lessons learned: (1) let it fall; (2) never set a knife down close to the edge or with the handle sticking out; (3) hacky sack is not nearly as cool as it could be."

- AdjNounNumbers

"Similarly, NEVER put out a grease or oil fire with water. Smother with a lid or dump baking soda in there (do not use flour, as it can combust in the air making things worse)."

- Metallic_Substance

How else will you know it tastes good?

"Taste the food."


"Also don't be afraid to poke and prod at it. I feel like people think the process is sacred and you can't shape/flip/feel/touch things while you cook them. The more you are hands on, the more control you have."

"No, this does not include situations where you are trying to sear something. Ever try flipping a chicken thigh early? That's how you rip a chunk out of it and leave it glued to the pan until it's burnt."

- Kryzm

Here's one just for laughs.

"When you grab a pair of tongs, click them a few times to make sure they are tongs."

- Kolshdaddy

"People really overlook this one. You've gotta tong the tongs a minimum of 3 times to make sure they tong, or else it can ruin the whole dish."

- BigTimeBobbyB

If you're looking to get into cooking or to improve you technique, pay attention to these few tips.

Salt generously, add an acid to brighten things up, and don't forget to taste your food!

If all else fails, you can always order take out.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.


As part of the learning process, children often do embarrassing things before they learn a little more about the world and all the different implications therein. While the inappropriate moment is usually minor and ends in laugher some instances are truly mortifying.

One such instance involved a little sister who was around 6 at the time. It was the 90s and at the height of the youth-focused PSAs (think the frying egg representing your brain). One type was a safety PSA about stranger danger. The speaker would remind the children that if a stranger tried to take you anywhere to yell “Stop, you're not my mommy/daddy" to raise the alarm.

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