People Break Down Which Things They've Witnessed That They'll Never Forget
Image by Péter Göblyös from Pixabay

One time, when I was living in New York, at 3 AM, after a night of dancing and revelry, I, and fifty other people were waiting on the "A" train. it had been a solid half hour of frayed patience. And no train had come along. We had all been holding in silence or hushed tones so everyone was annoyed but calm. When suddenly two people who seemed a little mentally "off-kilter" began to joust. At first it was just alarming, but subtle, then one pushed the other to the tracks. Everyone screamed. I fainted, because I'm useless in an emergency. Everyone lived, but I still have nightmares as that is one of my biggest fears.

Redditor u/instantaniouspickle wanted to see who needed to discuss the things their eyes can't unsee by asking... What is something you witnessed that you will never forget?

It's inevitable. In life, we are all going to see things that will leave an impression on us; good and bad. We will see these images in our sleep, in our waking moments, and in our imagination. We can't run from them, we have to learn to adjust and live with them. But that doesn't mean we can't wish we could undo having to have seen them. The people who responded to this thread understand.

the 360...

total eclipse GIF by HuffPostGiphy

Positive note: I watched the solar eclipse from a mountaintop with a 360 degree view. pictures don't do it justice.

I saw the shadow coming over the ridges towards me for a moment, incredibly fast, blacking them out. Then the light just goes out and the temperature instantly drops. You look around and you can see the sunlight, in the distance in every direction, but not on you. And you actually understand fully that you're standing in the shadow of the moon, pure white sunlight shining around it. Then it's over, and you see the light disappearing over the ridges again.



I saw someone try to rob a Blockbuster Video and the guy behind the counter beat him unconscious with a metal little league bat.


The Place I Live

I was a born and bred city kid who got the idea one summer that it would be great to move into the forest and be a trail worker. This went about as you'd expect, but it was definitely full of eye-opening experiences.

One night, the crew decided to hike (after a full day of work) up a local mountain to have dinner on the top, for "fun."

As we were up there, night fell, and we laid on our backs to look at the clear sky. For the first time, I saw the Milky Way, so many stars, and the actual dome of the sky. I was so shocked I interjected, "it looks just like the planetarium!" It was a long time before I lived that one down, but it was a genuine thrill of my life.


Spread the Gloss

While people watching, saw a guy casually apply chapstick to his lips, then his eyebrows.


Under the Sea

the little mermaid sebastian GIF by DisneyGiphy

Here's a non-traumatic one! It was the first time I went snorkeling!

It was a little gloomy out, the sun was shining through some clouds a little bit, but the surface of the water was like a dull dark blue and so I wasn't expecting anything great, but when I put my head under the water, I was instantly hit with the most magical experience of my life. Hundreds and hundreds of fish swimming at me, the sparkle of the mica in the water, the rays of light shining through the water, the deep deep ocean below me, even the forests of kelp looked so beautiful.

At the same time there was a light twinkling sound, it may have been the sound of chains underwater, but it made it feel extra magical. I've seen some stuff in my life, but I remember thinking in that moment, everything that I've ever been through has been worth it up to this point. It sounds super corny, but there's just so much beauty in this world.


Can you imagine having to live through half of that? Now there are plenty of extraordinary things to witness in life, but they always seem to be far and few in between. It feels like the darkest things always resonate longer. I have a friend who has witnessed both of his children's births and as much as he relives them, he is more haunted by the murder of his mother, by his father. Both extraordinary, but one leaves a deeper mark.

The Center Line

I was nine. My dad was driving me to karate and we were following a drunk driver. He was about to call 911 from his car phone (yes mid to late nineties) when this person crossed the center line, hit a car that went down an embankment and the drunk driver flew out of the passenger window. I still remember the sound of the impact and the guy flying out of the window. The car he hit was my friend's mom and she died.



Air show disaster at the Ramstein airforce base in '88. Hard to forget being knocked to the ground by a severed human foot. Was a lot for my young brain to process.


The Screams

My ex husband and I were on vacation and saw a huge 18-wheeler plow into the SUV in front of them at a red light.

We were right across the road, but stopped at the light and we were the second car. We saw the whole thing. Then all traffic was at a standstill. No one could go anywhere.

The woman was screaming and screaming as they worked to get her out of the SUV. All four of her young children died, as well as her husband. She was fully aware that her entire family was gone. She kept screaming their names. :-(

That still haunts me to this day. It happened back in the mid 90's.



The complete, eerie quiet of NYC on September 12th, 2001.

The weather was perfect, about 70ºF and clear skies with lots of sun. Stores were closed, people weren't working, there were no airplanes, very little subway service (if any), very little traffic, many peoples' cell phones didn't work and we were told not to use them anyway. The hum of transportation, cell phone chatter, and commerce was gone.

It was just a lot of people walking outside, especially in the parks, making eye-contact and nodding to each other with a sad smile as we passed.



This is a pretty traumatic one, but I witnessed my mother's murder. I will never forget the dark silhouette of a man and the bright flashes of each gunshot that hit me. One of the bullets shattered my elbow and I vividly remember my arm swung the wrong way.

I have more details I remember but I think I've shared enough graphic detail from that night.


Life is always going to throw hardship at us with both barrels. That's all part of the "living with it" truth. Living with it can be cumbersome. So share, share what you've got, the good, the bad, the indifferent. You'll never be able to not see it, so it's better to make peace with being a witness.

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