People Share The Saddest Thing They've Ever Witnessed
Think of the saddest thing you've ever seen. Does it still choke you up? If so, you'll enjoy these stories of super upsetting events people have witnessed.
mythirdreddit asked, Reddit, what's the saddest thing you have ever witnessed?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
When the loneliness is palpable...
My math teacher's last class before retirement. Nobody showed up except me and some friends, we literally did nothing for 1 hour straight. The bell rings, he let out the saddest " goodbye" I ever heard in my life. I almost cried for real.
Even a grown man needs his mother. It never goes away.
A few months before my grandma died, I was in her bedroom with my dad, to say hi. She was sleeping, and my dad sat down on her bed, softly saying "mom? Mom?". He, a 55 years old man, sounded like a little kid and it broke my heart.
Imagine how helpless the bank employee must have felt, too...
An elderly woman crying at the bank because her son stole her life savings from her and went missing.
Had something similar happen to me in second grade. Kids are jerks.
My daughter was being bullied on the bus by some kids.
Her class had a project where they grew a small plant in her class that they would present to their mothers for Mother's Day.
She told me about it but asked me to keep it a secret from mom. I agreed.
Every day she would come home and tell me when the plant sprouted and she was so excited as it grew and grew. As Mother's Day rolled around she would ask me over and over again if I thought mom would love it. I always reassured her that yes her mom would absolutely love it because she has worked so hard to take care of it and help it grow...just like she had done with you.
Mother's Day rolls around and even I'm excited to see the plant. I happen to be home from work that day and she comes home looking extremely sad.
I asked her what was wrong and I could tell she was on the verge of tears.
She reached out her small hand and held out half of a broke styrofoam cup with some dirt in it. The cup had been crushed and half of the words "I love you mommy" were written on what was left of it.
The dam broke as she said "Happy Mother's Day momma" and she crumpled to the ground balling.
My daughter, so proud of her plant, decided to show the other kids on her way home the gift she was going to give her mom. A boy promptly snatched it out of her hand and threw it to the ground. Everyone laughed as he stomped on it and then grabbed the plant and threw it out the window.
My daughter said she didn't cry because she wanted them to think she didn't care about the plant and that it didn't affect her. She was always the last stop on the way home and she grabbed what she could of the cup and some dirt and tried to salvage anything left. To add insult to injury the bus driver yelled at her that she was going to clean it up in the morning.
I don't know if I mentioned this...but she was in the first grade at the time. She was 6 years old.
I killed me to write that remembering how upset I was about that. We bought a kit from the hardware store to build our own garden in the backyard since it seemed like she was interested in that sort of thing. It wasn't really the same though.
Watching your kids see just how awful people can be for the first time is crushing.
When you miss the final moments of someone's life due to flight delays.
About to take a flight to Florida. It was supposed to leave around 7 PM, but it kept getting delayed. Then it got delayed some more, then a bit more. Hours later, the flight eventually got canceled. Turned out, they never had a pilot, and they spent all that time trying to get another one, and instead of canceling the flight earlier so we can all get new flights, they kept delaying the decision until there was no other option.
On the line to get a new flight (around midnight at this point), suddenly we can all hear this woman getting louder, saying "what? He's gone? No!". Apparently, this woman was going to Florida to see her nephew who was terminally ill and didn't have long. He passed away before she could get there. If the flight was even an hour late, she would have made it in time.
Grief-stricken, the woman throws her drink. It goes behind the counter, but a couple feet away from any ticket agent. The head agent has the police called and has her arrested (or at least taken away)
Shock from trauma can be really confusing.
When I was 12 years old my brother, then 15, died of a sudden heart attack in front of me and my cousins. My aunt was a med in the military and she didn't stop giving him CPR until 2 EMT pulled her off. But what hurt me the most that night is how I couldn't cry. I knew what happened, and I knew how I should be feeling, but the tears never came. I didn't cry until I saw my dad break down at the viewing before his funeral.
Struggling animals in pain - too much for me.
I saw a dirty, skinny kitten picking around in a pile of trash bags. He tried to eat a Cheeto and made a tiny depression in the dirt to poop but nothing came out. He was clearly starving.
I took him home with me that day six years ago because I started to cry thinking about leaving him there to die. Now he's a giant goofball who rules my house.
Edit: Apparently people like Melvin. Here's a ton of pictures of my special kitty. Oh, also, he's named Melvin after Melvindale, Michigan, which is where I found him.
I uh... yikes.
My coworker's good friend was pregnant when she found out her husband was killed in an car accident. She had the baby a few weeks later but her mental anguish was taking a toll on her. One night, she fell asleep while breastfeeding the baby and the poor baby got smothered to death.
My coworker came to work and was so distraught that she couldn't even talk to customers. She just sat in her office, crying, and I felt so horrible that I couldn't do anything to make it better for her or her friend. Here I am, worrying about stupid atuff, and seeing this kind of pain puts things back into perspective for you.
This is pretty sad. What terrible parents.
When I was a funeral director, I used to run the firm I worked for's mortuary at one stage in my career so I looked after the deceased who came into us primarily.
We had a 10-week old baby girl who died due to neglect come into us and we were waiting for her scummy disgusting parents to arrange the funeral, or at least give the local council authority to arrange the funeral if they couldn't afford it or didn't want to.
Sadly, it was a good 9/10 months she was with us and the family avoided all contact (calls to them were ignored or buttoned) and the poor angel just lays there in the funeral home mortuary in her tiny coffin. I had to see her and check her every morning and watched her getting more fragile and decompose every day.
Even the local bereavement office at the hospital got involved and tried to get social services to get some sort of court ruling so they could lay her at rest.
In the end, the family answered their phone and grudgingly let the council take care of the funeral. At the last minute, the dad tried to see her (the same child he and his Mrs let starve and waste away to death) but he couldn't as she was sadly unviewable (not to me sadly, I will have the images of her every day to remember) and the parents didn't even go to the funeral.
Every time I saw her little coffin, I died a bit inside. Not all funeral directors are emotionless, we very much feel it especially things like that.
Seeing her little coffin leave the home in the back of a limo with no family or flowers was just the saddest thing you can see.
The baby ducks got washed away :(
Probably not the saddest, but the most recent: I was driving and a female mallard duck was standing in the road, refusing to move. Cars were honking and having to drive around her, but she stayed. I parked and walked over to get her out of the road and saw that she was standing near a storm drain grate. I assume she was crossing the road with her ducklings and they all fell in. I looked into it thinking they might be just inside but the water was fast-moving like a river. It just made me so sad to think that she was a mother one minute and then wasn't the next, and she couldn't understand why. She just stayed where she last saw her babies and waited for them. I chased her from the road into the park but when I drive off I could still see her lurking nearby.
Hug your kids.
It happened to me yesterday. I'm a stay-at-home dad and I was dropping my son off at kindergarten. One of the other moms there has 4 kids, and her second one is in my sons class.
As we were about to leave, I saw the mom of 4 with her baby strapped to her, and her 2-year-old son was having a tantrum about walking home. I gave her the "we've all been there, stay strong" look that parents give each other.
So the mom says to the kid, "why don't you go home with him, he looks like he wants you!"
My initial reaction was "hey, don't drag me into your drama" but I understand her frustration. I bent down to be eye level with the kid and I said, "yeah, for sure. I've got some dryer vents I can use some small arms to help me clean."
The joke was obviously lost on the kid but the mom thought it was hilarious. Anyway, the kid opens his arm like he wants a hug, so whatever, I give him a hug.
Then he clings to me, for like 5 minutes. I've said maybe 5 words to this kid in my life, and he's holding on to me like he's afraid of falling down.
His mom says, "I think he misses his dad." I'm like, "Aww is he away?" And she says, "No, he's just not a hugger. Neither am I!"
So this poor kid would go willingly into the arms of a stranger because his parents don't hug him enough. That was sad as hell.
Ignoring your kids and telling them to shut up is abuse.
Was in a restaurant, a small boy was trying to ask his mum a question. She just kept ignoring him, and when she finally turned to him she told him to "shut up, play on your tablet". His face after that was the saddest thing, kinda broke my heart tbf.
Gambling is an ugly addiction. It's sad to watch, especially at a casino.
I was hanging out with a friend of mine while he was working at a gas station store.
Someone came in, bought a bunch of scratch tickets, went to a nearby counter to scratch them, cashed out the winners, used winnings to buy more, and he kept doing it until all the money was gone.
My friend said that sort of thing is pretty normal. I don't think I could work at a gas station.
Accidents happen and poor grandma has to live with this. Horrible.
I work in a hospital so I see lots of sad stuff but nothing compared to what I saw just a few months ago.
A little boy who was being babysat by his grandmother ran out into the street and was hit by a car and killed while he and Grandma were in the front yard. His grandmother was unable to do anything to stop him or intervene in any way because she was in her 70s and had to use a walker.
I remember being in the ICU waiting room after the news was broken to his parents and grandmother and his parents were screaming and cussing at Grandma, saying how could she let this happen, they never wanted to see her again, they hated her, she would never see her any of her grandchildren again, and hoped that she would burn in hell. It got so bad that security had to come in and intervene before it got too far.
The look on that old lady's face while her daughter and son-in-law were screaming at her is something I will never, ever forget.
This thread is getting to be too much.
Was sitting at a bus stop and a dog came running around the corner of a busy intersection, saw me and started running across the road towards me. It got hit. I bawled and still do when I think about it.
imagine having no one to call when you're literally on the ground dying...
Saw a guy I worked with have a heart attack. He was holding his arm and gasping for air. I sat him down and coached him to breathe while someone else called 911. He was hyperventilating and crying. He told me he was scared. I barely knew him. Someone asked him if there was anyone we should call, he said no. This man...absolutely scared of dying...had no one to call at a time he was knocking on death's door. I was so sad for him. The ambulance came and he was okay. But that one moment where he was so alone and scared was really, really sad.
Acceptance of death doesn't come right away...
My grandfather died after a long fight with ALS. In the end, he could pretty much only move his eyes under his eyelids, and sometimes not even that.
After he passed I sat with my mom and grandma for a long time. Every ten minutes my grandma checked his nose with a mirror, hoping to find him still breathing, hoping it wasn't true.
Easily the saddest thing I've ever seen.
Throwing a party and having no one show up is devastating.
Several years ago I was at a bar/club that had a small lounge upstairs. My friends and I were on our way upstairs to the lounge when a bouncer told us the room was reserved for a private event. We thought he was joking because there was only one guy in the entire lounge and it was rest of the place was packed. We didn't think much of it and went back downstairs. After leaving the bar my friends and I went to Tim Horton's for coffee and ran into the guy who was in the lounge. We asked him how his party went. He told us that it was his college graduation party / going away party and nobody came. You could see the pain behind his eyes. I hope he made better friends since then.
I'd say the woman's reaction was warranted.
A woman kicking her deceased husband's coffin, spitting on it, and saying, "I hope you're burning in hell, you son of a bitch."
He had committed suicide and left her with five kids to raise alone.