Life is fragile. That's a realization that hits all of us at different points. One moment, you're here, the next, you're gone.
Unfortunately sometimes the loss of life is caused by human error. And for the people who are on the other side of that life, the people who caused the death--it can be one of the most trying and difficult experiences of their own lives. We don't often get to hear those stories.
Here were some of those dark answers.
Ghosts Of The Past
A 12-year-old boy rode his bike in front of my car and died. It messed me up for a long time. I definitely had PTSD. I did a lot of drugs to compensate. I didn't invest in having a good future because I didn't feel like I deserved one. I still don't but now I have a family and they deserve a good future so I make an effort. When my kid got to 12 I thought about it a lot. She's 14 now. I know the accident wasn't my fault but it still feels like it was. I already had some depression before that happened and after it's been a regular battle. There are days where just getting out of bed is a major victory. Over time the guilt and depression have lessened and I have tools to deal with them but it's still something that haunts me.
Professional Help Is Essential
I homeless man jumped out from some parked cars and I hit him. It was raining and at night, and the blood mixed with the water made it looks like a literal blood bath. I could smell the mix of booze and blood in the air.
I had a hard time the first couple of days, then thought I was good. Went back to work but had 0 motivation, 0 energy, 0 emotions, I was just a shell of a person. I had a mental breakdown at the office, they had to call my parents, I was almost 30.
I began doing extreme things to get emotions back. Sabotaging my job, vandalizing property at night, things like that. Anything to get some feelings back.
I knew it wasn't my fault, that the dude was drunk and jumped out in front of the car and I couldn't have really done anything different, but as others have said, if I hadn't been there, this wouldn't have happened. It's a weird process to go through.
I should have gone to therapy much, much sooner. Eventually, after a couple of years it kind of just went to the back of my head, forgotten, but whenever some other crisis happened in my life, it would be compounded by this. I lost a good job, some friends, eventually, compounded with other problems I didn't deal with, I lost my wife.
I finally decided to get help, and while I know there's a lot of work to still be done, I feel like I'm finally getting somewhere with dealing with this, and other issues. Nobody wants to be on the hook for taking someone else's life, but if it does happen, make sure you seek professional help. Don't let one life being taken away cause your own life to be taken too.
A Shortened Range
Was driving to the mall one evening, a car made a left turn crossing my lanes, causing me to t-bone them. Teenage boy in their passenger seat and my girlfriend in my passenger seat both passed away. This was almost 20 years ago, I've since married and I have 2 sons, and mostly, I'm just numb. It's not that I don't care about things, but I don't experience true happiness all that much and just have an ambivalence I never had before that day. I've moved in most ways but my emotional range has never really recovered.
Don't Trust The Trust
Back in 2012 u worked in a mental hospital (UK) I was tasked to get a patient up, showered and dressed in the morning. I took him down to the dining room gave him some toast and left him too go on observations.
I walked down to the staff room to get the folder and walked to his dorm. As I went to leave he walked in looking very distressed. He was choking on some toast, I tried to help by back slaps and stomach compressions. He kept walking to his bed and tried to lie down that he did a few times and each time I picked him up to try and clear his airway. He clasped on his bed and I hit the panic alarm as I was trying to still clear his airway. Other staff took what felt like ages to arrive and later was informed that the alarm system had never been changed and was showing the wrong room and bed. He died in the hospital.
I was riddled with guilt. What was worse was his wife had been also brought in to the hospital and was on the female ward at the time this happened.
When I spoke to the solicitor for the Trust after giving my statement to the police. she informed me I would be looking at 20+ years for murder or best case scenario would be manslaughter.
I was never arrested by the police or placed under caution when I gave my statement. She got it in to her head that I was and that a Coroner would find me guilty. From there I would be arrested and charged. For ages I felt like I was being used as a scapegoat for failings and went into a spiral of depression. My stepfather at the time was an ex criminal solicitor and was trying to reassure me that I had nothing to worry about with her allegations. She never spoke to the Trust about me or the police but she kept on saying I killed him. Before the hearing started she told me to get my story straight this was in ear shot of my mum and sister. We put in a complaint just minutes be it started. During the hearing she was reprimanded by the Coroner several times as she kept objecting to questions being asked. The coroner stated it was not a criminal court and the police investigated and found no person responsible for his death. The next day I took the stand and gave my statement and answered all questions. The solicitor for the Trust never asked me a single question.
It was the most stressful and upsetting time of my life.
I have the opposite. I regret trying to save a life.
Im a nurse and I had a patient who was way into her late 80s. Had multiple issues. Had very advanced cancer with mets. She was very weak and had advanced dementia. Couldn't even tell me her name.Very debilitated and underweight.
Well her family was very conflicted in making her a DNR. Half her family wanted it, the other didn't want any more measures taken. Unfortunately the daughter with the medical power of attorney was the one wanting everything done.
It was late in my shift. I was working a night shift so daughter was asleep on the couch. I had noticed the patient was declining in status. Very rapidly. This poor frail 40kg women should have went peacefully. For a split second i told myself to pretend I didn't notice the decline and let her pass in her sleep.
Instead I panicked and began CPR. Daughter woke up and insisted we do everything. I was doing compressions with one hand, could hear the snaps and crunch of her ribs. Her mouth was foaming blood as we intubated her. Her eyes blood shot staring blankly at the ceiling. Her face sheet white and cold. Yet we continued to assault this poor soul because we were legally obligated to do so. She later passed the next day. We had prolonged her suffering by a day. Forced her under the agony of a ventilator.
Her death haunts me. I regret not letting her pass with dignity.
A Rare Situation
I was 19, first apartment, i had been moved in a few days and my roommates had gone out of town for the weekend, i had just bought a shotgun at a pawn shop because the neighborhood was pretty rough. I wake up around 2:30am to the front door being kicked in, i jumped up, grabbed the gun, and look down the hall, i see a guy walk into the living room, (my room was straight to the back from the door) i yelled to get the hell out because i had a gun, he turned, raised a pistol, i just started shooting as fast as i could pump it, fired five rounds and hit him with two or three before he got out the door, and took off. Neighbor heard the shots and called 911, police followed the blood trail into a backyard about a block away. He died on the way to the hospital, apparently was high as hell on meth when he broke in. It bothered me for a long time, but at the end of the day, in my eyes, it was him or me. Hope to never be in a situation like that again.
The Sad Tensions
Probably not the answer your looking for but my mom and twin sister died when i was born. My sister was going to struggle they knew that she might not make it but my mom started bleeding and they couldnt stop it. My oldest brother said my dad was different before. I know my dad loves me but theres always this weird feeling between us.
Life As A business
I've effectively killed plenty of people as a former ITU nurse (I lost count after a while, but I worked in a number of major trauma centres, so quite a few). All the evidence indicated that they were going to die, but by extubatung (pulling their breathing tube out), switching off their ventilator and life-sustaining drugs, I was the one who expedited their death.
To be honest, it never seemed to bother me as much as a lot of my colleagues. We'd often get support if we'd had a lot of deaths over a short-term period, and we'd have to go through all our feelings; but I'd usually end up giving them the answers they wanted to hear, because they wouldn't really get that I genuinely was fine.
Most days if you had a death you'd end up with another patient shortly after. I'd support the relatives as much as I could and wouldn't want them to feel in any way rushed, but my focus after they left would be on admitting and stabilising a new patient.
I don't know if it counts as "taking a life" but I do feel responsible. I was in 5th grade and visiting my grandfather, there was no one in the house but us. He started having a stroke or a heart attack and he was reaching towards me because the home phone was near me. I just froze and watched him die, hours later I didn't even call the police or my parents. I've come to be very anxious when I see an elderly person and I try to avoid them, which has damaged the relationship between me and my grandparents that are still alive. I'm also a bit anxious when I'm in a house alone with one person, my boyfriend has been wanting me to move in with him but I prefer living at my parents' house with my parents and siblings.
Simply Trying To Help
I'm a nurse and my preferred specialty is hospice. The medications for pain relief we give also slow respiration and aid in the bodies natural process of death. So by giving these I essentially take a life. As a hospice nurse I have also been bedside for people who do not want these medications. 9 times out of 10 I feel relieved giving these medications and helping it along because death is a painful process. I feel that it is a way I can care for them and send them off loved and comfortable so I do not feel guilt at all.