People Describe The Things They've Witnessed That Will Haunt Them Forever

People Describe The Things They've Witnessed That Will Haunt Them Forever

*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.

Positive memories stay with us forever that we can always revisit with a smile.

Witnessing a loved one receiving their diploma after years of dedicated studying, celebrating a sports victory with other teammates, or traveling to a dream destination with your significant other after months–even years–of careful planning.

But in addition to reveling in nostalgia, there are other life experiences we'd like to soon forget but have a difficult time shaking off.


Curious to hear about some of the more ominous events experienced by strangers online, Redditor IM_Not_A_Robot_10110 asked:

"What have you witnessed that will haunt you forever?"

What happens inside hospitals are full of trauma and heartache, even medical professionals have a hard time processing what they encounter.

The Pediatric Patient

"X-ray tech here, but I was a student at the time. Called to ER for trauma code. Only know it's a pediatric patient. The terror as I walk around the corner and see it's a little boy, same size as my son. We go to take an x-ray and he's making this high pitched shrill wheezing noise. They couldn't intubate enroute so we were doing a chest/neck to see what was going on. His neck was full of air."

"Come to find out the story later, he had tripped and fallen in school and his neck went square on a desk and he had broken his trachea. Believe he was stabilized & flown out. Never found out what happened after."

– ZephyrGrace

Calling Time Of Death

"ER nurse. This won’t haunt me in a bad way, but it’ll stick with me for sure. We were coding a middle aged lady we knew was going to die. We were pulling out the last ditch stuff hoping we’d get lucky, but everyone knew which way it was going."

"Family was there and in the room. When it was clear we had run through all the Hail Marys and it was time to call it, the husband spoke up for the first time. He had apparently been an EMT for a long time so he knew what he was looking at. He said he was going to do the final round of compressions."

"It was very respectfully done. He got up to do his 2 minutes, the nurses quietly started turning things off so there wouldn’t be continuous alarms, we called for a pulse check which the husband did, then we called time of death. He was thankful we let him do that and I was thankful to be a part of it."

– pause_and_consider

Missing Jaw

"Not me, but my roommates fiancé is a flight nurse. She told me this story around Easter."

"They showed up to a scene being told beforehand that there was a patient with a gun shot wound and bleeding bad but that’s all they were told. When they got there they found a woman who was sitting on the ambulance gurney completely lucid and looking around, completely missing her lower jaw. She said you could see down her throat and she looked like a zombie. Her lower jaw was hanging to the side by some tissue and when she looked about it swung around and dangled. She said the woman seemed relatively calm and when she tried to speak what was left of her tongue kinda moved but nothing but gurgles came out."

"It was not a suicide, her boyfriend accidentally discharged his firearm while they were in his car."

"She survived."

– New_Hand_Luke

AIDS Epidemic Era

"Retired RN. I was working in the PACU and helped another nurse take her patient to his room. As I was adjusting something by his head, he grabbed my hand and started crying. He kept saying I don’t want to die. He was barely 20. In an isolation room. I looked into his eyes and tried to comfort him as he sobbed. This was in the early days of the 'AIDS epidemic.' He died within a week. To this day I still see his eyes and hear him sobbing."

– Tkay906363

Father's Last Breath

"Watching my dad succumb to cancer in-basically- a week...it's a long-ish story, so I won't get into it, but the apex of the despair was when a friend of his-who knew he was in the hospital and had seen him the week before-came bounding into the room to see him thinking he was just going to crack a couple of jokes, and then seeing the stunned look on his face when he realized that my dad had become nothing more than a human shell blindly begging for water...I'll never forget that, or anything else about that weekend."

– methratt

Lingering Sound

"I’ve been there with my grandmother last October. One week she was perfectly normal, just went in for a checkup bc her stomach hurt a bit. Two days later we’re told she has stage four pancreatic cancer and by next week she was gone. She was able to go home from the hospital before she passed, she was there for 2 days and on the second day I watched her die… I’ll never forget the sound of the death rattle."

– cuebie_

Traffic accidents can be some of the most gruesome scenes no one should ever have to witness.

Excruciating Pain

"A dog across the street with the skin of its left hindlegs torn off and bleeding. I think it was hit by a car or something. It went mad then and there from the pain and started eating its thigh where the wound was. I was a kid and there was no one around."

– OinkMcOink

The Conflagration

"Pulling up on a car accident and trying to pull the driver out as the car burst into flames. It was completely engulfed within seconds. I'll never get that sound or smell out of my head."

– Kryssikush

Accident Victim

"I live next to a busy street, inbetween lanes is a tram station. Teenager wanted to cross and got run over by a tram. Well, partly run over, he ended up with his body squeezed in between the tram and the tram station wall, with his legs stuck under the tram. It took about 1,5 hours until they had the equipment to lift the tram to get him out of there. They managed to reanimate what was left of him but he died in the hospital."

– ir_blues

Treacherous Road

"It was Easter Sunday about 5 in the afternoon. I was driving home from the lake with a friend of mine on a country highway that’s pretty well traveled. It’s one of those single lane coming and single lane going where the speed limit is 70 roads. The intersections are far and few between so instead of an overpass it’s just a blinking yellow caution light. In what literally felt like the blink of an eye the car driving in front of me is struck on the drivers side door."

"The impact pushes both cars off to the road and onto the shoulder. I hit my brakes and was able to stop to help render aid. My friend and I get out of the car and run over to help. The drivers side door is crushed inward, driver has been pushed into the passenger side. It was a younger lady, maybe mid 30s. The impact pushed her out of her seat and into her daughter."

"You ever see movies where a dead body jump scares someone and it just stares at the with wide eyes and mouth agape….. yeah. The girl is ok but very confused. She has no visible injuries and is freely looking around so we unbuckled her and pulled her out of the car so she didn’t realize her mom was laying on her. As we do it I look at the mom and I can see a little life is left in her, so I said the only thing we could say. 'She’s alright.'”

"You could see the light in her eyes fade and she passes away. More cars stop and help out. As more people are here to help I start to realize that someone has been screaming, at me. In the back seat is her son. He must have been knocked unconscious and he’s now yelling, not out in pain but asking 'Is mom okay, is she okay?' I had no words for him, he was maybe 6. His sister was about 9. Thankfully about 4 of the cars that stopped were off duty first responders so they quickly took over for me. This was about 20 years ago, I was 17 at the time and I just saw a mom die in front of her 2 kids. I’m crying now thinking back on it and to this day I still refuse to ever take that road again."

"They finally build an actual stop light a couple years back. The area isn’t more crowded so I can only imagine what the motivation to improve that intersection was."

– Boothulu

Pedestrians

"I was designated driver at my friend's 30th birthday party. Had just dropped off my last friend and I was heading home. Little blue car zipped by me going maybe 10 over. Maybe a block ahead of me I see the speeding car hit two 20 yr olds who were running across the street. They were running to McDonald's across from the nightclub they were partying at and didn't wait for a red light. I'll never forget the girls blond hair in the bright headlights as she got hit. One thing that isn't ever correct in tv shows when people get hit by cars is how much damage it does to a human body. I distinctly remember his legs laying like 2m from his body. Both died right when paramedics got there."

– SuchAGeoNerd

PTSD

"Getting hit by a car really is ugly. My girlfriend accidentally stepped on the street while we were having a minor disagreement and bam she was gone in a moment. I have ptsd, I can still see all the blood, her trying to breathe and the moment she gave up."

– More-Masterpiece-561

Upon Closer Inspection

"12 years as a fire fighter, I've seen some terrible things. But one night we get a call for a pedestrian vs a train. Walking down the tracks on a bone chill evening and in the distance I see what I believe to be a shoe. As I got closer it turned out to be much more than a shoe. It was about half a leg, and this image is burned into my memory forever."

– 2020Baker39

You never know when a friend or acquaintance is going through an extremely rough time–even though they present themselves differently in public.

All we could ever be as fellow humans is to always be compassionate.

Prolonged Guilt

"I found my roommates body in our apartment when I was in college. He had suffocated himself with a helium tank and a plastic bag over his head. That fucked me up pretty good, especially because I knew he was struggling with his mental health. He was cutting himself too, he tried to hide it but I noticed. And I didn’t say a word, i didn’t offer a helping hand. I could have done something to help him, but I didn’t. That guilt is still there, 10 years down the line."

– Jon__Snuh

What The Taxi Driver Witnessed

"I was driving Taxi once and I picked up someone who said he thinks he just saw a dead body. Said someone had jumped from the top of the parking garage. There was already an ambulance and what not on the scene. I remember briefly thinking of my friend Willzo, but dismissed it, I didn’t even think he was depressed like that. I found it odd that I would even consider such a thing out of nowhere. But I dismissed the thought and went about my work night. Couple days later I got a call from a mutual friend. 'Hey buddy, did you hear about Will? He jumped off the parking garage a few days ago.'”

– Everywhere-Danger

These Redditors' stories are a lot to take in.

However, they are good reminders about the brevity of life and how we should always strive towards being the best versions of ourselves while we're still alive.

Because you never know when you or someone close to you will have their last breath.

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

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