Each friend group is a tapestry of individuals.
Sure, each member brings an array of unique interests and quirks that, when mixed with a few others, helps to create an energetic balance.
But despite those individual elements, a friend group is an enmeshed entity. And such a human collage requires all of its pieces to be whole.
So, when tragedy strikes and a close friend--one of the regulars--falls on hard times or worse, there is an immediate, depressive ripple effect. The whole group struggles on account of the struggles of one.
Some Redditors gathered to share their stories of the worst thing that ever happened to a friend. We're left to only imagine what the fallout must have looked like.
vulturec1 asked, "What's the worst thing that's happened to one of your friends?"
A Psychic Meddling in the Grieving Process
"Tried to swim to shore from a sailboat in lake Michigan. She was a strong swimmer, but even in the summer hypothermia is a threat."
"They didn't find her body for several weeks and during that time famous fake psychic Sylvia F***ing Brown told the family she was alive and being held on a boat against her will."
"Still miss you, Julie."
One Lost, One Left to Suffer
"Two of my good friends, twins, got in a car accident."
"They were upside down in a wooded area."
"The one brother died instantly. While the other was upside down for 3 hours until someone saw their car."
"N I miss you."
A Harrowing Moment in the Friendship
"One of my friends was sliding down a railing that was next to a ground storm drain made of concrete. He slipped backwards and cracked his skull open. It was near midnight and we were pretty close to a hospital so I just kinda picked him up and ran."
"I hope I never see the inside of someone's head up close again."
"Edit: since people keep asking me if my friend is still alive, he is and is doing much better"
Empathizing With a Friend's Family Tragedy
"I was on a Skype call in 2014 with a friend I had met when I was at school in Japan. She casually brought up that she hadn't heard from her Dad in a couple of weeks after he went on a work trip to the Middle East. He was a journalist and this was when ISIS was at its height."
"A few months later a video of him being held hostage by ISIS was released on Facebook. After the Japanese government failed to co-ordinate an effect exchange agreement with the Turkish government in time, a video of him being beheaded was released."
"My friend later told me that she forced herself to watch the video."
A Friend's Crushing Mystery
"His girlfriend who he had a 3yo daughter with one day just grabbed everything and the kid and left for a different country, leaving no trace behind her."
"That was 15 years ago and my friend has been looking for his daughter non stop. He has a blog where he posts letters for her to find in case she ever Googles her name, but it points out that the mother changed her identity and the daughter's. I can't imagine how that feels."
But He Got Involved
"People who break into cars are generally not the kind of people with well-documented, traceable identities. They're at the bottom. And the good ones can get it done without leaving a meaningful trace, anyway."
"So they don't have much to lose and can get away with...anything."
"So if you're like my friend, and you see someone breaking into your car at 1am behind a strip mall with no cameras, you shouldn't get involved."
"But if you were my friend that night, you decide to confront the bastard. And you get stabbed to death."
"And there are no leads."
One Incident Provokes So Many Ripples
"He was helping an elderly couple with chores around the house to help support his new family. They had 2 adult children. They were both in town at the time."
"The son shot his sister, his parents, and then my friend & put the gun in his hand & pinned it all on him. Didn't take long to prove who done it, but not after his name was tarnished."
"There's a really good friend of mine that was driving his girlfriend at the time and got hit by a drunk driver."
"Only fatality of that accident was my friend's GF."
"It's been about 10-15 years and he still doesn't drive."
"That sh** destroyed him. He is still a happy dude but it isn't the same for real."
"It's hard to say what's the worst. I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma and many of my childhood friends have died well before their time."
"One of them was murdered execution style after a bad business deal surrounding a music video."
"Another forgot to put the parking brake on while making a quick repair on a derrick and it rolled back on him and crushed his head. "
"Another disappeared after a tour in Iraq, just called his wife to say he couldn't come home because he had murdered children."
"A lot of the ones that are still alive are in prison or in and out of rehab. I've gone through a few things that seemed awful but I've been very lucky to avoid the worst of it I think."
A Slew of Horrible Luck
"Where do I start? 7 concussions, partial body paralyzation, severe car crash (out of work/unable to drive for months), a couple seizures, 2nd degree burns falling face first into a fire.. I know there's more I'm forgetting."
"This all happened to the same guy in the span of like 4-5 years"
Just So Lucky
"A few winters back my friend was driving and merged uphill onto an interstate overpass. He hit a patch of black ice on the ramp and went into a skid. His truck ending up slamming parallel into the guard rail and he wasn't wearing his seat belt."
"He's a big dude, college football player at the time, and the force of the impact sent him clean through the driver door and off the overpass. He fell forty feet and landed on the highway below that he'd just left. Amazingly, no spinal or cerebral damage but basically the whole left side of his body was shattered."
"Pelvis, elbow, 5 ribs were all broken, huge hole in his diaphragm, torn urethra. He was in a bad way. 3 weeks of medically induced coma and 8 procedures later he pulled through."
"8 months after that the mad man made it back on the football field for his senior year of college, practically a cyborg at that point with all of the hardware in his body."
"Doctors are pretty sure he only lived because he was in such good shape at the time of the accident. He always wears his seatbelt now, as should you."
"He died of a seizure in the middle of the night. The worst part was he was going to see a neurologist the next day about his sudden onset of seizures."
Irreparable Side Effects
"My friend was found after not breathing for 10+ minutes. They got his heart started again and he lived for a few more years but he never walked or talked again." -- 099uyx
"I've been technically Dead twice from drowning.. like clinically dead. First when I was 5. Second when I was 8. (my parents aren't good people). Either way. I've been Dead twice. I wonder the brain damage I've got." -- Idahosausage
If You're Tired, Put it Out!
"He and his brother were away at college. His father fell asleep with a cigar in hand, and the house began to burn. So far as could be determined, the father woke, went to get his wife, carried her downstairs, and made it to within a couple feet of the door."
"They both died, and the house was destroyed."
"Brother in law beaten to death for a gang initiation at a church Christmas party. They left him under the sink to die."
"Little did those f***ers know this man is stubborn as hell and pulled through. Spent 3 months in a coma. Lost 70% of his brain function, as well as use of the right side of his body."
"Went from aspiring professional drummer/ hockey player to incapable of cutting his own steaks. Never lost his sense of humor or good looks!"
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