They Had No Idea Their Lives Were About To Change Forever
“My brother-in-law passed away last week after a long illness. The kids were out of state visiting his parents when he took a turn for the worst and we knew he only had days left.
I had to call his family to tell them what was going on and that we needed the kids back as soon as possible to say goodbye. He wasn’t particularly close to his family, so I even told them if they weren’t going to come to the hospital to say goodbye, I would drive the seven hours each way to get the kids there so they could say goodbye.
His parents and sisters did end up bringing the kids (7 and 12 years old) to the hospital and got there about 2 am. However, they didn’t tell the kids why they had to come back unexpectedly and took away the 12-year-old’s phone so she couldn’t even call/text us to find out what was happening. They got to the hospital with the kids and the kids just thought their dad is sick again, which they were used to. I had to sit them both down and explain to them that he was dying, and likely only had a couple of days left.
It sucks to have to tell a kid that their dad is going to die in a few days. I stayed with the kids and my sister at the hospital until the end. I answered every question those kids had about what was happening, no matter how difficult it was.”
The Worst Punishment Imaginable Turned Out To Be What They Needed
“When I was a teenager, some friends and I made the stupid decision to check all the cars in the neighborhood to see if they were unlocked, and steal stuff inside if they were.
So we did this two nights in a row. I should mention it was Christmas night and Boxing Day. Well, the next day, my mom found some of the stuff and interrogated me until I broke and let it all out. She made me knock on the people’s doors that we had stolen things from and apologize/return the things we had taken.
I only had to do three houses.
At one, a woman’s 5/6-year-old kid answered the door. She seemed angry but forgiving at the same time and wasn’t about to freak out in front of her kid, so I got off easy on that one.
The second was a young man. He kinda laughed and said he didn’t expect to get it back. He didn’t seem mad at all and was thankful I gave it back. I was dying every second I was there, still.
The third was an older man and definitely the worst. He raised his voice/yelled, said how stupid it was (which was true), and threatened to call the cops and report it to teach me a lesson. Luckily, he didn’t do the last part. He just told me to eff off and not to do that crap again.
Looking back, even with that last guy, I was pretty lucky and it could have been a lot worse.
Those were by far the hardest things I’ve ever had to say to someone. The humiliation, the shame, the fear, the vulnerability, was indescribable. I am confident that it was the worst (or best) type of punishment that I could have received. It must have rewired my brain or something because, since that day, I have never done or thought about doing anything remotely similar to what I did then.”
“All In All, It Was The Hardest Day Of My Life”
“One early morning, I had to go to the emergency room because I was having unbearable pains in my stomach. After a few exams and questions, I found out I was pregnant. Not only that, I would be delivering the baby that day. I had what they called a concealed pregnancy. I had no belly, no symptoms, and had my period every month. They explained when this happens, the baby sits farther into the back so some women never feel movement or get big.
Here I was about to give birth and I had to call my boyfriend and tell him what was happening. We didn’t live together at the time, both still at home with our respective parents. We were only 22 and had no real life planned together. He was aware of the pains I was having the night before so when he groggily answered the phone that morning, I started bawling my eyes out as soon as I heard his voice. He said what’s wrong. I said I was at the hospital. Silence. I told him that I was pregnant. Silence. And I told him that I was having the baby that day.
‘What are you talking about?’ he asked.
I explained to him what they told me and he got dropped off shortly after and came into the room. I instantly started crying again when I saw him. My dad was also in the room and left us to talk. The next few minutes were the worst of my life.
He said, ‘You know we aren’t keeping this baby, right?’
I said, ‘What do you mean?’
He told me that we were too young and had no money. How could we raise a baby like that?
I told him that I needed him to leave so I could put all my energy into this baby because I already felt guilty enough going eight months without knowing. He left and I gave birth to a healthy six-pound baby boy. All in all, it was the hardest day of my life, the hardest conversation, hardest everything.
After about 5 months, my family could see I was struggling. My uncle and aunt, who were trying very hard to have kids but couldn’t, and approached me about adopting him with the assurance that I would always be in his life and he would know who I was. I agreed. He is 11 now and we are so close. He comes over almost every other weekend for sleepovers and we’re like one big happy family. It worked out perfect and I wouldn’t change it for anything. He has a great life that I, by myself, couldn’t have given him.
I am no longer with that guy.”
He Had To Say Goodbye To The Love Of His Life
“I had to have ‘the final talk’ with my wife when our doctors said there was nothing that could be done for her. Cancer had spread to her lungs, bones, and liver. I had to ask her how she wanted to go because they were going to put her on palliative care soon before the pain became unbearable. I needed to write down her final wishes and it felt like my heart broke when she told me she was sorry I was going to have to go solo from then on.
We were only married for two years, but we had been together for 16 years. We lived together for more than a decade, trying to build a home before I asked her the honor of marrying me. Her sickness had a genetic component to it as her dad had it too, so even though she didn’t smoke, she still got it.
I used to cry my heart out every time I remembered her last preachy moments. She told me that nachos and hot dogs weren’t real food and I should learn to cook. Now I just smile and realize how much she loved me. She was on her deathbed and she was thinking about me and my eating habits. She was something, you know? I wish we had more time, but it is what it is.
I’d hoped we’d grow old together, but that’s just how it is. She was my high school sweetheart and best friend, so we had a lot of memories. Not enough, but it’ll have to do until we’re reunited in the future.”
So Much Devastation
“My niece had a puppy that my dad was looking after while she was in school and to train it up for her. One afternoon, I went over to visit him and I saw my brother’s car outside. I walked in the front door and there my niece was on the floor, balling her eyes out. I looked at my dad and he had the puppy turned over in his hands trying to get the puppy to be responsive.
It turns out the puppy chewed through a fan cord as it was plugged in and running. Dad was asleep and only found out that this had happened because the fan had turned off.
He blew in the puppy’s face several times and it blinked its eyes, but it was not moving. We rushed him to the vet and they kept him overnight. Before my niece went to school, the vet called to say we could pick him up this evening as he would be just fine, he’d only suffered loss of vision in one eye. Three hours later, we received another call from the vet to tell us that the puppy, unfortunately, had passed unexpectedly.
I picked up my niece from school as she was eager and happy to go to the vet to pick up the puppy. I explained we had to go home first to get some money to pay for the vet visit. She understood. Once I pulled into the driveway, she looked at me and said, ‘I’ll wait here.’
She saw the look on my face after I said, ‘Let’s go inside,’ and she just knew that she had lost her puppy.
It was one of the worst moments of my life.”
He Was Like A Different Person When He Drank
“I had to tell one of my closest friends that we couldn’t be friends anymore because he violated another friend after drinking too much one night. He had no memory and was confused as to why we all stopped hanging out with him. It was a tough conversation.
It was a huge shock at first, and I’ll admit for a split second I did think: ‘No way he could do this,’ because I believed in him so much. But seeing my friend’s eyes as she told me (I was the first one she told as she told me the morning after), I just knew. It took a few months to learn to actually detach myself from him, but there’s absolutely no way I’d be friends with someone like that.
I asked her what she wanted to do. We’re all 21, in university, and it was during finals, so at the time, she said she just wanted to focus on school. I asked her after a bit and she said she just wanted to focus on her own life. It was pretty rough because we all were executives on a committee together, but it’s what she wanted. I’ve had my own experience with this and I know that I’d not want anyone to go to the police without my permission.
I still see him a lot and he’s dating someone I used to be friends with. There are some people who still talk to him because they just don’t know what happened and will never know. He’s one of those ‘really sweet awkward quiet’ guys until he drinks. I was upset when I told a friend from high school all this and she told me he had done similar acts when I’d invited her to go out with this other friend group. She’s like a sister to me, and again, she wanted to just move on. Nothing I can do other than supporting my friends and making sure they’re okay.
I don’t know how else I can act without crossing lines, but he was receptive to our conversation. He admitted that he had some foggy memories of something like that happening. He seemed dedicated to doing better, and since I don’t know him anymore, I can only hope.”
Not One, But Two Confessions
“I had to tell my parents I was HIV-positive and that I was gay in the same conversation. That was a pretty rough day. Although I will say I could have never have imagined the amount of support I received from both of them in that moment, and from then on, they were great parents. I love them both.
It started as a text, that turned into a phone call, then a face to face. But it kind of all came out at one time. I figured I’d put it all out on the table than trying to dance around the truth. In the end, I’m glad I told them everything.
This was during the summer of 2014, on the first day of the summer semester. It’s been a bumpy ride, but I’m in a much better place now. I’d be lying If I said it doesn’t still bother me often, the whole situation that is. I definitely get depressed, but I have a great partner and supportive family that don’t treat me any different, which is all I could ask for.
My parents said they had their suspicions, although I did a good job at hiding it from everyone else.”
She Wishes She Could Have Finished The Fight
“When I was 8 years old, I was violated but didn’t tell anyone for over a year. The friend who’s dad had done it was moving away, and they dropped me off at my house the day they left. My dad and my uncle asked me for hours what was wrong, but I kept saying it was just that my friend was moving, but then I finally broke down and told them about what he had done. It was really hard to do and even harder to keep having to tell police officers, lawyers, counselors, and judges for years afterward.
It was something that loomed over my head for years and almost took up a part of my personality because even I just thought of myself as the kid who got violated. It’s been liberating the last few years to realize that I’m far more than that.
The guy pretty much got a slap on the wrist. It could have been more, but my parents accepted a plea deal against my wishes. The lack of punishment has definitely been what has upset me for years about it. It had been about four years of court proceedings that took up a lot of my life and it was coming up to the big court case where I’d have to face him for my testimony, so they thought it’d be easier for me to not have to go through that.
I really wish that I had. It made it seem like everything else I did was for nothing.”
Honey, We Need To Talk
“I still remember telling my girlfriend about my herpes. I’ve never had a breakout and take Vacyclovyir every day. We were a couple months into dating and hadn’t had slept together yet.
Because so many girls had dropped me because of it, I was ready to be rejected. But actually, we were able to talk about it fairly openly. She’s in the medical field and knows a lot of intimate details. Though things ended up working out, it was hard working up the courage to tell her. My stomach was in a knot all the way leading up to it. But I’m so glad I said something. My life has been the better for it.
We’ve been together almost two years now. I love her so much. Rejection will happen. I totally understand it’s not easy for people to live with it. But stick by the one who does. If you can get through this together, there’s nothing you won’t be able to do.”
“His Whole World Collapsed”
“I had to inform my bed-bound grandfather that his son (my uncle) had died. He watched him leave the house with the paramedics and was reassured he would see him again. He didn’t.
When I told him, he just went, ‘Oh, no,’ and you could see that he felt like his whole world collapsed when he turned away.
At this point, he had now survived his wife and three of his children before passing away a few months later – I think losing his son was what made him ill.”
“Where Is Bucky?”
“I had to have my dad’s dog put down because it was suffering from cancer.
My dad had dementia and that dog was his best friend in the world. He asked me about once every 15-30 minutes, ‘Where is Bucky?’ and I had to watch his heart break for the first time all over again when I told him what happened.
This lasted for a few days until I just started lying and saying he was out for a walk. I wish I thought to do so from the start.”
The Hardest Part Of Being A Parent
“Last week, I had to tell my husband that we just found something seriously wrong with the baby I have been carrying for 25 weeks. Then I had to call my parents and tell them. It has been the most awful experience of my life.
Multiple anomalies were found in various locations, specifically her face, brain, and heart. So we were looking at some sort of genetic condition. And this was all found after a normal NIPT test and a seemingly normal anatomy scan. I don’t know how it wasn’t seen and we have been completely blindsided.
We named her. She will always be my third child, no matter the outcome. If we get pregnant again, no one will ever replace her.
I have to accept that this is real and we have to decide what will be best for her and our family.”
This Kind Of Discussion Is Never Easy
“My mother-in-law had been undergoing chemo for cancer and had just had her final treatment a couple of weeks prior. Our third child was just a few days old and had just gotten discharged from the hospital (after having been re-admitted). This was a few days before Thanksgiving. I had just gotten promoted to a new job. Lots of things happening at once. I got a call from my mother-in-law a couple of hours after my wife came home with the baby (I was home with the other two).
She asked me to go to another room, so I did, thinking it was about travel arrangements for them to come over the next day. Come to find out that my wife’s father had gone upstairs and shot himself after a heated argument with his brother about taking care of their parents who have Alzheimer’s (one diagnosed, the other one might as well be). The police were on the scene and taking statements. She asked me to tell my wife and her sister. His last words were, ‘I’m sorry.’
I went out, walked over to the room everybody was in and they were all happy and playing. It was the picture of bliss with everybody finally together after over a week of being at the hospital and just craziness. I asked the kids to go upstairs so I could talk to my wife alone and I told her what happened. I didn’t sugar-coat it because let’s face it, that’s not something that can be done. Even though this was a few years back, I won’t ever forget the cry she let out in shock and the tears that followed. I got in touch with her sister’s husband because I couldn’t get in touch with her directly and asked him to take care of that part. I called my parents and got the kids out of the house so I could start dealing with arrangements (travel, funeral, the works) all that night. I remember it like it was yesterday although it was a few years ago.
The next day I had to tell the kids, which was #2.”
“You Are Not Equipped To Help This Person”
“I broke up with my ex-girlfriend while she was in the psychiatric ward on a 72-hour hold. She was incredibly abusive and I had been planning to leave her that day no matter what, so even though I felt like the worst person in the world, I still went into her room and told her that I couldn’t do it anymore and that I was taking all my things and leaving.
Watching her rock back and forth crying in that white room while I said it was one of the worst feelings I’ve ever had. I’d almost certainly be dead now if I had stayed with her, but it was hard to say because I felt like such a horrible human being.
It took me so long to leave because she already beat and threatened to stab me almost every day when we were together, and I thought she’d kill me if I told her I was leaving. Doing it while she was there was safer for both of us.
I’m doing much better nowadays. I can’t believe how much I put up with for so long because honestly, I won’t take crap from anyone now. I’m sad that it happens to others, but it also feels nice to know that I’m not alone.
Something I saw when I was making my exit plan was a quote along the lines of: ‘Recognize that you are not equipped to help this person, you are not a mental health professional.’
That really helped me.”
Your Father Isn’t Coming Home
“I had to tell my wife her father had died.
I was at work and got a call from my in-laws’ neighbor. The neighbor wanted to let me know that my father-in-law, who had fairly advanced dementia, had been taken to the emergency room with a blood clot in his leg, but that he was awake and responsive when the ambulance took him away.
At the time, my wife and I lived in Dallas, Texas, and my in-laws lived in Austin. I should also note that my wife was adopted. In fact, when she was adopted my in-laws were told she was so malnourished, she would probably have extensive developmental issues, but that didn’t stop my in-laws from picking her and raising her and loving her unconditionally.
I called my wife to let her know I was coming to pick her up and that we needed to head to Austin. I told her what the neighbor told me, her dad had a blood clot in his leg, he was taken to the emergency room, but that he was awake and responsive. I hopped in the car for the 30-minute drive to pick up my wife. As soon as I pulled out of the parking garage, I got a call from the neighbor to let me know my father-in-law had passed, the blood clot had dislodged and migrated to his heart.
So I had the 30-minute drive to think about how, instead of heading to Austin to see her father who was awake and responsive, I was going to have to tell my wife that her father, whom she idolized, had just died.
It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to say to someone, ever.”
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