It’s hard to watch someone you know and love go through something horrible, or meet with a grisly and undeserved end. Harder even than imagining something similar happening to ourselves, sometimes.

These 13 people had the tough task of being there for people who were really dealt stinking hands, and may we all have friends like them if the sh%t goes down.

13. At least the ending isn’t so bad.

A friend of mine’s father dropped dead in the middle of her sister’s fifth birthday party. One minute eating cake and playing games, dead on the floor the next. It was a blood clot or an aneurysm.

After he died, her mom tried to get custody of the three kids. She was a terrible mom who had lost full custody years earlier. Thankfully tons of family were able to help out and her step mom, who is a fantastic person, finally got custody.

While dealing with all of this, she relied heavily on her high school boyfriend. He was then diagnosed with leukemia and was dead within 6 months of her father.

Thankfully she had a great therapist at the time (step mom paid for it even before dad passed to help deal with the trauma from her mom). She’s now in her early 30s and has become a therapist herself.

12. Thinking about house fires scares me.

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.

11. Thank goodness for quick thinkers.

My friend was in his senior year of high school. He was in the middle of class, and his heart just stopped I guess. He collapse and everyone just stared, frozen, unable to move to help him….

Except one guy. By the time it hit everyone else that they needed to do something, that kid had jumped out of his seat, ran down the hall, grabbed the AED, ran back, and put it on him. It worked.

My friend was air flighted to the hospital, where he did recover, but doctors still don’t know why it happened to him. If it hadn’t been for that one guy’s quick action, I don’t think my friend would still be here.

10. You truly never know.

Finished a workout at the gym and collapsed on his way out.

Brain aneurysm.

He was dead six days later.

9. I bet you never really get over it.

Me and my 3 other friends were long boarding down this highway and suddenly one of my friend crashed into a tree headfirst.

For some reason his helmet went off before impact, we managed to get him to a hospital as fast as possible.

He suffered ICH, went into a coma and died 2 hours later.

This happened 4 years ago.

May 28.

8. Ooh that lady needs to quit.

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 Fcking Brown told the family she was alive and being held on a boat against her will.

Still miss you, Julie.

7. Such a sad story.

I had 3 friends on the Alaska Airlines plane that crashed off San Diego.

edit because this got lots of response:

– Thanks all for the condolences

– Even worse, they were returning from a trip where two of them got engaged to each other

– It’s been so long that it was very matter of fact for me. I just remembered “oh yeah this was pretty bad” and added it to the list. At the time it certainly messed me up, though unfortunately other deaths had jaded me a bit.

– It took a while, but friends and I did fly Alaska again. Corruption at Alaska caused the crash, but there were also pilots for Alaska that fought their ass off to try to save everyone. Forgiveness (in a larger sense…fuck the individuals that signed off on the maintenance orders) is a better emotion to tie to their memories.

6. Hard to think about, as a parent.

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.

5. I wonder if he’s got bad bones.

He broke several bones as a child.

At age 9 he was hit by a car and shattered his pelvis, then in school on the first day of 5th grade he fell off the monkey bars and broke both arms in a gruesome manner.

4. Every parent’s worst nightmare.

One of my friends just lost her almost two year old child in a drowning accident.

She’s utterly devastated.

3. Trauma for days.

In high school a friend of mine was stopped at an intersection, when some lady rear ended him, she was messing with her phone and didn’t even slow down.

This pushed his vehicle through the intersection and pinned a girl waiting for the bus against a telephone pole, where she died.

2. This is extremely disturbing.

One of my friends raped my other friends 83 year old grandma for revenge. I wish I was making it up.

1. This seems like a major failure of mental healthcare.

A close friend, single mom with 3 kids, one of her kids was severely autistic.

He was setting really aggressive (he was 16ish) and she didn’t know what to do or how to control him.

She tried everything. He got worse. Eventually one day when the girls were gone, he raped and murdered her.

My heart is breaking and I hope the ones who are still around find happiness.

What could you add to this list? Tell us about it in the comments.