It’s hard to watch the people we love go through trauma – sometimes even harder than surviving something similar ourselves, to be honest. We feel what they’re feeling, and we want to be able to help.

Perhaps the worst of all is when there’s nothing you can do to help except be there, even if that’s better than nothing at all.

These 27 people are great friends who struggled watching their besties fight giant battles all on their own.

27. 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.

26. 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.

25. 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.

24. You truly never know.

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

Brain aneurysm.

He was dead six days later.

23. 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.

22. 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.

21. 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…f**k the individuals that signed off on the maintenance orders) is a better emotion to tie to their memories.

20. 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.

19. 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.

18. 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.

17. 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.

16. 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.

15. 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.

14. How could you not, I suppose.

My friend had another good friend of ours die in his arms after being shot three times from a drive-by. Even to this day (9 years later) he feels like the they were meant for him and lives with some guilt.

13. I really wish she hadn’t done that.

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.

12. We all hope that.

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.

Since people keep asking me if my friend is still alive, he is and is doing much better

11. When you don’t realize you’re just a little too late.

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.

10. Don’t play with guns, people.

I had a friend who I went through elementary school and middle schools with. He moved away in the middle of 7th grade and our friend group was heartbroken, but figured we’d see him again.

Last week, he was shot in the head by his friend who was showing him a gun and pointed it at him as a joke. He was 18.

9. This is all too common a tale.

Went swimming in a lake and got tangled in a bunch of weeds and drowned. RIP Dan.

8. Heartbreaking and senseless.

A friend in high school was hit by a car and dragged a couple of hundred yards before he died. The driver was drunk and on coke, it was 8AM when it happened, my friend was on his way to school.

7. I hope they caught the murderer.

A friend of mine was murdered, shot 14 times. He was left for dead on somewhat remote road. He was 15.

6. I hate unsolved murders.

Murdered by an unknown person.

There was some extremely shady s**t going on at the time.

They found her dead in bed with the front door wide open.

28 years on, I still miss her so much.

5. You hate to think she’s lucky, but…

My best friend was shot point blank in the head by her husband and then he killed himself. She survived with no long term damage.

4. Some things you can’t fix.

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 s**t destroyed him. He is still a happy dude but it isn’t the same for real.

Just. Broke.

3. I hope the surviving one can find peace.

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.

2. Best to argue at home.

A guy I know was driving home with his girlfriend after a party or club or something. She was drunk and they started arguing, so he pulled off so they could stop and talk and not be driving distracted.

She ended up getting out, took off down a road with no sidewalk, and got hit by a car. The argument itself was apparently super minor and the whole thing just wrecked him.

1. A true cautionary tale.

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.

Life is hard, y’all. Good friends make it better, so make sure to get yourself at least a few of those.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve watched a friend go through? Share with us in the comments!