Sooner or later, all of us will face our worst fears: death of a loved one, illness, bankruptcy... but if we have support, perhaps getting through these challenges will be easier. Regardless, the hardest things in life start with a chat- a really difficult chat.
FrenchFriesOnMars asked: [Serious] What's the hardest conversation you've ever had to have?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
Dad wasn't ready.
Talking to my dad while on life support, looking into his eyes and telling him that his son is grown up and that it's okay if he has to leave. All this while his fingers and feet were becoming dry gangrenous husks.
He lived. I sometimes wish he hadn't. Just so he wouldn't have to live as he does now.
So, my father has Multiple Sclerosis. Because of this, he also has a real sh*t immune system. The flu in 2017 killed a few people, maimed some others. Especially since he has not had a flu shot in years.
Telling a student they didn't graduate because they failed their resit, even though both the exam and the resit should have been a no-brainer for them. Then hearing that in the week between the exam and the resit, first her parents told her they were getting divorced (probably thinking she passed so not a bad time per se) and then, two days later, her mom found out that she has breast cancer.
I'm vehemently opposed to touching students, but I offered that girl a hug...
My wife tried to kill herself a few years ago. She had called me and explained what she was doing. The hardest part was trying to remain calm and tell a police officer where I thought she'd be. It took every ounce of my self control to stay calm and give him a break down of where she would be. Then I called my mother and immediately lost it.
She is fine now. 5 years sober, adequately diagnosed, and correctly medicated.
Trying to explain accidental death to a toddler.
When I was young I worked as a lifeguard in the summers, and had taught most of my nieces and nephews to swim.
A few years later my younger brother drowned during a whitewater rafting trip on the Snake River, and it took three days before they recovered the body.
I had to explain to his three year old daughter that I couldn't find her daddy, while she held full faith that I could swim well enough to go get him and bring him home. The hardest part was that she kept bringing it up over and over, because she just couldn't wrap her toddler mind around losing him. Over and over she kept begging me to just try.
She's an adult now and doesn't remember those three awful days. I won't ever forget them.
I did a 2 year stint in grief counseling and occasionally would have to speak to a child. I was always told it gets easier... it never did.
Nothing made me feel more cruel than trying to bestow the reality of a situation like death on a young child because their parent is too distraught to to do so.
I lasted 6 months counseling children before I told them to remove me from the youth list. I still have nightmares about it every so often.
Telling my daughter her father had committed suicide.
Pretty sure this is the worst one possible, especially if both were young.
I'm so sorry. I have a young daughter and I couldn't imagine telling her such news.
Patton Oswalt had a bit in a Netflix comedy special where he discussed his first wife's sudden death. He said the worst part was telling their young daughter that her mom was gone. I don't think you can ever be prepared to do something like that.
When the other woman texts you.
When a girl messaged me that my ex, who I loved a lot, was cheating on me and attempting to hook up with her and I had to confront him with the messages.
He just immediately went into panic mode denying everything and trying everything to prove it was a lie, including texting the girl to apologize to me to which she chastised him for not just owning up to it. That's when I knew it wasn't her just trying to sabotage sh*t because if that was her goal, I feel like she would have tried to get with him but she didn't. She was just telling me girl-to-girl what was going on behind my back.
That threw him into another panic which quickly turned into a straight faced, "You know what, I can't believe you. If you loved me you'd trust me."
After that, sh*t just broke apart one by one and his true colors came out and I had to face that the past year of my life was completely a lie and he never loved me, which just hurts even today.
Props to the other girl tho. She did you a solid telling you your BF was a POS.
Two relationships ruined.
That cliche conversation where I found out my ex-wife was cheating on me with my best friend. She was all I had ever known and each little detail broke my heart more.
The worst part isn't even the act itself. The worst part is that they don't end the relationship before cheating.
Okay, you'd rather be with someone else. That's fine. So break up and then go with that other person. It will hurt, but at least you haven't done wrong by me.
But cheaters don't do this. They're either cowards or they are just using you. Like they want to live a double life so that they can reap benefits from both: financial security and social standing from their marriage and then sex from the second relationship.
It's the incredible selfishness that really bothers me.
Sorry, you stink.
I had to tell one of my most productive employees that they had body odour so bad people were quitting because it... twice.
I was 24 at the time. It was awkward as f*ck but we fixed the issue.
lmao. At my old job I had a buddy who was tasked to do this. He did it in the worst way I can possibly imagine.
He told the dude to meet him at his desk close to the end of the work day. The problem with that is my desk was very close by, and I was right there, witnessing the whole thing while trying to pretend to be busy.
Then, when he was delivering the feedback, my buddy couldn't keep a straight face. Partly because he and the smelly guy always joked around together and my buddy couldn't separate that relationship from the professional.
Basically the smelly guy sat down, and my buddy proceeded to crack up for a moment before getting serious. The smelly guy got really concerned once he realized it was a serious conversation.
My buddy started by saying "Well.....basically.....you're quite.........aromatic", which only led to confusion. Then he tried another route, he asked "let me put it this way......how often do you shower?". The smelly guy was getting so embarrassed and I was like 8 feet away. Finally he had to say it directly because his attempts were not successful. He said "you smell bad, so.....let's try to improve that okay?". I thought the smelly guy was gonna cry.
It was a trainwreck of a conversation
Having to ask for help is never easy.
Telling my parents I was a drug addict and needed help.
You good now?
Yeah I'm in recovery, clean for just over a year. Family were super supportive which helps....I take it you've had a similar experience?
There was a moment like this in my family, almost 40 years ago now. It was the best decision that the affected person made. She recovered, suffered from a different addiction later but made it through recovery again. Her child who was born during this period turned out fine, too. Today she's a loving grandmother. I wish you the best of luck, too.
Get your radon levels checked.
When my dad told me he had stage 4 lung cancer and then I had to have the same conversation with my mom a year later. Turns out there was radiation in our old house! Luckily, they are both still fighting.
Radiation? Have they found the cause?
Probably radon gas. It's very common in some areas. It's scary, but you can buy test kits to see if it's present. If it is, there are filtration systems you can buy to lessen the amount or flat out eliminate it.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.