“I was supposed to speak at a conference at the World Trade Center on 9/11. My late husband has family and friends who live in NY and NJ. They were going to meet us at the WTC plaza so we could do the tourist thing after I finished my presentation. But, at the last minute, the conference organizers had a cancellation at an event in Houston and asked me to fill in there instead.
I will never forget the relief in my mother-in-law’s voice when she called to make sure that we didn’t make the trip to NYC or how that relief turned to fear and then to anger as other family members started reporting in. The cousin who was supposed to be our tour guide that day worked in the towers and he didn’t make it out. It’s hard to be relieved that you escaped a horrific death when you’re grieving for someone who didn’t.” – jhn107
“Hailed a cab in NYC about a year ago. Realized I left my wallet in the hotel room. Told him I’d be right back, he said that would be too long and took another customer.
When I came back out of the hotel I saw his taxi overturned halfway up the block. Turned out that a van driven by a drunk driver blew through a red and slammed the side of the taxi. Both the taxi driver and his customer died.
I wouldve been going in the same direction had I stayed in the cab.
Wouldn’t say I’ve changed much, but I was certainly more cautious in the weeks following the event.” – RME198
“I was young at my brothers baseball practice at an elementary school after hours. I was around six. My eleven year old sister takes me inside to use the bathroom. It’s dark we can’t find our way out. The only light comes from the principles office. We decide to ask her and walk towards the door feeling eerie. Just as we approach the handle my mom appears at the end of the hall asking why we’re taking so long. We leave and go home. Hear on the news that night the principle shot herself in the office at the same time we were in the school either before or after.
Edit: I was half asleep when I wrote this and thought no one would see it, yes principal. It was actually in Georgia. I heard she was stressed about her test scores. I don’t think I cheated death in this moment but I do believe it would’ve scarred my sister and I, or we could have miraculously saved her. What stuck with us is how eerie we both remember feeling. We were lost for about twenty minutes trying to find the right door to lead back to the ball field. We were scared to ask the principal for fear that she’d be upset we were in the school, and I kept insisting. It was such weird timing that we never made it inside. Very very sad story and for the kids around the town.” – Shellsteph
“I was leaving the mall after buying some clothes for a wedding I was attending and began to walk to my car, as I was getting into my car I realized I didnt buy a tie and had to go back in. I got out of my car and a small pickup truck slams into the back of my car and pushed it into the center of the parking lot aisle. the entirety of the back of my little Ford Focus was completely crushed and the guy inside died. Turns out he was drunk and was coming from the bar across the street to go into the mall for the foodcourt and hit my car.” – kindofafugitive
“I stayed in my car to listen to the end of the news on the radio after parking up. As I turned off the ignition someone speeding lost control of their car and skidded straight into the back of mine, driving it 4m forward and through the cars in front. Tore the back off mine and wrote off 2 other cars as well. I got a bit of whiplash and was rather dazed for a couple of days. The other driver was banned and charged with a string of driving offences.
If I hadn’t stopped to listen to the radio I’d have been halfway out of the car instead of restrained inside it. And the other driver would have had manslaughter added to the charges.” – aeon-lakes
“Not me, but a friend of mine.
She had a babysitter all set so her and her husband could have a night out. They lived right down the street from a nightclub and planned on going there to hear some live music and get some drinks. At the last minute, the babysitter cancelled and she couldn’t get a replacement, but she wasn’t really upset since it wasn’t a big to-do anyway.
The nightclub? The Station in Rhode Island. The night she was supposed to go was the night of the tragic fire that killed 100 people.” – its_a_cruelcruellife
“I was at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester and was planning to leave before the encore, out the main entrance like I usually do to miss the big crowds. However I decided to stay to the end of the concert because I’m quite a big fan of hers.
Fast forward three minutes to the end and a bomb went off at the entrance I was planning to leave through right at the end of the concert. Scary to think it could have been me. It sounds horribly narcissistic to think about that when I walked away unscathed while people lost their lives, but it’s still really messed me up even now a few months later thinking how I might not have been so lucky.” – TheHarrisonKaye
“Not me but my dad works for a pretty well known jet company as a flight test engineer. One weekend he was supposed to be working overtime but he called out to go to a wedding. That weekend, the jet he would’ve been test flying had a bad takeoff and crashed killing everyone on it. Needless to say, he no longer works in test flights.” – gxbcab
“Last minute, guy took my place on a patrol about to leave. I had been up for 3 straight days and was grateful.
Fast forward 8 minutes later, the patrol was hit by a VBIED (car bomb.) I’m not religious, but I prayed to whatever force that might listen for the rest of the guys to be okay, and I did that all the way until our plane touched down on American soil.” – tickleyourfrontbutt
“I was recently in Lima waiting in line to go on a bus tour to San cristobal when my dad decided that we didn’t wanna go there and instead went on the tour to Miraflores which is the richer part of Lima. That bus ended up falling down the hill killing at least 8 and injuring a lot. After that we went back home and thought about how our vacation could have ended drastically different. I had no clue what happened during the tour until the family in front kept getting calls and I heard them say that they were fine. Later the tour guide told us about the accident.” – Achurro
“Travelling around Europe on a topdeck tour, start to get very unwell (headaches, nausea, memory loss, muscle weakness) could not figure out what was wrong, all I knew was that i needed to get back to the UK to the family I had there so I could get help. Was in Poland and judged too sick to continue with the tour so I organise a flight to the UK. Taxi driver and hotel recpetion actually needs to physically carry me into the taxi to get there. Kind taxi driver gets out at the airport and finds a wheel chair and stays with me for a while. The flight admin say that due to the wheelchair I need to get on the plane via the wheel chair lift, I protest and say I can walk but they are adment. Get wheeled into the wheelchair lift but a mechanical failure means that the flight leaves and I am stuck in the lift/grounded as it was the last flight. Get put up in hotel by the airline that night, the receptionist at the hotel inquires about my illness and as they had some medical background they determined that a doctor should be called, it was Christmas eve so no one was around, so they took me to the emergency department. Was put into ICU for 2 and a half weeks after suffering two cerebral venous thrombosis (strokes). Would not be alive if i had gotten on that flight.
Did not change perspective on life, but it did give me an ability to understand that anything can happen. The experience also gave me massive psychological trauma, so… you win some you lose some.
TLDR; had strokes at 18 and am only alive today because of a mechanical failure delaying me getting on a flight.” – smartcookie321
“1996 Jerusalem, I was staying in a backpackers with a mate. We decided to leave and go to Tel Aviv to get a few weeks work in before taking a few weeks holiday. The night before we leave we have a big night and ask the person at the desk to wake us so we can catch the bus from Backpackers to the main bus depot to leave for Tel Aviv. We get woken up but because we are hungover we decide to sleep in. A Little while later we wake up hearing people cry, hop off the bunk and go to TV only to see that a suicide bomber blew up a bus on the same route we would have taken and most probably the same bus.” – Grrrr1977
“When I was in my teens, our family always used to go to the same place for groceries. Always the same day of the week, always the same time when our parents got home, always passing through the same spot to the parking hall when we were done.
Then we got a dog. The day we usually went shopping he had a vet’s appointment, so we postponed groceries. That day, right around the time we would have been passing through that usual spot to get to our car, someone detonated a bomb, killing and wounding several people.
I knew what would have happened to us without our dog who managed to save us simply by existing. I started crying, thinking how close it was. Later I’ve been thinking how many lives it affects when something like that happens – one second in one spot, and the lives of countless family members, friends, coworkers and acquaintances will never be quite the same again. And it’s not only the death. Many survivors were injured permanently and suffered for years because of it, maybe even today. It could happen anywhere, and it will. Again and again. One day I may not cheat death again and it will be my family that is affected.” – NightFellTooFast
“Was on a bus that had a major accident bit realized I had forgotten my keys so had to get off before it started driving, turned out there was a massive gasleak right above my seat and the top started burning and then exploded sending 3 people badly burnt to the hospital. So probably wouldn’t have died but would have a nasty burn. Didn’t change shit though, can’t go around being afraid of life.” – Keskekun
“Obligatory not me, but my grandma. My grandma and her husband (not my grandpa, more like step-grandpa) both worked at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. My grandma, already on vacation in Texas, decided to not drive the day she originally planned for and extended her leave one extra day – April 19, 1995. That was the day of the Oklahoma City Bombing. Unfortunately my step-granddad lost his life in that bombing, among many other people. I still remember my grandma on TV speaking on the tragedy and her story was even published in one of those Chicken Soup for the Soul books (I don’t remember which one). I’m thankful for my grandma still being here with us today but also saddened so many people lost their lives to a vicious terrorist attack. She’s become a more adventurous person in her life since and now travels wherever and whenever she can.” – torn-bonne
“A bit late to the party, but my fiancee (now wife) and I were shopping for a wedding ring for me. She took me to a store to show me her first choice with the option to go to another store directly opposite if I didn’t like it. Fortunately, I liked the ring a lot, and we ended up buying right away and going directly home after. Not twenty minutes after leaving the store, we heard on the radio that there had been a shootout between burglars and security guards at the jewellery store we ended up skipping. Several customers had been shot. Similar taste in wedding rings may have saved us that day.” – PM_ME_YOUR_CAT_LADY
“Not me, but my BIL. This was in 2015, He woke up in the morning, the day they were to fly into Ankara. He woke up with this strong feeling that they shouldn’t go. It was so strong that..they didn’t. That was the day that Ankara was bombed, I think outside the railway station? He believes it somehow saved them. My sister was 1 month pregnant att, so it adds even more terrifying dimensions to his hunch. Everyone was so so glad he cancelled their trip.” – LoveBull
“I was in Charlottesville and nearly missed getting killed or injured by the car that murdered Heather Heyer because I stopped to take a picture. I got to Cville late in the morning. I parked far away and heard the protest had been broken up and there was violence so I decided to walk down Water St. And stay away from the park where the statue is. As I was walking East on Water St. I ran into a very large group of counter protesters who were cheering etc… I decided I was going to turn the corner at 4th St. And go up to the pedestrian mall. Right as I got to the corner a feeling just made me turn around to look behind me. This older black lady was standing quite a ways behind me just looking at me smiling. I don’t know why my eyes picked her out in that big crowd. She had a shirt on that said Virginia defenders for Freedom. There was something about how happy her face was so I turned around and walked back towards her to get a picture. In doing so I walked out of harms way, because literally as soon as I clicked the picture the vehicle driven by that crazy asshat hit everyone and the two cars he slammed into wound up right where I had been standing.” – GQW9GFO