“But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.” —Khalil Gibran
Life is full of touching experiences. Some of them are small and some are big, but it is not the size of the experience that moves people, but rather its meaning. These experiences are often moving because of the grandiose emotion involved in them, which connect the personal with the universal. We can all find inspiration in being moved, and we can even find inspiration in the stories of other people who have been moved. So, with that in mind, here are some of the most emotional experiences that people have had and decided to share with the world via Reddit. The beauty is in the details.
24. Painful Childbirth
An experience for me, about ten months ago I had a beautiful baby boy who didn’t breathe for the first 23 minutes of his life. He spent the first two weeks of his life on a cooling bed with my wife so cut up in ICU that she never got to see him for the first 10 days. I will never forget that despair. Ever.
23. Called The Grand Canyon For A Reason
Visiting the Grand Canyon made me cry. I thought I knew what it would be like after a lifetime of TV specials, documentaries, etc. It is almost overwhelming in size and beauty and setting. Stunning.
The births of my babies and grandbabies. And now my first great grandbaby.
When my sister told me she was dying.
22. Simple Yet Beautiful
When I was around nine years old, during a rainstorm I shut myself in my parents’ car and just watched the drops hit the front window. It was the most relaxing and serene, almost surreal, experience. I guess because at nine you haven’t seen that many thunderstorms yet.
21. Moving Poetry
‘Though my soul may set in darkness / It will rise in perfect light. / For I have loved these stars too fondly / To be fearful of the night.” Sarah Williams, “The Old Astronomer.”
20. The Bob Ross Effect
One day when I was at my dad’s house alone there was a Bob Ross marathon on the TV. I’d never watched him until that day, but that day I sat there alone and watched him paint for hours and hours. I had never seen someone so calm and kind before in my life, and for the time I was sitting there watching him with no one else there to bother me, in some strange way I felt like I was with a longtime friend. It was probably the most calm I’ve ever been in my life.
19. Monumental Eclipse
The total solar eclipse last summer. My GF and I traveled to Oregon to see it. We were on the coast, in a town called Newport. Fog threatened in the morning, but it cleared up by 9:15, which was when the eclipse started. With the ocean at our backs we watched through eclipse glasses.
As totality approached, I looked back toward the ocean and I could see the shadow racing toward us. I removed my glasses as totality took. They call it the “diamond ring effect”; when the last bit of sunlight turns into a bright pinpoint “diamond,” and the circle of the corona makes up the rest of the ring.
There were maybe a dozen people around us, not nearly the crowd that had been anticipated (we heard a lot of people canceled plans when they heard that crowds would be huge).
People gasped. Birds stopped singing. The fog came back as the temperature dropped, but it didn’t interfere with the view.
About 90 seconds later, back came the diamond ring, and then the world brightened again.
I proposed to my GF immediately after, and we’re getting married next month. 🙂
18. Cologne Coincidence
The Cologne Cathedral. The moment I looked up and took in the enormity of the structure, I got a big ball in my throat and I wanted to cry. It was breathtaking.
I came home from that trip and began unpacking a box of old books my husband’s grandfather had given us. The first book I pulled out was a photographic history of WWII; I randomly opened to a page and there was the Cologne Cathedral. The cathedral appeared mostly untouched with everything around it completely leveled. I got all emotional again! Lovely coincidence.
17. Interesting Film Concept
The film After Life by Hirokazu Kore-eda.
The premise is that, in this version of the afterlife, people go to a temporary transit stop after death. They will meet a crew of filmmakers. The filmmakers will help them reconstruct an important memory in the form of a short film. As the person watches their short film, they will move on and continue only with that one memory, forgetting every other part of their life’s history.
A lot of the interviews with “deceased people” in the film are unscripted, and it’s beautiful to see them reminiscing about memories that mattered to them.
16. Musical Movements
I saw Ludovico Einaudi, the Italian composer, perform live in Dallas a few months ago. My brother and I have listened to him for well over a decade. We both cried during the same song. To see someone who has lifted our spirits, comforted us, and moved us with his music perform right in front of us was incredible. I can’t even describe it, it was such a great night.
15. Watching The Cancer Destroy
Watching my sister pass of cancer when I was 11. Going to her house every day with my aunt to take care of her and her little boy. Watching your best friend lose their mind to painkillers and chemotherapy. Ten years later I still have problems coping with it and processing it. I’ve taken a lot from it.
14. The Cosmos DNA
When Neil deGrasse Tyson in Cosmos was discussing DNA and how we’re all truly connected, it was like an epiphany moment and started me along a more spiritual path in life.
13. Shuttle Tears
Seeing the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center for the first time. I mostly grew up in Florida and spent many years there obsessed with the shuttle program. When you go to the exhibit, they show you a video and then go straight into a big reveal, with Atlantis’s nose suddenly so close to you—not ashamed to say I teared up.
12. Hold My Hand, Bro
One time I was returning from playing football and it was raining heavily that day. There was a section connecting the field to the road, made up of interlocking blocks, which was very slippery.
Halfway through it, I felt like if I continue I will fall and injure myself. So I told the guys to move on and I will catch up once I remove my studs, so everyone moved on.
At that time one of the guys who came to play with us for the first time reached out to me and said, “Bro don’t worry, hold my hand and cross this.”
Instantly I felt WOW, a simple thing like reaching out to someone in need, is huge. Maybe I was caught up in adult life so much that I was slowly stopping to accept/give some genuine care.
11. A Song of Difference
The song In My Mind by Amanda Palmer. I fought depression and anxiety as a teenager and in my early 20s. There was this image that I thought I had to meet to be a good person, otherwise, I’ll be a disappointment and a burden for the people I love and they’d stop loving me. The first time I heard this song was when I was starting getting better and I couldn’t listen to it without crying. I realized that I wasn’t alone with those thoughts and how silly my fears were.
10. Realizing A Friends Potential
This was actually a very recent experience. After switching colleges my Sophomore year, I was a part of the conference a very close friend of mine played college soccer in. As such, I would go out of my way to watch any of her games that were more out my direction these past few weeks (her college is 4 hours away so makes it difficult to catch home games).
And I had been talking to her earlier about exactly what it is she wants to do in life, and she is very dead-set on being able to play professional soccer once college is done. So much so that she really doesn’t want to plan for anything else. And I wasn’t exactly certain on how good she was (I’m not exactly up to date on girls college soccer nationwide), I just knew she was good enough to win a variety of accolades her freshman year and frankly I was gonna encourage her regardless of it being a longshot or not.
But come last Friday, she comes into town to play my college and unbeknownst to me, I sit in front of staff/officials/members/etc. of other colleges in the area. Throughout the game, probably half of their conversation revolves around just how good and special of a talent she was. And it went on and on all game with these guys. Even mentioning that she held some national accolade (national college soccer player of the month something like that).
It kinda hit me then and there that she actually could do it. So I basically spent the end of the game holding back happy tears, feeling really happy and proud for my friend.
9. Television Fictions As Life
A show about crimes interviewed a forensic artist who sculpted faces on skulls to assist in the identification of the victims. His expertise was in children. The interviewer asked if it ever got to him and he replied, “The day it doesn’t I’ll quit.”
Rooms of reflection for those that died in war or the Holocaust. In a Moscow museum, there is a room with a million(?) chain links with crystal tears hanging from the ceiling. It’s incredibly beautiful and then the number of chains, links, and tears are correlated to the number of lives lost.
Finally, my best friend’s mom ran into the wife of the neurosurgeon who saved my friend’s life after a car accident. BF’s Mom: “You won’t remember me, five years ago your husband…” “NS’s Wife: Oh! I remember him! I love it when my husband comes home and talks about the ones that live.” I was 19 and considering Med school to be a neurosurgeon. For a few reasons I decided not to, one was this very real example of the mortality rate of your ER patients.
8. Fireside Chats
Sitting at a campfire, listening to people talking softly, exchanging stories, or maybe people playing an instrument and singing, with high above us a sky full of stars. Not the few stars you can see from an average city, with all the light pollution blotting out all but the brightest, but the full expanse, Milky Way, some of the planets, and maybe a sliver of the moon…
7. Living A Film Memory
A few years back I watched a Japanese drama that involved a scene where one of the characters spoke about an experience where she watched fireflies (If you’re interested (Skip to 25:11)). It was a scene that I found entrancing and I dreamed of experiencing something similar.
Then, earlier this year I was in Japan for a few months and one night I was walking to the place I was staying at, and along the way I crossed a bridge and looked over to see thousands of fireflies by the creek. I walked around the bridge and down onto the river bank to get a closer look and ended up sitting there on the grass, mesmerized by the fireflies. I remembered the scene and cried out of happiness that I could experience something truly beautiful as well.
6. Learning About Your Father
I recently went on a day trip with my father, my husband, and my son.
My father showed me the house he lived in with his step-mother, who locked him in the basement until his grandmother was able to get him free and back to her house.
I cried a lot last night thinking of my father at five years old being locked in a dark basement for possibly days or weeks. My father is an awesome parent, a generous man, and one of the smartest and hard-working people I know. I can’t imagine anyone treating a child the way he was treated.
I gave my dad a huge hug today and thanked him for everything he’s done for me and our family.
5. Vicious Cycle That Is The Game of Thrones
Ellaria Sand begging Oberyn’s older daughters not to seek vengeance for him as she views The Mountain’s skull in A Feast For Crows.
“Oberyn wanted vengeance for Elia. Now the three of you want vengeance for him. I have four daughters, I remind you. Your sisters. My Elia is fourteen, almost a woman. Obella is twelve, on the brink of maidenhood. They worship you, as Dorea and Loreza worship them. If you should die, must El and Obella seek vengeance for you, then Dorea and Loree for them? Is that how it goes, round and round forever? I ask again, where does it end? I saw your father die. Here is his killer. Can I take a skull to bed with me, to give me comfort in the night? Will it make me laugh, write me songs, care for me when I am old and sick?”
Still the only scene in a book that brought tears to my eyes. She’s seen the person she cares for the most die and now faces an endless cycle of vengeance that would just leave her alone in the world without anyone to love and be loved by. And the people discussing this course of action are doing it with such passion, rushing to leave her and each other in her eyes.
Just makes the show’s version hurt so much more because I was really looking forward to this scene.
4. God Darn It, You’ve Got To Be Kind
I was never popular or unpopular growing up. I was very shy and just tried to be nice to everyone. There was a girl who was bullied and picked on a lot in middle school, but she wasn’t in our town for long. Years later, I believe in high school, I was at a community dance and she showed up. She looked familiar but I didn’t really know who she was. She came up and hugged me and thanked me for being one of the only kids she remembered who was nice to her, and told me how much it meant to her. Made me realize how much you can impact someone’s life without realizing it.
3. The Love of Parents
I recently graduated from high school, and finally got a job after struggling to find one. The job isn’t hard, and the pay isn’t good either, but it is a proper first job. I get my first paycheck, and I go into a supermarket to buy some things for my mom and dad as a thanks for letting me leech off them until now.
Now, I’m a rude, shameless idiot who doesn’t know how to be polite and always yells when I’m mad, disrespecting my parents and other bad stuff. It hits me when I’m in the supermarket that I don’t know what to buy at all, because I’m a son who only thinks of himself, and who doesn’t know what my mother or father actually like.
So I called my mom, asking what she wants since this is my first paycheck, so I can just burn the money away. I was thinking maybe mom wanted this bread, or that vegetable, or whatever your common neighborhood mom actually wants, and was prepared to buy it.
But she doesn’t.
She just told me, “Do whatever you want with your money, I don’t need anything. Your happiness is more than enough for me.”
I called dad, asking for anything he wants, he just replied with literally the same thing, “Don’t worry about giving me anything, just use your money as you see fit, I can buy myself anything.” (We are a middle-lower class household who barely have some leeway money).
I was struck, and came home riding on my cheap broken motorcycle crying like a little kid, and came back to hug my mother and father.
It was a small thing, maybe. But it was one of the most important things that moved me to tears. I realized that some of the nicest things in your life come from the most unexpected things.
2. Honor Dad Among The Landmines
My dad was a high ranked military guy (not in the US) and fell in war. His last fight was very high up on a mountain region and last year I wanted to visit the exact place with my dad’s best friend (who was there when my dad died) and a lot of other cousins and so on. So we drove like two hours off road, and then had to hike five hours to that exact spot and it wasn’t like some parks or so with directions or stuff like that, just raw nature. I was very cautious and annoyed everyone with saying that there might be landmines; everyone kept telling me that all of them were removed 20 years ago.
So we found the place, and my dad’s best friend explained everything to me, which was something that really moved me. I mean I know what happened but I could never imagine, now I can.
Then suddenly some weird guy came up with his massive wolf-looking dog and told us to be cautious because there was one landmine, and he showed it to us. We put some rocks around it and went all the way back and drove home. The next day, we went to the Police and told them that there was a landmine up there.
Next day: Army went up there, found like 2 dozen of landmines all over that place and told us that we’re lucky to be alive. That almost made me believe in God.
1. Learning To Be In A Relationship
My first relationship. Dating is something that never really interested me. I didn’t date at all when I was in school. For two years after graduation, I just sat at home. Then I got a my first job. Asking a girl out, getting a girlfriend, those are skills I neglected to acquire. A few months ago a coworker asked me out. We dated for about two months. The experience was eye-opening and made me really happy.
It hurt when it was over. Less than ideal circumstances leading to a less than ideal result. You can’t have a relationship if only one side wants to be in it. It was a lot of fun. It helped me out a lot. I am more confident, more vocal, more emotional. It made me realize that I had dug myself a hole and had been standing in it for quite some time. It made me realize what makes me happy; what I forgot made me truly happy.
I had to tell my friend who was really worried about how I was going to be when my relationship with my ex was over, “I wasn’t unhappy before her and I won’t be unhappy after her. I’ll just be sad for a little while. I was just really happy with her.” But that wasn’t quite accurate. The sky is bluer and the grass is greener. I still feel motivated to get stuff done even though it’s been more than a month since we broke up.