January is bleak. On Reddit, it sparked the question: "What is the saddest fact you know?"
It got us thinking, so we had a look for some of the saddest stories around, in addition to a few of the tales told on the forum.
Some are serious and truly heartbreaking, others just capture the little moments of despair nearly all of us feel every day. And at times, sometimes a lone photographs is enough.
Dalton TS, who's pictured cuddling a calf to prove his farmer roots, writes on Reddit:**
Grew up on a farm and raised cattle all my life. One of the saddest things I witnessed was when we had to put down a cow a few months after giving birth to a calf. When I walked back in the barn (we shot the mother about 50 feet away from the barn, unfortunately in sight of the calf), the calf had visible tears in it's eyes and running down it's cheeks. Since we had been bottle feeding it for a few weeks it was time to feed it and when I tried to give it the bottle, it wouldn't take the nipple of the bottle, almost like it didn't care anymore. I stayed outside with it for a few hours trying to get it to feed and really doing all I could to console it but no luck. I went back in my house and a few hours later I went outside to try again. The calf had died. Pretty sure it just lost it's will to live. Some people say animals can't experience emotion, I call bulls--t.
Mat Delano recalls on Quora:
Dunno if it's the 'saddest' thing I've ever seen, but yesterday I was standing at the grocery checkout behind an elderly lady with her little white dog sitting in the shopping basket… dressed in a pink and white ballerina outfit with a pink tutu! Pretty funny actually (but also somehow pretty tragic).
Anand Mishra says on Quora:
Once I was returning from Domino's after having a large pizza. I also had two beers that day. I had spent a total of 1,000 rupees (approximately 16 dollars). On my way back home I saw a man drinking the waste water coming out of a house. He was kneeling down and licking the water just like a dog drinks water. I felt really sad. I took him home, gave him fresh water and the dinner which I was supposed to eat during night. That was the only night when I was hungry as well as happy.
Children in Britain asking for a 'dad' for Christmas:
In 2012, a survey of 2,000 children found that the tenth most popular choice for a gift was a new dad.
"The saddest thing I carry with me", writes Summer in a story archive:
The saddest thing I carry with me is my own burden and the inability to love another. I had a fine childhood. I don’t know what is wrong with me. Every time I get involved in a relationship, I have to find means to eventually end it. I cannot make myself happy, and I bring all of my signficant others down. I sit and sulk in my own self derived pain. I am unable to create if I am not in pain. I’m not sure what is wrong with me. I have lost great loves. I have lost budding relationships that could have really been fulfilling. I have lost each one of these to gain nothing, to sit in sorrow and end each day alone.
This lost shoe:
Munninnu posts on Reddit:
Answering a distress call from her baby, a mother sloth was seen to sprint at 13ft per minute.
The story of Rosemary Kennedy, daughter of Joseph and Rose, who at 23 was strapped to an operating table and lobotomised. Sylvia Jukes Morris begins her WSJ review the tragic book:
The jacket cover of Kate Clifford Larson’s heartbreaking biography of Rosemary Kennedy presents a broadly smiling young woman with plump cheeks, straight teeth and dark curly hair beneath a jaunty hat. But her narrow, uncomprehending eyes become the most significant feature, once we learn that on the verge of womanhood this third born of Joseph and Rose Kennedy’s nine children had the mental capacity of a 9-year-old.
Marcia Peterson Buckie posts on Quora:
Earlier this year (six months previous), a man used up a considerable amount of savings to pay for a billboard advertising that his wife with dementia was missing. Apparently, she had wandered off. Everytime I drove by the sign my heart hurt. The sign has been up since February.
Nobody likes dropping their ice cream: