Your parents are the ones you are meant to depend on to make you feel safe and reassure you in times of uncertainty. As a result, for them to conjure a strong feeling of doubt is an especially terrifying thought.
Perhaps it is some biological link that sets off one's instincts to sense that something may be wrong with a parent. People who claim to have experienced such a premonition took to Reddit to share the story. These are moments in which a person had an uncomfortable gut feeling in regards to a parent and turned out to be right. Content has been edited for clarity.
A Less Than Merry Christmas
“I was home from my freshman year of college for Christmas. The vibe in the house had been really strange and tense since I got back. On Christmas morning, my mom gave my dad a really heartfelt, personalized present. My dad gave my mom an expensive, but generic-looking, bracelet with some diamonds in it. She started openly weeping. Something was not right.
He told us he was leaving the next day and moved out immediately, into the house of the coworker he had been sleeping with. It was not a good time.
My mom spent a long time very depressed and not sure what to do with her life. I was angry for a long time and my younger siblings were angrier for longer. My mother is doing great on her own now and dad is happily married to said co-worker. He is way happier than he ever was with my mom. There are still some lasting bad feelings, but we’re all pretty good.”
Where Was Mom?
“I came home to find that my mom had, supposedly, gone out for a walk. My little brother was worried that she had not come back yet. I noticed her keys were still there. I had a sinking feeling something was not right. Why would she not take her keys?
It turned out that she had not gone for a walk. She locked herself in a back room in our guesthouse thing that can only be locked from the inside. She had taken a whole heap of pills to kill herself. She was found dressed in her wedding dress. My parents had just divorced.
Thankfully, she survived. This was over 15 years ago, but it still haunts us. Since then, she once said to me that she wished she had reached out to someone before she did it. She wished she had taken a chance for help because she could have easily have died. When it came down to it and she was drifting to sleep, she didn’t want to die anymore. She just wanted to hug her kids. But it could have been too late.”
His Dad Said He Would Be Fine
“My brother and dad lived in a different state and my brother was in the hospital recovering from an accident. My first weird feeling was when I was booking the flight to see him and I was considering cancellation insurance. What if something happens to my dad and I have to fly out sooner? I thought. I shrugged it off. My dad was doing fine.
Two weeks later, my brother told me that my dad was visiting and went home early because he had evidently caught something and wasn’t feeling well. I got a really bad feeling and called him. It went to voicemail. He did say he was going to bed early and it was about bedtime for him anyway. I said on that voicemail recorder that I heard he wasn’t feeling well and wanted to check in, and that I really, really loved him. I felt weird, but my dad would have been royally peeved if I called 911 to his house because he was under the weather. I decided to sleep it off and wait until the morning.
Morning came. I heard nothing from him. My brother sent his friend over to the house. My dad did not answer, so he went into the house. My dad passed from a heart attack, according to the coroner. It didn’t sound like anyone could have helped even if they had found him right after it happened. The coroner said, ‘It seemed sudden and not like he suffered at all.’ If nothing had happened yet, he probably would have sent them away anyway because of his ‘I’ll be fine’ attitude.
I wish I had called 911. It just didn’t seem that serious and I have a penchant for overreacting. The last thing he told my brother was, ‘I’ll be fine. I’m just going to bed.’ The thing that got me was the voicemail. I looked through his messages and mine was read. I know he listened to that voicemail. One of the last things he heard was me telling him I loved him. I am grateful for that.”
A Call For Help In The Dark
“I was 16, a junior in high school. My mom had a bad substance abuse problem. My dad was away at a conference elsewhere in the country. My brother and I, who was 19 at the time, we were used to being on our own in these situations.
That week was the coldest in years, commonly getting to negative degrees, and I was walking to and from school every day. I had an event going on one night at my high school a few blocks away that was telling us and our parents about the college application process. I, of course, went alone with Dad gone and Mom blackout wasted. About halfway through the event, my friend said that if I stayed until the end, his parent would be able to give me a ride home. It sounded nice since I didn’t particularly want to walk home in sub-zero degree weather. However, I had this feeling that I should walk home. So, I did.
There were two routes I could take. I normally took one route, but something in my gut said, You should really take this other route tonight. So, I took the path less traveled. About halfway down that street, I heard a yell. I, initially, thought it was just a mom calling for her kid to come inside or something, but as I got closer it sounded more like a ‘Help!’ but I still couldn’t quite tell. Then, all of the sudden, it just stopped.
I was very unsure what to do. I almost went down a side street and went home a different way, but something told me I should go look around where it came from. This is how horror movies typically start, I know.
I walked over to where I thought it was coming from. I looked down into a small ditch on the side of the road to see my mom lying there, unconscious and completely frozen. No one else heard her, no one else found her. I, of course, called 911 and she ended up being fine after a few days in the hospital. If I had not chosen to walk home, if I had not chosen to take that specific route, if I had not decided to go investigate the noise that I couldn’t quite understand at 10 pm in the freezing cold, my mother would have died.”
His Father Would Not Open The Door
“My dad and I had an argument one night when he was bringing me home from the hospital. He was acting erratic and out of it. He got so angry over a minor disagreement that he dropped me off on the side of the road and drove away home. I remember how freaking shocked I was that he did this to me after just getting out of the hospital. I knew something was wrong with him.
It took me hours to get to my neighborhood. I walked around for another hour before going inside because I was so upset that he had abandoned me. Even though it was not my fault, I decided to go home and apologize, because I had that nagging feeling something was wrong. When I finally went inside, I could hear his music in his office room blasting extremely loud. It was almost two in the morning.
I knocked on his door and it was locked. My alarm bells started ringing even louder. He told me he was sorry for everything he had done. That was when I finally knew what he was trying to do. I screamed for my sister and her boyfriend at the time, who was spending the night, woke up and knocked the door down.
I will never forget opening that door and seeing my dad standing there with blood dripping down his head onto the ground in a puddle from a self-inflicted stab wound and a loaded weapon that he was in the process of taping to his hand. He was obviously on something and out of it. There were a ton of empty pill bottles he had used to overdose on. He pointed the weapon at us by mistake. We had to have police come and subdue him. We were ushered outside by SWAT. I remember running outside with my hands over my ears because I was so terrified of hearing him kill himself.
That night, the weapon was shot twice. I’ll never forget having to hear it go off. It all seemed to happen in slow motion. Thankfully, it malfunctioned and shot through the window. Apparently, he had been on coke when he was driving me home, got upset over our argument, had more coke, and then decided to kill himself.
If I had waited any later to come home, he would have been dead. If I had come home too early, I would have been sleeping and he would have killed himself.
He was hospitalized and forced to stay there for a month while they evaluated and fixed his medications. We didn’t speak for a whole year after it happened because he blamed me for his suicide attempt and kicked me out on the streets. We’re doing a lot better now, though, and we’ve been going to therapy to work through things, including how to handle the next stages of his health. He suffers from a genetic brain disease that causes a lot of emotional instability and was one of the reasons he had his break down. Since then, I never doubt my gut instincts anymore.”
A Heartfelt Reminder
“When I was 8 years old and heading out for school, my dad stopped me, gave me a hug, and told that he loved me. This was not something he would usually do, at least in that way. I had a weird feeling the whole day. I remember drawing a picture for him at school.
When I got home, police were everywhere and my mom and some neighbors found me and told that he had killed himself. I later found out that it was because he had been diagnosed with ALS. The picture I drew that day was buried with him.
It really did mess up my family. My little brother and I got taken away from home a few years later because my mom became mentally ill. Life has been tough. I often wonder how it would have been if he was still here and I miss him greatly…but I sort of already ‘forgave’ him for leaving. I wouldn’t wish that disease on my worst enemy.”
Something Felt Wrong In His Mother’s Video Store
“My mom owned a video rental store back in the 1980s. I was in Kindergarten at the time, so I got out of school at 12 pm instead of 3:30. I would eat lunch in the back room where all of the VHS tapes were stored. I started feeling weird in my stomach and felt like I was going to panic. I set my lunch down and ran out of the storage room to go find my mom. I ran through the store and into a hallway where my mom’s main office was at. Some big, scary dude had her pinned to the ground and was trying to assault her. Apparently, he had come to rob the place and then decided to have a go with my mom.
He saw me and stood up. My mom tried to get past him to get me. The guy got to me first and grabbed me and started carrying me out of the store. We didn’t have a whole lot of money stored at the store at the time because of how early it was. The guy was upset about this and said he was going to kidnap me if my mom didn’t get him more money.
My mom’s eyes glowed with a hatred of fire and she lunged at the dude and grabbed me. The dude and my mom then had a tug war match with me. My mom totally overpowered the guy and ripped me free and ran out of the store at lightning speed. We hid in another store that a neighbor worked at and they called the police. The guy ended up stealing all the money that was there and got away. Later on, he ended up murdering somebody. He was finally caught and is currently in prison.
The incident ended up causing me to trust women more than men and I have always had a more admiring view of females. I don’t really think about the incident much, but to this day, it still affects how I interact with people. For a long time, I was afraid to be alone if I wasn’t at my own house. I was terrified to use the bathroom at other places. I had nightmares about being kidnapped. It was my worst fear for quite a while.
In high school, I ended up becoming really good friends with this girl whom I later found out was the scary dude’s daughter. I never told her about the robbery.”
Skype Talks With The Family Raises Suspicions
“The last two months before I came home from college, my dad had stopped speaking to me on Skype, almost entirely. At first, I put it down to him not wanting to speak with me. Then, the day I came back, my mother came up to me.
‘Let’s sit down,’ she said. ‘I have to tell you something.’
‘Do you have cancer?’ I asked.
She did. It was in her thyroid and treatable. The treatment worked, we think. They’d known for a while but decided not to tell me yet (I was going through some bad times). My dad is…bad at lying. And at talking to people.”
He Felt He Needed To Rekindle His Relationship With His Father
“For two years, I had been having this feeling that my mother or father were about to pass away. As the days got closer and closer to the new year, I decided to act on those fears.
At the time, I was living and working overseas and had a very bad relationship with my father. My sister also had an even worse relationship with him. Around this time the previous year, I moved back to the US to make an attempt at mending our relationship and to work hard to get my sister on board. That feeling of dread that I would never talk to him again kept getting stronger and stronger.
Eventually, we all did become closer. My father remarried at the age of 65. I could not attend the wedding, but my sister did. For a second, I kind of felt that, maybe, I was just acting on weird impulses. I talked to him right before his honeymoon to Jamaica. He sounded excited and as giddy as a kid, mostly because he had NEVER traveled outside the US and was deathly afraid of airplanes.
That was the last time I talked to him. He passed away two weeks later to unknown causes.
When my father passed, my sister saw it as a major revelation. She knew she dodged a bullet of guilt from the 8+ years of ignoring him and keeping him out of her life and has since committed herself to keep stronger family ties.”
Something Told Him To Come Home
“When I was little, no more that or 8, my cousin who lived 30 minutes away was my best friend. Our parents used to meet up at my grandmother’s house every week just so that we could play together. Occasionally, I would go on sleepovers to her house. One weekend when I was staying over with them, it was coming up to bed time and I had a really weird feeling and just wanted to go home. I was crying hysterically. My uncle brought me home.
It would be a long time before I found out that my dad had planned on leaving my mother that night. When I called them crying, saying that I wanted ‘Mammy and Daddy,’ he changed his mind. My mother does not know this, nor do any of my siblings. My dad told me one night while we were out at a bar and he was wasted.
My parents are doing OK today. My mother hasn’t worked in a few years and doesn’t really do much other than sit on a computer playing Facebook games. While this annoys my dad to no end, he does still seem to love her.”
They Were Right To Cut Their Day Plans Short
“When I was 11, my family and I moved to a new city. One Sunday, we were planning on hitting up some local places. Then, we planned on going to the skating rink and, possibly, a movie. My stepdad wanted to watch the game that was on TV, so it was just me, my mom, and my little brother that day. We hit a couple stores, but we lost our steam pretty early on. I felt simultaneously lethargic and jittery and my brother was complaining about a headache, which he absolutely never got.
We got to the skating rink and it was closed that day. My mom asked if we still wanted to catch a movie. My brother and I both came clean about how sick we both felt, and wanted to go home. My mom admitted she was relieved because she, too, wasn’t feeling the best.
We all went home and retreated to our respective rooms. I had my headphones on while I was trying to do my math homework and failed to ignore that weird feeling in my stomach and chest. A little under an hour after we had come home, I heard yelling. I took off my headphones and heard my mom screaming my stepdad’s name and alternately calling mine.
I ran out of my room and my mom was standing over my stepdad. He was laying in their bed and was – I don’t know how to describe it, other than seizing, sort of. His body was trembling pretty violently and his eyes were rolled back into his head. There was vomit dribbling down his chin. We called 911 and he was taken away in an ambulance. A bit later, my mom came home from the hospital to tell us that he had a brain aneurysm and passed away.
Being home may not have saved his life, but had we kept to our original plans, we would have come home to find him dead already. As traumatic as that scene was to witness (I still occasionally have nightmares even 15 years later), I think it would have haunted me more to know that he would have had to go through those last horrifying minutes completely alone. At least his last hour of life before the pain and fear and whatever else set in was spent with his family close by. I try to find comfort in that.”
His Day Felt Too Good To Be True
“My pregnant mom was picking my sister and me up from school, as usual. We lived in a one bedroom home with Mom, Dad, and my older sister in a rough neighborhood. We were walking home together. My sister was happy as a clam, while Mom was silent, but calm. I was happy too, because I wasn’t bullied that day and I was just selected as the hall monitor. Being a six-year-old with autism, I would soon learn that no one respected the badge. I felt like the day was just too normal and good to be true.
I started having a panic attack 200 feet from the house because things were just so different. I really cannot explain why, but I just felt weird. After calming me down, my mom carried me on her hip as I hugged her tightly to the house. She fudged with her keys, opened the door, and we went inside. I was still held by this goddess of a pregnant lady, whose calmness I will never understand, as we went to the kitchen table top to leave the keys. A note was there.
This was the only time I ever regretted knowing how to read. My mom, holding me with one arm on her side, picked it up so we could both see. Then, she set it down, brought me to the couch, and tucked me in for sleep. At 3 pm. But I obliged, for I knew what was coming: one of the single greatest panic attacks of my life. I knew too much at that age to not react any other way. The house always had its fights and shouting. I wasn’t an innocent kid who didn’t know what was going on.
For the next four hours, she tried to calm me down, take care of me, make me feel better. I have no idea how she kept her composure, but I did remember hearing her sob later that night.
On the note were the words, ‘I’m leaving for good. It’s just too much. You are too much, and that kid is too much. Don’t bother, I am never coming back. Check on the bed for $1,000. Goodbye.’ My addict, poor excuse of a father left my six-months-pregnant mother and her two kids.”
“I’ll Miss You, Mom”
“I always had a feeling my mom was going to die. When I was in elementary school, I would often lay awake at night and think about her dying and how I would tell my classmates and friends. I was never wishing for her death. I was just being a weird kid and playing out scenarios in my head. I even wrote her a Mother’s Day card in the fourth grade which, at the end, ‘I’ll miss you, Mom. I love you.’ I remember her reading it and laughing, telling me she’d be around for a long time. She asked me why I wrote it and I said something along the lines of, ‘I’m afraid you’ll die.’
By the time I was 13, my mom had been in and out of the hospital for various surgeries. She had colon cancer. I basically watched her deteriorate in a year. It was honestly awful. She would go into the hospital and tell me she would be out in a week. Then, two weeks. Then, ‘Soon. I’ll be out soon.’ I stayed with my dad and stepmom while she was there. She was transferred to a hospice, but I was so young I had no idea what that meant. I believed her when she said she’d be home soon. I had to have my friend whose mom was a nurse tell me that hospices were where people who had five months or less to live went. She died on January 13, 2007.
I was not sad when it happened. I cried the night she died because I was there and got to say goodbye, but she died on a Saturday and I went to school that Monday. My family said I didn’t have to go and I insisted on going. I was just sort of numb to the whole thing. Thinking back on my middle school years, I don’t remember much. I blocked a lot of that time period out. My pain started maybe two years later and her death is very painful for me now.
I’m 24 now and I miss her more than anything. I wish I could go back and act differently, but I was so young and had no idea what was happening to her. I think it was best that she died when I was young. Sometimes I imagine her dying when I was in my twenties, and I think my soul would have shattered. For years, and sometimes to this day, I thought I willed her death to happen. I never wanted it. It was just a very weird experience that has followed me my entire life.”
He Foresaw A Year Of Great Change
“It all started with a psychedelic trip on New Year’s Eve, if you can believe it. My whole sense of reality has been thrown off since my feelings started becoming reality. That year was a big one for me. Since January of that year, I had a strong feeling that one, if not both, of my parents would die that year and that this year was would one of great change. I found myself, often in the shower for whatever reason, practicing eulogies for both of them.
I brought it up to my dad. He convinced me to think less on it. In March, my mom started acting very aloof, almost lost at points. She would spend hours in the bathroom. It turned out that she had Stage 4 brain cancer, which we found out about in April. She slowly slipped away throughout the summer and finally passed away in August.
Two weeks later, my dad’s brother had massive strokes and died as well. In the midst of this, my dad was also working hard to sell his 20-year-old company, which he managed to do before Mom passed. On his first day of retirement, he started having heart attacks and got a stent that failed a couple weeks later and sent him in to get a double bypass surgery, which had he made it out of.
A week before my mom’s service, my girlfriend of four years whom I would have spent my life with, dumped me because the pressure between us had gotten too much. When she left, one of the most haunting parts was how it all came true. I wondered if I hadn’t had the ‘premonition,’ would things have been harder or easier? Apparently, a punch hurts less if you don’t know it’s coming. But at the same time, I wasn’t nearly as emotional as everyone else in my family while it was going on. I felt separated because I saw it coming. Then, it became just me and my dog, living across the country from everyone I know.
The whole thing left me with more questions than answers. Before it, I was in the ‘optimistic nihilist’ camp. My reality had been flipped. Now, I question just about everything with little or no answer. I feel like I need a Yoda in my life.”