There is nothing as disheartening as seeing a loved one moments before they pass away. Their memory haunts you forever as do those last few minutes you had with them. Though not as tragic as the death of a loved one, the death of a known public figure sometimes has the same chilling effects. Many of us live through the eyes of these public figures whether in a positive or negative light, and once they are gone somehow a void is created. Even if that figure is not known, pictures of individuals who perished during a disaster always leaves a chill down your spine as it helps you think about the unimaginable. Perhaps it's because we all see a little of ourselves in others, thinking if this can happen to us.
The article contains images from a variety of personalities from those that died tragically young, to those that could not take back the one dumb moment, that many of us have been guilty of. Some people are just downright cruel and seeing them in their final moments can elicit emotions of joy in some, and pain in others. Many were in the wrong place at the wrong time not knowing what awaited them moments later. Some passed away as an indirect result of the very people that took these photos which we all clamor to see. The biggest effect from these photos is the notion that one minute you're here and the next minute you can instantly be gone.
17 John and Jackie Knill
16 Lady Diana
15 Michael Jackson
On June 25, 2009, probably the most popular musician of our time was seen here being rushed to the hospital after he suddenly collapsed and stopped breathing. He died at the hospital about an hour after this picture was taken. What is even more amazing is that TMZ was the first organization to be on the scene. Considering how quickly the events unfolded, how is it possible to find out what is going on and to be there faster than the ambulances? The legend had 13 Grammy awards and sold over 750 million records. An amount so staggering, it is at least 15 times higher than even today's mega pop stars. Perhaps it is this level of success that had the media portraying him as a freak and an outsider. Despite his image, the man was a philanthropist who supported over 39 charities. Below is a video clip of his last performance, two days before his death. It's unfortunate that we can never see him perform again.
14 John Lennon
13 Vladimir Lenin
12 Steve Jobs
11 Robin Williams
The man that entertained so many of us through his marvelous comedic and dramatic touch, was a tortured soul himself prior to taking his own life in August 2014. The picture above of a smiling Robin Williams with monkey, Crystal, was taken a few days before his death. His final message for his daughter on Twitter: "Happy Birthday to Ms. Zelda Rae Williams! Quarter of a century old today, but always my baby girl. Happy Birthday @zeldawilliams Love you!". It is disheartening to know how someone with all of that around him can feel that much pain. Of all the preordained behaviors that people are born with, it is this one that people scorn the most, even though it has no cure and really can't be controlled with even the best of medicines, forcing those scorned and mocked to live with an unbearable amount of hurt. Hopefully this one lost soul will change people's attitudes and save lives. No matter how one feels about his death, we can all remember him through his comedy acts like the one below:
10 Bob Marley
9 Richard Pryor
The man deemed by Comedy Central as the greatest stand-up comedian of all time, passed away by a heart attack at the young age of 65 on December 10th, 2005. He was still performing to sold out crowds with his last public appearance being on July of 2005, at an event called Richard Pryor at the Helm of Comedy. The picture above shows Richard posing with Eddie Griffin shortly before his death. His widow Jennifer was quoted as saying, "At the end, there was a smile on his face." See the clip below to put a smile on yours.
8 Ryan Dunn
7 James Gandolfini
The man best known for his portrayal of the psychopathic crime boss on the Sopranos was just the opposite in real life. James died of a heart attack on June 19, 2013, while vacationing with his family in Rome. The last photo taken of him, shown above, shows him enjoying a relaxing evening enjoying a meal at the Sabatini restaurant off Rome’s Piazza Santa Maria. One day later with no prior warning, he passed away.
6 Paul Walker
5 Joan Rivers
On September 4th, 2013, Joan Rivers passed away at the age of 81, from complications from a minor throat procedure undergone a week earlier. The night before her surgery she can be seen above enjoying a night out not knowing what was waiting for her one day later. Unlike many people on this list, she did not pass away before her time, but it is always shocking when such a small thing can lead to someone's death. She still kept performing even in her old age. You can see one of her performances from 2009 at the age of 77, from an annual comedy festival in Montreal, Canada.
4 Whitney Houston
3 Space Shuttle Challenger Crew
2 Leonard Nimoy
1 Nicolae Ceausescu
By far the most disturbing photo on this list, showing how the oppressed can be equally as cruel when they ascend to power. The above picture shows Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife being executed via a firing squad on Dec 25, 1989, by soldiers after being overthrown. An oppressive dictator himself as most dictators are, he was Romania's last Communist head of state from 1967 to 1989. I guess this is what happens when people can't get you out via general elections.
Sources: National Geographic, NY Daily News, The Chive, List Verse, Viral Nova
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