3 Stories Where People Learn Shocking Truth about Relatives after Their Deaths

We often think we know everything about our loved ones. But sometimes, hidden chapters of their lives only come to light after they’re gone.

Uncovering hidden secrets after they’ve passed can lead to profound revelations and questions about how these discoveries might have altered relationships and perceptions if known earlier. Here are three incredible stories where people uncovered astonishing secrets about their relatives only after they were gone. Did it change their lives in any way? Let’s find out.

1. My Sister Discovered Our Late Mother’s Secret and Started Hating Me
Usually, you’d expect siblings to bicker over minor issues and cause problems for their parents, but Stacey and I were a complete contrast to that. In fact, both of us were fiercely protective of one another.

However, as time passed, things began to change, and we got busy with our daily lives. We married, had children, and relocated to other towns. Even so, our love and concern for one another never faded — at least not until we received a piece of news that shook our world. Our mother left us for her heavenly abode.

Stacey and I flew over to say our final goodbyes to our mother and organized a lavish funeral for her. After the funeral, I accompanied Stacey to our mother’s house. We looked around the house, and our eyes welled up with tears.

“I can’t believe Mom is no longer with us. It really breaks my heart,” Stacey said, her face almost scarlet from crying.

I moved towards Stacey and hugged her. “It’s strange how we feel a void after someone we love passes away unexpectedly. We’ll get through this,” I consoled her.

Stacey hugged me tightly. “I still remember the days when we’d rush home from school, and she’d bake cookies for us. I will miss those days. I will miss everything about her.”

“Would you like to take a tour of the house then?” I asked. “That way, we can revisit those moments before we leave and sell the house.”

“Yeah, sure,” Stacey said quietly.

While touring the house, Stacey and I found some old photos of ourselves and even the costumes we wore as kids. Our mother had kept everything safely in her cupboards. Some of our childhood things brought smiles to our faces, while others left us sad. But in the end, we felt relieved after looking at them.

Then, before leaving, we decided to take a tour of the basement to see whether our mother had left any other boxes containing our childhood belongings. Suddenly, our gaze was drawn to a box kept in the middle of the room.

As we moved it to see what was inside, we discovered a secret door underneath. We were perplexed. We’d been in the house for a long time but hadn’t seen it before.

Maybe it was because the basement was usually crammed with junk when we were youngsters, but now that we’d moved out, it was relatively empty, and the door was easy to figure out. Anyway, we decided to check it out.

We unlocked the door right away and discovered that it led to a hidden room. We climbed down the stairs and found the room empty — except for a box kept in one corner. Stacey rushed over to it and opened it.

The box was filled with pictures of two people posing with a baby. As Stacey looked closely, it suddenly hit her. The baby was none other than herself. But the two other people… she didn’t know them.

Then, while she was fiddling with other pictures, a letter landed on the floor. Stacey picked it up and began reading. A few minutes later, her eyes welled up. She turned to me and yelled in anger, her eyes moist. “Why did you hide it from me? Just why?”

“Stacey, what’s wrong?” I asked.

“You know I’m adopted. Don’t you?”

I was stunned. “But.. how did you… I mean, how did you get to know? I wanted you to know about it, but mom made me promise not to tell you.”

Stacey looked at me furiously. “Of course, she didn’t want me to know. That’s why she made you sign this stupid letter!”

With that, Stacey tossed the envelope in front of me. When I read the letter, I understood what Stacey was talking about.

“Look, Stacey. It doesn’t matter. I’ve always loved you, and Mom loved you, too. We are a family,” I replied and held Stacey’s hand.

But Stacey shrugged her hand out of mine and began yelling, “You’re a bloody liar! You, Mom, everyone! I want to know about my birth parents. You guys know about them, right? Don’t think about lying now. It’s mentioned in the letter that you know about them.”

At that point, I realized that Stacey wouldn’t calm down until she got to know the entire truth. So, I decided to tell her everything.

I explained that Stacey was our mother’s best friend’s daughter. Her mother’s name was Clara. After Clara and her husband passed away in a car accident, our mother decided to take on the responsibility of raising Stacey.

“I wanted to tell you everything, but Mom was afraid you’d lash out. I guess she wasn’t wrong. Anyway, now that you know the truth, I hope you won’t be angry with us. We are a family, after all.”

“Family?!” Stacey glared at me. “I HATE YOU FOR THIS! I can’t believe you kept this hidden from me. I could have at least paid a visit to my parents’ graves once a year, but you guys took that right away from me. Do you think I’ll forgive you guys?! NEVER! I will never forgive you or Mom for this!” Stacey yelled and left.

I wished I could stop her, but I knew it would be futile. So, I just stood there silently as I saw Stacey walk away.

Months went by. I tried contacting Stacey several times, but she didn’t return my calls or texts. Day and night, she just kept thinking about how Mom and I had betrayed her.

Sadly, that took a heavy toll on her body, and her health deteriorated. The doctors told her she’d need immediate treatment, but then came another trouble knocking on her door. Her husband lost his job, and her family was now struggling to make ends meet.

Due to a lack of proper medical care, one day, Stacey’s body gave way. Doctors hospitalized her, but the costs were too much for them to bear. Her husband called me asking for help, and I knew I would do anything to help my sister. So, I took care of her medical bills.

When Stacey was released from the hospital, she called me, and she was crying.

“I’m sorry, Emily. I was so wrong to lash out at you. I doubt my own sister would have gone to such lengths to help me… I love you.”

“I love you, too,” I replied and asked her to take care of her health. Family is not just about biology; it’s about love and care. I’m glad Stacey realized it, and we reconciled.

2. I Inherited a Run-down House from My Father & Uncovered His Double Life
I clenched my fists beside my sister, Hazel, and her gloating fiancé, Mark, as I listened to the lawyer reading our parents’ will.

Hazel interrupted, fidgeting in her chair. “Mr. Schneider, but why did I get the main house?”

“Your parents met me. They knew we had plans to get married and have children,” Mark interjected, the corners of his lips rising slightly. “Freddy likes to travel and never brought a girl home, so the big house should naturally go to a potential family.”

“Really?” I retorted sarcastically, but it was only because Mark’s attitude always got on my nerves.

Mark chuckled. “Your parents agree, obviously. They did this. Not me.”

“Mark, that’s not fair,” Hazel continued timidly.

“It’s more than fair, babe,” her fiancé insisted.

Mark and I stared at each other in a standoff. Mark broke the tense silence, making insinuations about my lifestyle, leading to our parents’ decision.

Hazel attempted to defend me, but Mark spoke over her, insisting they deserved the mansion versus the abandoned house.

My voice cracked as I confronted my sister about our parents’ old-fashioned views, particularly regarding my own life choices.

Hazel shook her head despite acknowledging that our parents struggled to accept certain aspects of my life. “Things were different for their generation. They never knew if you would or could ever have kids,” she said, tightening her lips.

I laughed mockingly. “It’s the 21st century, Hazel. They could watch TV and movies and see how it works!” I continued, explaining that our parents started treating me differently after realizing my inclinations.

“Stop it!” Hazel frowned. “I will not allow you to talk about them this way.” She finally told me to accept our parents’ decision, making Mark smile wider.

Hanging my head, I nodded at Mr. Schneider, accepting the will, and walked out of the lawyer’s office, my shoulder slumped on the way out.

I moved into the abandoned house as soon as I received the keys. It was better than I imagined. My father had bought it for a decent price, but after marrying Doreen, he moved into the big mansion that Hazel inherited.

It still stung me that our parents didn’t think I was good enough to get it. But it didn’t matter anymore. It was my new house, and I had to take advantage of it.

On the first day, I assessed everything that needed repairs and settled on remodeling the bathrooms and the kitchen. But after doing a little research on the internet about renovation costs, I sighed loudly. It would take thousands of dollars to make the place livable again, and that was only on labor costs.

“I could learn how to do it myself,” I shrugged, reaching for my laptop again. “How hard could it be?”

Spoiler alert: It was complicated. I, a theater kid turned world-traveling photographer, embraced this challenge as my most complex endeavor. I hoped to debunk stereotypes about my capabilities by documenting the renovation process on social media.

Two weeks later, I finished the kitchen and moved to the bathrooms. But I stared at the main one for a long time, sighing. Renovating was a lot of work, and the bathroom seemed trickier than changing a few cabinets and the tiles.

“Hmmm, maybe I can do something else,” I wondered, walking through the house and talking to myself. “The bedrooms certainly need new paint. And the floor. Wait, what is that?”

I had just entered a small room, which must have been intended as a home office. But it was the first time I took it in and saw a strange protrusion in a corner. “Ugh, don’t tell me this floor is rotten or something. How much will that cost?” I lamented, thinking the rest of my inheritance would have to be spent on real construction work.

I bent a knee and touched the strange unevenness on the floorboards, and surprisingly, my hand went through the floor. “Yuck! It is rotten,” I thought, wiping my hands. But when I focused again, I saw a strange hollowness that shouldn’t have existed.

I immediately got my phone out, and with my flashlight, I took a better look and saw… stairs leading into the darkness.

Days later, I contacted Mr. Schneider, curious about the house’s floor plans. “How do I find the floor plans for this house?” I asked, hesitant to explore the hidden staircase.

Mr. Schneider suggested checking the municipal office. “You know…My father’s old house had a bomb shelter that we didn’t know about until he died. Built it right during World War I.”

Mr. Schneider offered to find more information and get back to me. Several days later, I received the floor plans, confirming the house indeed had a basement hidden beneath a trap door.

I knew I didn’t have to look down there, but my curiosity was piqued, wondering if this secret part was why my parents left me the house.

So, I took a sledgehammer and destroyed all the rotten parts, which corresponded with the size of the trap door. The rest of the floor seemed normal enough. “Oh, man. I bet it’s flooded down there,” I muttered as I started going down.

I had my phone flashlight out and could smell the heavy scent of mildew and moisture in the air. “Great, this will be more money,” I muttered as I reached the bottom of the stairs. From what I could tell, it was just a regular room.

Except…there was a desk in the middle, littered with papers and an old-fashioned typewriter. Did Dad know about this place? I wondered as my hands reached for one of the sheets on the desk bearing a short poem, and at the bottom of the page, I saw the name Milton.

Among the papers, I found poems signed by my father. Oh, my God! Dad was a poet and writer, I realized. Digging deeper, I uncovered an ornate box beneath the papers.

Rushing upstairs, I eagerly read through the poems, marveling at their depth and beauty. I opened the ornate box and discovered more pages, realizing quickly they were from a novel — a love story between two men.

“Is that why they kept this place?” I wondered and remembered the last words my father had spoken to me before he left home: “One day, you’ll understand.”

The realization hit me like a freight train — my father had hidden a significant part of himself, perhaps resenting his own limitations compared to my freedom in the modern era.

Eager to share this discovery with Hazel, I called her despite the late hour. “Hazel, I just discovered something, and I need to show you,” I said urgently. “Come to my house tomorrow. Without him. This is huge and should stay between us for now.”

Our conversation was interrupted by Mark’s intrusion, but I insisted on keeping it between siblings.

The next day, to my surprise, Hazel arrived alone. I showed her the hidden basement, the ornate box, the poems, and the novel I found. “It’s a love story between two men who go to war,” I revealed.

Hazel was shocked, struggling to reconcile this with our father’s known…biases. I explained my theory: our father had given me the house, so I could discover this story, suggesting our father might have struggled with his own identity.

Hazel processed the information, pacing the room in disbelief. “It’s just crazy! What about Mom?”

I urged her to read the novel. “I think Dad was struggling with so much, and he had to live a secret life because times were different. I think he projected all he felt—his self-loathing—on me because I was free to do what I wanted.”

Suddenly, the front door swung open forcefully, and Mark was in my living room, yelling at the top of his voice. “What are you trying to make my wife hide from me?! Or are you trying to convince her to dump me?”

“Hazie, tell me you’re not falling for that bull,” I sighed, rolling my eyes. “Even if you were dating an actual good guy, I wouldn’t have invited him today. This secret is too precious for anyone else.”

“He’s trying to screw us again like he wanted with the house. He’s getting you to hide something from me so I won’t act in your best interest,” Mark accused, smirking confidently while pointing his finger.

Hazel remained silent.

“You know I’m right, babe,” Mark whispered to Hazel, his voice turning sweet and coaxing. “He’s always hated me because you love me more than him. He’s trying to separate us.”

“Mark, stop it!” Hazel finally snapped, throwing her hands in the air. “If Freddy found anything here, it would be his legally.”

Mark tried to insist, wrapping his arms around her, but Hazel was done.

“ENOUGH!” Hazel screamed, pushing Mark back. “God, I’m so tired of you! You only ever cared about money! You never truly loved me. We’re DONE, Mark! I can’t believe I ignored all the red flags!”

I exhaled, relieved.

“You’re breaking up with me over this?” Mark spluttered, his mouth wide with shock.

“Yes, Mark. It’s over. I want my life back,” Hazel declared, crossing her arms.

Mark turned to me, begging. “Freddy, tell her she’s making a mistake.”

“Freddy’s not going to help you, Mark. He’s been trying to open my eyes to your true colors for years,” Hazel said, stepping towards the door. “Get out of here and out of my house!”

“It’s my house, too!”

“We’re not married!”

“I’ll fight you on this!”

“I’ll get Mr. Schneider on the phone right now,” I announced and didn’t hesitate to dial our lawyer to explain the situation.

Mark, now desperate, demanded, “I want my ring back!”

“That ring was my grandmother’s, Mark. It’s staying with me!” Hazel retorted, forcefully escorting Mark out of the house. Once he was gone, she turned to me, tears and relief in her eyes. “I think I need to stay here for a while.”

“You’re welcome to stay as long as you need,” I embraced her warmly.

After a moment, she pulled back, a small smile on her face. “Can we order some Chinese food? I’m dying to read Dad’s novel.”

“Absolutely,” I agreed, feeling a weight lift off my shoulders.

Publishing our father’s novel proved easier than expected. My friends in the LGBTQ+ publishing community were eager to help. Hazel, deeply moved by the story, insisted I keep all the royalties.

Mr. Schneider dealt with Mark, ensuring he’d never bother us again. Apparently, Mark had left town, but I didn’t care. My focus was on my sister’s happiness and honoring our father’s legacy.

Eventually, I felt the urge to travel again. I rented out my house and set off on a new adventure. Upon my return, I was delighted to find Hazel happily dating a kind, successful man who adored her.

The book wasn’t a bestseller, but it received excellent reviews. Therefore, I decided to publish our father’s poems, too, including a prologue detailing our father’s hidden life. It was a tribute to love, acceptance, and the importance of living one’s truth.

3. I Found My Late Husband’s Secret Suitcase, the Contents inside Broke My Heart
When I was 18, I made a decision that would affect the rest of my life: I married sweet, funny Daniel, whom my wealthy father disapproved of.

“You marry that low-life, and you’ll get nothing from me, Margaret!” my father had screamed. “You’ll see what love really is when you have to live in a one-bedroom rat-hole with roaches crawling up the walls!”

But I didn’t listen. I was sure I would never regret loving Daniel. Ever.

At first, it was romantic to go home to that tiny apartment (there were no rats and roaches — there was no space). I found myself a job as a receptionist in a big hotel, and Daniel started working for the post office.

“Job security, love,” Daniel had explained when I urged him to find a higher-paying job. “I have to know there’s going to be a pension to keep us when we are old!”

I understood Daniel’s obsession with security. Hadn’t he watched his mother live on the pittance social welfare awarded her after his father died in a work accident at a construction site? He’d been an illegal, no insurance, no pension for his widow and five children.

Daniel was determined the same thing wouldn’t happen to me or our children. Working for the post office, Daniel believed, would give us that assurance.

But two modest salaries didn’t go far with two children to raise. Even though we were frugal, every cent Daniel and I earned, we spent. There was precious little left for savings.

Then our two children grew up, left home, and started their own lives — our son moved to Alaska, and our daughter to Brazil, and Daniel and I were right back where we had started.

It was around this time that my father passed away. Apparently, time and my happiness hadn’t softened his heart because he left his entire, very considerable estate to his youngest son, who was untroubled by twinges of conscience.

Daniel was devastated. “This is what loving me cost you, Margaret!” he said bitterly. “The life you deserved!”

“No!” I told him firmly. “I wouldn’t trade what we have for all the money in the world!”

But Daniel grew silent and distant, and for the first time in thirty-eight years of marriage, I started wondering if he still loved me.

Then Daniel started taking on overtime at work, a lot of overtime. “It’s this new overnight delivery mail, it has to be sorted 24/7,” he explained. But I noticed that when Daniel came home at two or three in the morning, he smelled different.

He smelled of lilies, and I had never liked lily-scented soap. It reminded me of my paternal grandmother, a woman I had never liked. Also, he didn’t make love to me anymore unless it was the weekend.

At first, I told myself it was my imagination, but things didn’t change. Two years later, Daniel still came home every night, still smelled of lilies, and worse of all, there was no extra money in our joint account.

I tried to broach the subject with Daniel once, but he snapped at me. “Do I have to account for what I spend, too? It’s my money, I earned it!”

After that, I didn’t say another word and wept in silence when he came home every night and turned his back on me in the same bed where we had conceived our children.

We never talked about our plans for our retirement anymore, and Daniel’s ‘overtime’ left us few opportunities to work through what was destroying our marriage. When the weekends came around, he locked himself in the garage fiddling with god-knew-what and only came out for meals.

From considering myself the happiest woman in the world, I was sure I was the most miserable. All my dreams had evaporated into thin air, and I even started doubting if Daniel had ever loved me.

We had just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary when Daniel had a heart attack. I knew what the prognosis was even before the doctor spoke.

“Mrs. Hernandez,” he told me, “I think you should prepare yourself for the worst. Your husband’s heart is just plain worn out. The only option would be a heart transplant, and his age places him low on the list…”

“He’s sixty-nine,” I gasped. “He’s only sixty-nine, he promised he was going to retire…” That night, I called our children, and they flew to New York to say their goodbyes, along with Anna, my only grandchild.

Two weeks later, it was all over. Daniel was gone, and even though he had spoken lovingly to our children and grandchild about the past, he had only held my hand in silence.

“Margaret,” he’d whispered on his last day on earth. “I love you, only you, I always have…” Those were his last words and a meager comfort after so many years of doubts and unhappiness.

Our son and daughter wept for their father, but they had their own lives to live, so they left soon after the funeral. It was Anna who stayed behind to help me come to terms with my empty house and my blasted life.

The day after my children left, I got up and decided I was going to make a clean sweep of the past. With Anna’s help, I packed every one of Daniel’s personal belongings into cardboard boxes for Goodwill.

I was closing the last box when a whiff of lilies assaulted my senses. I found myself screaming hoarsely, kicking the box over, spilling all the carefully folded contents.

Anna was there to hold me and soothe me, and somehow, the whole story poured out. “He’s been cheating on me for the last 12 years, coming to my bed every night smelling of another woman,” I sobbed. “And his last words to me were a lie!”

The tears and confiding my pain helped, and Anna suggested we tackle Daniel’s garage, clean the last bits of my pain out. The two of us walked into the garage and started sorting through the accumulated junk of a lifetime.

Then, in one corner, Anna found an old suitcase with rusty locks. She was about to throw it out, but it felt quite heavy, so she decided to open it first. There was no key, but the use of an old spanner and a hammer soon had the suitcase open.

“Grandma…” Anna gasped. “Please come here…”

I dropped the tin full of nails I’d been sorting through and came to my granddaughter’s side. The suitcase was open, and inside were neatly wrapped packs of $20 bills and an old journal.

“Where did this come from?” I gasped. “This is a lot of money!”

Anna opened the journal. “Grandma,” she said softly. “You need to read this…I think he started saving every penny he could when you got married…Oh! This is from 12 years ago! Listen: ‘Today I started working at the NYC sanitation department, the sewer cleaning night shift.

“‘It’s not an easy job, but it pays a lot better than my day job, and I have to make sure of Margaret’s future. Her father was right. I am a loser. I cost her everything, but I am determined to give at least a small part of it back.

“‘I don’t want Margaret to know, so I told her I’m doing sorting of the overnight mail, and take a shower before coming home every night. I’m not bringing that stench into our home.’”

I was weeping silently as Anna read out Daniel’s account of his double life. “Look, Gran, he writes in what he is packing into the suitcase every month… There is a total of nearly $300,000!”

I looked into that battered old suitcase, at the living proof of my husband’s unconditional love and his willingness to sacrifice anything for me. “Oh, Daniel,” I whispered. “And I wasted so much time in bitterness…”

I believed my husband was cheating when he was working the most unpleasant of jobs. I love you, Daniel. I love you so much, and I regret doubting your love, I whispered and held the journal close to my heart.

As we close the chapter on these three remarkable stories, we’re reminded that the legacy of our loved ones can hold surprising secrets and profound lessons. Unraveling these truths allows us to see them in a new light and deepen our connection to the past.

Do you have such a story, too? We’d love to hear it!

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