These Redditors reveal the most astonishing deathbed confessions they’ve ever heard. From the chilling last words of a life filled with regret to the grand reveal of someone’s darkest secret, these stories communicate the revelations of a final breath. Here are some confessions that come straight from the heart, primed to move you and horrify you in equal measure.
1. Where Are The Bodies?
My grandma was on a lot of pain relief medicine when she was near the end. She was a very eccentric person—but her deathbed confession was beyond disturbing. She confessed to murder. She wouldn’t give us any details, so we traced all her ex-husbands, partners, and any other likely candidates. Fortunately, no one was missing or had gone in a suspicious way.
But sometimes I wonder…
2. Follow Your Heart
I used to be a nursing student, though I decided to drop out in my second year because it wasn’t where my heart was. During my placement at the city hospital, I got to talking to an older man—he must have been like 88 then. He was talking about how I look exotic and always complimented my long hair etc., etc. For what it’s worth, I was never threatened or put off by it.
One day, he told me something I’ll never forget—that I looked like the woman he wished he never let go. He said that he was completely happy about how his life turned out, loved his family and late wife, but he always thinks about this one woman he shouldn’t have let go by. He described this woman and his relationship with her as the perfect little blip in his life.
She was a petite Indian woman (I am a petite Pakistani woman) with long black hair and the most amazing smile. They met when he was 18 and she was 16. He was a jock at college and realized that her brother was taking the same classes as him, so he befriended the “dorky Indian guy” to get to his sister, who worked at the grocery store in town (that’s how they met).
And it worked! They dated for six months before she randomly broke it off. It turned out, she was just uncertain about where their relationship would go and could go as an interfaith and interracial couple. The old man wished he fought harder, because her brother married a Chinese woman and if it weren’t for his “jocky dumb attitude” he would have “gotten over” her decision to end things and fought harder for her to understand it would be all right.
Decades later, this petite, longhaired girl with an “amazing smile” (me) comes back into his life and he was flooded with the memories of the love of his life. He said the six months they were together were just the most deep and loving and peaceful months of his life. He should have been with her and she was the one who got away.
He said back then, you would fall in love in weeks and you loved hard, and that was simply that. Years later, I met a guy at work who ended up moving across the country for work. I remembered this old man and followed my heart. I never let my love get away, and I married him this summer. You should always at least try. Even if it doesn’t work out, go for it and find out so you never wonder.
3. Dying Regrets
While I was growing up, my mother ran a nursing home. So, from the ages five to 10, I spent every weekend with the residents because I had no school. Since I was a kid, these old-timers often confessed stuff they thought I wouldn’t understand. It happened lots of times, but two of them really stick out. One is funny, and the other isn’t.
A woman was dying; she was maybe about 96 years old. She even had her last burst of energy where she thought she was “better” (this is common). A black delivery man came with some flowers. After he left she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “I can’t believe I’m dying without having been with a man of color.”
The second one was while I was reading bible verses to a resident. She suddenly looked at me and said: “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to drop that baby in the well.”
4. Secret Husband
My great-grandma, who passed on a few years ago at the ripe age of 98, had a deathbed confession that really shocked my family. I wasn’t there for it myself, but she admitted that my great-grandpa, who we all thought was her first and only husband, was actually her second husband. So, of course, everyone was wondering who the first was.
The first husband was a man who she had two kids with but he was abusive. That was the first shock. The second one was a real doozy. You see, one night she took the two kids to the orphanage and left them there. She then went back and shot her husband. Next, she grabbed some valuables from the house and burned the house to the ground.
She ran off to another state and hoped that everyone in town would think that the entire family perished in the fire. Her last words were that she always wished she could have found her first two children later in life, so that she could explain why she left them behind.
5. You Can’t Save Them All
I had a teenage girl in my psych ward because she had tried to kill herself by overdosing with pills. It was touch and go, but she was revived and admitted. When her parents could come in and see her once she was awake, their reunion was heart-wrenching. She was ugly crying about how sorry she was for taking the pills and how she didn’t want to end things.
Her parents were sobbing and telling her it was okay and they loved her. And then later they all went home and we didn’t see them again…And that’s the way I need to tell that story to prevent myself from breaking down and not being able to work there anymore. Because later, I read the Coroner’s Report for her passing a few years later, from a later suicide attempt that was successful.
They concluded that “no combination of interventions or specialists could have prevented” it. It felt like I got physically punched reading that. Still hurts.
6. She Didn’t Give A Hoot
Over the course of my great grandmother’s nearly 100-year life, she collected owls. She had literally thousands of owl figurines. She had clocks, wall-hangings, potholders, lamps, stained glass art, salt shakers, and more little figurines than you could imagine: all depicting owls. We all wondered about the importance of the owls, but she never talked about them, we just all knew she loved owls.
Well, when she was nearing the end of her life—at the age of 98 or 99—and the docs said she had only days left, my grandparents went and talked to her and they asked her if she had anything she wanted to share or ask before she went. She thought for a moment, then said, “I never understood the owls.”
It turns out, she didn’t really like owls. Near as we could piece together, sometime in the 40s or 50s perhaps, she bought either a trivet or a set of salt/pepper shakers that were owls. Then someone got her the others. Those were the oldest owls anyone could remember. From there, someone got her an owl to match, probably a potholder or placemat.
Before she knew what had happened, my great-grandmother’s kitchen was owl-themed. From there, it snowballed. The owls flowed like water from a waterfall baffling her for 60 years. They eventually took over the bulk of her personal belongings. The moral is: if you’re not actually into something, mention it early.
7. Parents’ Princess
In my grandma’s last days, she requested that mum stay with her alone, and it was only then that she revealed the secret she’d been keeping for decades: She revealed that my mum wasn’t her biological kid. My grandma confessed that she had bought my mum from a child trafficking ring, which was common in China, because she had tried for many years and still could not get pregnant. My mother cried a lot, not only for the unimaginable pain that her biological parents likely went through in losing a baby, but also for the fact that my grandparents have gone beyond to treat my mum as their little princess.
They literally did treat my mum as their own. They were never abusive and only gave her the very best in life. They even willingly sent my mum to the US for a university education even though they aren’t rich by any means.
8. Cruel To Be Kind
One of my friends witnessed a horrific and fatal accident where a driver crashed his truck on the side of the road. My friend rushed to the driver’s aid after calling an ambulance, and he ended up spending this man’s last moments with him. As they were waiting for the ambulance, even hearing it, the man asked after his wife, where she was, and said that he wanted to see her.
My friend tried to comfort the man as best he could, saying she was on her way. The man passed almost as soon as the ambulance arrived. Sometime afterward, my friend looked up this man on a social network, and he found out the heartbreaking truth. He discovered that this man’s wife was already passed. So he had said to the man that his late wife was on her way.
9. Get A Room!
My mother worked as a nurse in the biggest hospital in Copenhagen. A man is terminally ill with cancer, has his wife, children and entire family next to him. He decides before he dies that he was gonna phone the girl he was cheating with on his wife, to meet up at the hospital when the entire family was there. My mother had to move the entire family into another room when she showed up, because of the massive shouting and hysteria.
10. A Calculating Old Man
My dad had Alzheimer’s and ended up in a secure ward. He was blind and almost deaf. I was visiting him one day and he didn’t know who I was, but he started talking about me. He said I had done better than him in life and that he was proud of me. He was a quiet man in real life and never told me that when I was growing up.
Looking back, he did things that I never realized were for me. Like, when he retired his colleagues asked what he’d like as a present. He chose a scientific calculator (this was back in the 1970s). Later, I found out the heartbreaking reason for his strange request. He had no use for it. He gave it to me for university. I thought he was just passing it on, not realizing that he’d asked for it with me in mind.
11. The Longest Friend Zone In History
This story happened in Germany, just after WWII. Ruth was a young German, and Feliçien, a French soldier. Feliçien fell head over heels in love with Ruth and even brought many thoughtful gifts, such as a big juicy ham for her family. They eventually got married and, even though his family and friends were in the south of France, they stayed in Germany.
The couple stayed together, through several miscarriages and even infertility. They never had children. Once in their old age, Ruth passed first, around 2010. On her deathbed, she told him: “You know Feliçien—I always liked you, but I never loved you.”
The wife of my acquaintance got covid and she was really sick. Almost all the doctors told them that she wouldn’t make it, so she finally revealed her darkest secret. She confessed that she had been cheating on him for about ten years with one close friend of his and that maybe their last child isn’t his but his friend’s. The lady survived and that poor stupid sucker kept his marriage as if nothing had happened.
13. Great Aunt’s Secret Ingredient
My great aunt passed away a couple of years ago. She was suffering from viral encephalitis and fluctuated in and out of consciousness. It was truly painful to watch. Although a lot of family tended to be around her in those last days, I once happened to be alone with her when she made some fairly odd remarks, which I’ve kept to myself ever since.
On the day in question, I was playing games on my phone in her hospital room when she started to audibly mutter to herself. It became more urgent and intense—eventually, she explicitly called me to her side. Her eyes looked huge and confused, I doubt she even knew who I was. She spat out her words, most of which were barely comprehensible, putting particular emphasis on the words “boy” and “ingredient.”
I sat there for 15 minutes, listening to her erratic account of, as I finally gathered, how she used to cook eggs in a very weird way. She said she sometimes used to cook eggs in the urine of a stable boy. She insisted that the boy was handsomely compensated for his services. By this time she was crying and couldn’t stop.
I didn’t know if I should put this crazy story down to her state of mind at this old age or what. It was so bizarre. But I ended up googling this a few weeks later. Well, there indeed exists a traditional “dish” in China described in the West as Virgin Boy Egg. Apparently, this concept had fascinated her and she had wanted to try it—but that’s not the worst part.
That’s when I realized she frequently recreated this herself and served it to her family (which sometimes included my younger self) without explaining what it was. I am not sure if she felt shame or enthusiasm about this (she often stammered something about “the secret ingredient”), but it quite obviously haunted her towards the very end of her life.
14. Can’t Erase This Memory
My mother, when she was a very little girl at school, was given a job one day of getting the writing chalk from a high shelf. Unfortunately, she dropped it. She picked up all the chalk but didn’t notice that one piece of chalk had fallen inside her vest. Later at home, when she got undressed by her mother for bed, the chalk fell out.
My mother was severely punished for taking the chalk and she was never forgiven. The injustice of the situation played heavily on her mind and for the rest of her life. So, when my grandmother—her mother—was on her deathbed, my mother didn’t want her to go believing her daughter was a thief. So my mother said “I really didn’t take the chalk.”
My grandmother’s deathbed response was: “Yes, you did.”
15. He Saw Dead People
It was awful what army men went through in WWI and WWII. My grandad worked, I think, the radio on the airplanes and I think he was the leader of his particular group that flew that plane. One day they were shot down and the plane crashed. Everyone perished in the fire—except him. They found him after—wandering deliriously in the field.
They tried to make him go back up in another plane and he lost it, full-on post-traumatic stress disorder. Then they dishonorably discharged him because he refused to fly again. My mum says that on his deathbed, my grandad made a chilling remark. He said he could see his men. He said he saw his men staring at him at the foot of the bed and that they were furious with him for not saving them…
My mum says he used to scream in the night from the nightmares.
16. Neighbor’s Daughter
My uncle had been in a car accident. It was bad. In the ambulance on the way to the hospital, he dropped a bombshell. He said “Tell my wife that Wendy is my daughter and I love her.” He expired a few minutes later because of internal bleeding. Wendy was the neighbors’ then 5-year-old child. That caused a huge storm, I can tell you.
17. Nature’s Calling
This is when my grandfather passed. We knew the time was near. Hours rather than days. He started telling a story in labored breaths. It was an analogy of how becoming a good person is like making a pie. We called everyone to his bed. It’s time we all thought. I won’t go into the details of the story but it ended, he closed his eyes. It was quiet. We were all watching his chest to see if he was still breathing.
We knew the time had come. We all held hands around his bed and said a prayer. He then whispered something. We couldn’t understand what he was trying to say and asked him to repeat himself. In a somewhat annoyed tone, he said, “I’ve got to go poop!” We laughed it off and a few of us assisted him with his needs. He passed early the next day. I think those may have been his last words.
18. Not So Secret Favorite
My grandparents have three daughters. Everyone always said that my mom, Amy, was my grandfather’s secret favorite. He never admitted to this and actually denied it. When, on April 6, I heard he was on his deathbed, I went to see him two days later. He was scary looking and the doctor kept saying he didn’t understand why he wasn’t dead yet.
On April 9, everyone but my mom had the chance to come and say goodbye. She doesn’t drive and my dad works 10 hours away. My grandpa kept saying her name (well, saying… he couldn’t eat or drink, so it was more like a whisper). My mom came by on the 10th. He looked at her, smiled, and whispered “my Amy.”
He closed his eyes and never opened them again. I guess his secret was out.
19. If Not Now, When?
This was a weird one for me and actually apropos for my current life. I still think about her. This happened maybe six or seven years ago. She was an older female in her 70s with a history of breast cancer. At that point, she was in the ICU for sepsis, I believe. I talked to her and she mentioned she was widowed. I gave my condolences and stated “That’s hard, I’m sorry about your loss. I imagine you miss him.” Her response shocked me.
To my surprise, she told me, “No, actually I don’t. I was relieved when he went. I was never happy with him. I didn’t leave him because that’s not what we did back in the day. So here I wasted many years with a man who didn’t treat me well, and now I have cancer.” Oof. Life lesson folks.
20. Funny Money
I had a friend named Ink that was an ex-con and he ended up moving in with another friend of ours, Brad, who was a printer. Well, these two guys decided to make some fake money and go on a road trip. Well they did it, and when they got back, Ink was contacted by the Secret Service—they “just wanted to talk to him.”
The meeting was set for the local Denny’s. Ink wanted me to wait in a nearby parking lot and watch what went down. I was totally nervous and watching from my car and wondering what was going on in the restaurant. My stomach lurched when the Secret Service guys led Ink out of the restaurant in handcuffs. I watched helplessly as they drove him away.
Ink frantically called me quite a few times from Federal prisons while he was being transported. He kept telling me to tell Brad not to worry, that he’d take the fall and do the time. But nobody could find Brad: he’d disappeared. Officers finally located him, kicked his door in, and found him. He was dead. He’d taken his own life—but that’s not the craziest part.
Brad had left a suicide note and in it, he confessed and took all of the blame and said Ink had nothing to do with it. The courts considered this a deathbed confession and Ink was set free. Crazy stuff.
21. Aunt Ain’t Daughter
My aunt watched in horror as her elderly mother took a terrible fall down the stairs. As if that wasn’t shocking enough, as the woman lay dying at the bottom of the stairs, she made a startling confession. She told my aunt that she wasn’t her biological mother. She said that her oldest sister was actually her mother.
The sister had gotten pregnant too young and the mom said it was hers. A common way of handling it back then. She revealed it in her very last breath.
22. The Son Who Never Visited
So, I was adopted by a rich family. This couple already had a biological son, who was much older than me. But there was something totally weird about the son. He never visited my adoptive parents. I always wondered why. Eventually, my adoptive father told me that his son had tried to kill him. I was beyond shocked—but there was more.
Fast forward a year later, and my father is in the hospital. He recently suffered an undisclosed accident and the only people with him were me and my adoptive mother. My mother asks why their son hasn’t come and my father starts to tell her why. It turns out, he’d been abusing his son since he was five. My mother was shocked and ran out crying.
I witnessed the entire conversation. Ninety-one minutes later, my father was gone.
23. A Dog’s Life
I had a patient who I was in the room with when her doctor explained she only had a few weeks to live. I knew her well, and spent quite a bit of time talking to her up to the news. In the days that followed, she seemed to have accepted she was dying. She lived this beautiful, independent, and successful life, maybe not money successful, but just plain happy.
Anyways, when I was helping her to the tub on day 10 since receiving the news, she just broke down crying and couldn’t stop crying. What she told me made me nearly burst into tears on the spot. She talked about how much she wished she didn’t put her dog down, since they could have passed together. I guess she put her elderly dog down a few days before going into the hospital.
She knew her life was over, so she put him down first. She hated herself for it and for the fact she blew the opportunity for them to spend their last moments together. Really heartbreaking to watch, to hear that unfold. She passed early in the morning two days later. I took a couple of mental health days off after she passed and spent some time looking up dogs to adopt and new jobs to apply for.
24. Christmas Eve Confession
So, one Christmas Eve, my grandmother was very sick and in hospital. She called my mom and grandfather into the hospital room. I believe they had a conversation that included the words, “You’re not allowed to die on Christmas and ruin it for the kids.” Because she was kind of awful. But it turns out that my grandmother had something more important to confess.
My grandmother confessed to my mother that she was not, in fact, her mother. The funny thing is, my mom already suspected this. She looks exactly like her father’s second wife—and so do her kids, me included! My mom had asked her a few dozen times in her life if she was the second wife’s. She was always told: “No, no, you’re definitely mine.”
So how did this happen? Honestly, no one knows. Everyone involved in the decision has been dead half a decade or longer, and to say the family dynamics were complicated would be an understatement. The best guess I have was it was either a “pretend you didn’t have a child outside of the marriage” deal, as they were Catholic.
Or maybe it was some other reason that probably wouldn’t play out today. So, who knows?
25. Cat Got Her Tongue
My ex’s grandma’s best friend was given around two weeks to live. The friend had kept her mouth shut for years about some friends and family. Once she heard she was dying, she let loose. She had also given away almost all of her possessions, including her beloved prize-winning cat. 10 days later she made a miraculous u-turn and lived for another two years.
She spent it estranged from the people she went off on, but remained close with those who she loved. She always said she wished she’d been honest sooner. I don’t know if she ever got the cat back though.
26. Tell Us How You Really Feel
One of my patients at the hospice where I was working was a bed-bound woman in her 90s. Sadly, she was generally unresponsive but she occasionally had flashes of recognition and engagement. It’s hard to gauge the level to which unresponsive patients are detached from their surroundings, so they encourage family members to keep their company in hopes of soothing the patient.
Now this patient was from a US state that prided itself on its state university—and the university’s football team. The woman’s family had attended this university for four or five generations. You could call it a family tradition that everyone attended this university and it would be a big deal if someone decided to attend somewhere else.
Well, that’s exactly what happened. During her hospice care, my patient’s great-granddaughter was the first in their family to decide to go to a different school—the rival state’s university, in fact. Her family was supportive of her decision but often joked about her being the “rebel” or “Judas” or what-have-you.
One day, they were all sitting around the woman’s bedside, teasing the girl about her decision to go to the rival school. Suddenly, the patient sat up, looked at her great-granddaughter, and said: “Traitor.” She then closed her eyes and that was it.
I was living in Belgium and soon after there was a series of terrorist attacks—train explosions, the metro, the airport, and the Paris attack. I was taking the train and some weird guy left his backpack on a seat near me and left. I texted my wife, “I know this is crazy, but just in case, I need you to know I love you.”
He came back eventually. Now I’m terrified to take the train.
28. What A Meatball
I had a grandpa who was from Sicily, and he really prided himself on his cooking skills. He would make elaborate meals for us—from scratch—and they were really delicious. My whole family loved them. My personal favorite was his Italian meatballs. Years later, on his deathbed, he told us that his meatballs were actually frozen and from the grocery store.
29. Sharing is Caring
My father was recently diagnosed with cancer. After the initial surgery to remove tumors, he was very weak, in a lot of pain, and scared because for the first time in his life he wasn’t in control of what was happening to him. Let me preface the rest of this by saying he’s always been very selfish and only really does anything that either benefits him somehow or is convenient for him, including being a parent. We were raised by a single mother for most of our childhood, and then got an awesome step-dad from our middle-teens to current day.
My father has always told my brother and I that we aren’t getting any inheritance and that he’s going to spend it all before he dies. He’s been a bachelor for 30 years, so he has no spouse either. We’ve always said that it was fine, to not give him more power over us and it is his money so he should spend it how he chooses.
So my dad is in the hospital, thinking he’s going to die any day, so he calls my brother and I and says he’s realized that he doesn’t need to be in a pine box before giving us anything. He’s going to give us each a chunk of money and watch us enjoy it before he dies. Now, this money did come with strings—we had to tell him what we were going to use it for and he had to approve.
We both talked about doing some home improvement. This was met with approval. He never said how much we were going to get, but the ideas he was throwing out there were pretty high dollar, a new pool for my bro, new floors and windows for me, so our eyes were kind of popping. It was very generous, and in my case, potentially game-changing, as I really do need both and am in no position to afford either.
Fast forward two weeks and all the tests came back. He had a very treatable form of cancer that was caught early and he had an excellent prognosis. Both my brother and I flew to where he lives to care for him after he got out of the hospital and started chemo. He sat us down and said something to the effect of, “Now that I’m not dying, there are still some things I want to do, so I’m not giving you any money.”
Totally his prerogative and his money, and totally in keeping with his personality. But still, oof.
30. Too Young To Go
I worked as an oncology nurse right out of nursing school. I was barely 21 years old. I had a patient about my age who had terminal lung cancer. A few hours before he passed, I sat with him, and he was telling me how much he wished that he would have had more time to maybe fall in love, marry, have kids. He was so young. He asked me to call his parents and he passed shortly after they arrived.
It was awful. His regrets were more about the life not lived. Many older patients, meanwhile had some interesting life stories and most wanted to tell them before they passed. Most were at peace with the life they lived. Many regretted working so much and not spending enough time with family, but they also had other stories. He simply didn’t.
31. Deathbed Matchmaker
My dad has a special ability to gain people’s trust—in a good way. Many times he’s had instances where dying people tell him things that they feel they can’t tell their family. One case was when my aunt’s mother-in-law was dying. She explained to my dad that her husband cannot live alone and that they both agree he must find a new partner after she passes.
At the age of 81, the man remarried within a year of her passing. The family was very upset about him moving on so fast. My dad had to stand up for him and reassure them that it is what his late wife wanted.
32. Lesson Learnt
I remember the words that my grandfather said to my father, while he was in a hospital bed, “I’m sorry for being a terrible father to you, I kept on pushing my agenda to you and your son, so much that both of you resented me, I’m sorry for being overly strict to both of you. This condition that I am in, let this be karma for me and a lesson to the both of you, I love you.”
Only then a few weeks went by and his health was back to normal, and his TB was cured. We were really happy, and I asked him if the words he said a few weeks back were true, and he said it was, and he is now living in a home far from urban life and enjoying the rest of his days peacefully.
33. Disorderly Confessions To The Orderly
I have worked at a hospital in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a small town near Munich for the last 14 years. My job there is not fancy at all. I do things like moving people around and throwing the trash out. Occasionally I take care of some handy-man type work. You know, like fixing a leaking shower head and stuff like that.
As you can imagine, I get to see a lot of patients that come and go, some of them pass away (such is life, I guess). I remember a few instances of people confessing to me their biggest regrets. One was an old truck driver that used to work for an Eastern German company. He told me that he once ran over some kids with his truck and was too afraid to stop and check if they were okay.
Once, a Polish lady told me that she used to be a “lady of the night” and that she slept with “very high up” people in the government. She told me that she did not regret that part of her life, but that she could not tell anyone and that was a heavy emotional drag.
34. Fake News
On his deathbed, while I was out of the room, my friend told my then-wife that I was having an affair with another woman. I wasn’t. She did not mention this until he was in the ground. He was always a jokester. So this was a very committed joke or it was the brain cancer talking, or it was that crazy guy just jerking my chain. I never will find out.
35. Breaking Confessions
My grandfather had pretty terrible dementia and he kept making deathbed confessions as he knew he didn’t have much time left. They were often about witnessing a murder and not telling anyone. The confusing thing was that each time he confessed to us, the details changed. It happened a couple of times a day over the course of his final week. Then we realized why this was happening.
We finally figured out that he was watching the local news and heard about these things happening and then would think he had actually witnessed them.
36. Regrets, I’ve Had A Few
I was a new nurse, flying solo. We got a call for an incoming trauma; it was a woman in her 50s involved in a multi-car accident. We were all ready at the ambulance bay, unsure of the woman’s complete condition. She rolled in breathing on her own, but very labored and with asymmetrical chest expansion. She was profusely bleeding, had multiple deep lacerations, pupils blown, debris covering most of her, etc.
Her vitals were unstable, she was circling the drain, and we knew she was on the verge of coding. I was standing near her head, ready to assist in supporting her airway but also providing comfort and doing my best to calm her. The woman looked me directly in the eyes and in a hoarse, labored voice stated, “I was angry, I told her I was disappointed in her.”
She began to cry, her vitals plummeted. “I’m sorry,” was the last thing she said before her heart stopped. We coded her, intubated her, performed round after round of ACLS, only to eventually have to call time. I still see her face at times, her eyes filled with more emotional pain than physical. It took much longer and was so much harder to write this than I thought it would be…
37. Not Enough Degrees Of Separation
Right before he kicked the bucket, my great uncle actually confessed—right in front of his own children and grandchildren—to having two illegitimate sons. The crazy thing was that none of his children knew this life of his. Not even my great aunt knew about it because she would have made a huge fuss if she was alive at that time and knew about it.
What was crazier was that these two sons already passed away—five and seven years ahead of him respectively. He was 98 years old and his “invisible” sons were 65 and 69 years old. The children found out that one of his invisible sons actually was a teacher at a school that his granddaughters attended when they were in high school.
Nevertheless, his children decided to reach out to the children of his invisible sons. They got connected and learned more stuff about my grand uncle. It worked out—but to me, there was one truly disturbing element. I realized that I had actually dated one of the granddaughters of one of the invisible sons (the one who passed on at the age of 69 years old). Talking about a few degrees of separation!
38. Spirits Crushed
My best friend, his crush, and I were riding our bikes in the nearby forest. My best friend tripped on a rock and went flying into a tree headfirst. His crush at the time and I saw the accident and ran over to help. Luckily I had my cell phone with me to call help. When I was calling, my friend confessed to his crush that he likes her, but his crush didn’t feel the same way.
A helicopter came and airlifted him to a nearby hospital. His crush and he were neighbors so it was awkward for like a year and a half after that.
39. Hindsight Is 20/20
I was a hospice nurse. One of my elderly patients had skin cancer, a huge malignant melanoma on the side of his neck that was growing rapidly. He had been a farmer all his life and never married. One night we were talking and I asked him if there was anything he wished he had done differently in his life. He thought about it a minute and said he wished he had worn a hat when he was farming. I wish he did too.
40. In The Arms of Their Lover
I had an old uncle who refused to die until his lifelong mistress came to see him. When he was in a new country he met an amazing woman, but when he went home to visit an arranged marriage was set for him and his father was ill so he ended up staying and having kids. He later immigrated back with his new family and found his old love had never moved on.
He never stopped loving her either. They got back together. Both women knew of each other but never met. His kids called her aunty and knew of her but never met her. On his deathbed he kept on fighting to live, his son asked him if he wanted to see aunty and his eyes grew as he tried to communicate yes. The son called aunty to let her know he was dying. She said she knew and was waiting in her car out in the parking lot. Aunty came to see him and within five minutes he passed in her arms.
41. Step Father Takes Big Step
My stepfather emailed me the night he passed away. In general, he was always in pain from chemo, cancer meds and whatnot. He did not want to continue spending money on his treatment as he wasted away. He told me something and asked me to never tell the rest of the family. He wrote: “I’m taking all my sleeping pills tonight after your mom goes to bed. With luck, she’ll never know the truth. It would break her.”
42. The Prankster
As my mother lay in her hospice bed dying of cancer she beckoned me closer to her and said, “I’ve hidden the money…I’ve hidden the money in the…” she was having trouble speaking and her voice was cracking. She tried one last time “The money’s in the…” her eyes closed, her breath stopped and her head slumped to one side. A few seconds later she burst out laughing. She was pranking me.
43. Heavenly Pies
I once worked in a hospital in Louisiana. One day I was assisting a mature dependent wife at the end of a long battle with both dementia and cancer. I didn’t know her that well, so her last words were always a mystery to me. Just before she passed she said: “Darn it, my pie must be burning!” Maybe it was something she smelled?
44. Be Grateful For What You Have
I’m a paramedic, and I made a run on a woman in her 30s for shortness of breath. Her and her boyfriend had just moved into an apartment together. They were fighting over something trivial, which room to unpack first or something. He thought she was just being dramatic when she suffered the attack. We transported her, but she never made it.
She went from awake and talking to unresponsive and asystolic (no cardiac activity) in a matter of seconds. They were so caught up in a little argument that they never said goodbye. They never told each other they loved each other. So, she didn’t have any last words. And honestly, that’s even worse.
45. Randy Grandfather
I spent a lot of time with my 90-something-year-old grandfather in his final months. He was married to my grandmother for over 70 years and told me he never slept with any other woman. He seemed proud of this but then asked me what it was like to sleep with more than one person in your lifetime. A little awkward.
But what’s next was more awkward. He told me, as he was waking up from a nap, that he’d just had an intimate dream about Betty Grable. I never shared these details with my family.
46. Long Lost Brother
I met a lady on a train to Edinburgh who was really nervous because she was on the way to meet her brother for the first time in 70 years. Her parents had told her that he perished when he was one, but they’d given him away because they couldn’t afford so many kids. She didn’t find out he was still alive until her mother confessed it on her deathbed.
My grandfather was on his deathbed and it was obvious he was nearing the end. He motioned my mother over to tell her something. She went over, leaned in close, expecting some declaration of his love for her or something deeply insightful. He said, “The good family silverware is hidden in the ventilation system about 15 feet out from the furnace.”
She looked at him like he was crazy. He said, “What!! We travel a lot and that’s where I hid it. That stuff’s expensive!”
48. Some Not-So-Grandfatherly Advice
My friend’s grandpa was always known to be a loving but stern man. I just remember that he used to drink and sleep a lot. On his deathbed, he asked my friend to come closer and made a confession. “I’ve left a lot of money to you. Life’s not worth it. Spend it all. Spend it all on hookers and drugs.” He was gone about a week later.
49. Young And In Love
I worked in long-term care for 12 years. I remember a married couple that shared a room; she had cancer and kidney failure. I was helping her eat lunch one day with her husband sitting there with us. She looked awful, but her husband looked at her, then at me, and said, “Have you ever seen a more beautiful woman?” I had to leave and go to the bathroom and cry.
I cried for days every time I thought of what he said. I thought I would never know what it was like to be loved like that. At the time, I had been divorced for years. I couldn’t even tell the story just now without tearing up. Side note: I was divorced for 23 years when I met Rod. We’ve been together for 11 years. I know that love now. It’s never too late.
50. Family Secrets Kept Secret
I’d been friends with Jay since I was 13. We were very close and he had come out as gay to me. Jay also told me some very explicit things that had happened to him in childhood—things that I had to swear never to tell anyone. Well, those secrets suddenly turned into deathbed confessions when Jay unexpectedly passed away.
Now his brother is trying to get me to reveal all the things Jay told me in confidence. I refused. The brother is now mad and claiming I am not respecting his family’s wishes. I’m respecting my friend’s wishes, which are more important to me.
51. Can’t Fool Me
In my mom’s last 15-20 years, things went downhill emotionally and mentally for her and she had built a fictional version of her own history that she shared with neighbors, church friends, and co-workers. She wanted to control the image they all had of her. Things had been tense between us for years, but when she got sick, I helped her.
I spent an entire week living at the hospice facility in her room with her because I didn’t want her to be alone, and she had literally timed her calls to her sister, who hadn’t spoken to us in decades, and her attorney, hoping to avoid any big revelations until after she deceased so she could “win.” But some of the stuff she did to me was just cruel. I didn’t find out about all of it before her demise, but I caught her egging her sister on to harass me through text messages when she could barely speak. I confronted her and cleared things up with her sister.
Her co-workers came in and fawned over her and told me what a saint she was, and how wonderful and patient she was with the younger nurses. The day after I had busted my mom for lying about ten different things, her boss came in and introduced herself and I told her I had heard a lot about her. She got this look on her face and I realized that my mom had professed to hating her so much because she wasn’t fooled.
52. Mind Sufficiently Blown
Maybe a cliché, I don’t know, but my grandmother passed away last Friday. While cleaning out her stuff, we found a notebook that had a one-page letter to my mom. It was sweet, saying how much she loved her and then out of nowhere it said, “Your uncle Bobby is your real dad.” Given that my mom is 53, our minds were sufficiently blown. Like, what a plot twist.
53. Not to The Taste
Me and all of my cousins were gathered around my grandfather’s hospice bed as he lay dying. Each and every one of my cousins gave him a kiss and tried to talk to him/said they loved him, etc. But he wouldn’t respond to any of them, just started. Until I came up. I sat on the edge of his bed, holding his hand. Everyone was watching us.
He looked at me and said, “I don’t like Mexican food.” And that was it.
54. BFF Lament
There was this man at a hospice where I worked who had a drinking problem. This isn’t usually a problem because when in hospice you can get whatever you want as long as it doesn’t break any laws. But this guy was violent and was not allowed to drink as a result. Anyway, between his requests for drinks, he talked about a friend he had lost.
He spoke about how he and this friend got into a massive fight about land and his equipment being borrowed. As a result, they haven’t spoken in 20 years. He said he didn’t even know why it was such a big deal and regretted being that aggressive. He basically confessed that he missed his best friend and wished they didn’t lose all those years.
55. You Never Forget Your First
He was one of my first patients as a nursing student, named Frank. He was 92. After knowing him a few days, he disclosed to me his regret was outliving everyone he loved, that he and his wife hadn’t had kids, and he was “all that was left” and that he wanted to see his wife again. I wasn’t sure how to respond, so I just listened. It made me realize how living so long isn’t great if everyone you love is gone.
He passed later that week, and while I distinctly recall some of my classmates being upset, I felt relief for him. I knew he was where he wanted to be. I’ve had many patients since, but you tend to remember your first ones.
56. Do You Want To Hear The Specials?
My father passed away at home under hospice care. After months of chemo and fighting pancreatic cancer, eventually, he stopped eating altogether. On his last day alive he hadn’t eaten for weeks. His last words were to my mother. He said: “What’s the entrée this evening?” I think it’s a confession, of sorts, that truly only the simple things in life matter. Things like a loving wife and comfort food.
57. An Affair To Forget
I wasn’t there to witness her confession, but the story leading up to it is intriguing. My mom was adopted, and she also had a non-related adopted brother. My grandparents never kept it a secret, they loved them both like their own. When she was growing up, she tried to find out as much as she could about her and her adopted brother’s birth parents.
Back in those days though, info like that wasn’t exactly the easiest to find. My mom and uncle were brought to the orphanage with little to no info on each of their biological parents. Eventually, my mom found enough info from notes she had gathered—like which families might have been most likely to be related to her. She also found some property info at the library, and she just sort of pieced this puzzle together over her life.
At a certain point, she was able to get the names of her mother and her brother’s mother. She was able to find out she was part of a big family, with lots of brothers and sisters. But, for my uncle, he found out that his mother had passed not long after placing him for adoption. By the time she had gathered all of this info and found this much out, my mom was married, had my older sister, and was pregnant with me.
I can’t remember exactly what it was she found that led to it, or if she heard something from someone, but she got a phone number. That phone number went to the house of her biological mother. She called, and the voice of a young boy answered. My mom asked for the name she knew and she hears, “Yeah one second…hey Mom, the phone’s for you”
My mom and her mom talk. It wasn’t an easy conversation, and I’m just gonna refer to my mom’s mom as bio-gran from here. Bio-gran is not comfortable with my mom contacting her—not at all. She doesn’t ask my mom a lot of questions, but my mom says that she was just gonna talk, and if bio-gran wanted to hang up at any point, she could.
My mom just gave her a short version of the story of her life, and then the conversation was over. Bio-gran after that would send letters to my mom on occasion, but Bio-gran made a point of telling my mom she could never be found out by the rest of her family. And bio-gran carried that secret with her until the day of her last days.
Finally one of her daughters asked her, “Will you tell us where you went when you went away that time?” And Bio-gran confessed, she had gone to a home for unwed mothers all those years ago to have my mom, the child of her affair.
58. At Least She’s Supportive
Just before my aunt passed away, my older brother confessed to her that I was gay. She called me in and explained how our family has been through so much and that she was willing to totally accept me for who I am. I think that is great of her to be that open-minded. Except there was one huge problem: I’m not gay. She never believed me because my brother had “confessed” it.
59. This Confession Was Leaked
I worked for a federal law enforcement agency, where we covered major felonies, some of which relate to gangs. We had a mid-level player as a suspect for a string of cargo thefts, robberies, etc. We knew him for years and had taken him in several times. He taunted us a fair bit. Lung cancer got hold of him before we could build a solid case.
Things went downhill fast. I went to see him at home, just before he was transferred to hospice. That he had committed at least 50% of what we suspected is an open secret. I knew it. He knew it. For whatever reason, he chose to give me a break. He said, “If I give you something, will you sit on it for a few weeks?” Initially, I could not agree.
What if he was going to leak info about something in progress? He assured me that it could wait. I agreed. So, he said, “I know that you are looking for the people who are connected with this ‘incident.’” He said that he didn’t do it, although he admitted to wanting to do it. He told me who was responsible and where we could find solid evidence to implicate them.
Why did he tell me? He said the other guy “never treated anybody right.” I did not ask him to elaborate. I moved on the info about three weeks later: after the “informant” passed on. I never had to share the info source because he pointed us to substantial corroborating info.
60. Gather The Stars
My aunt had cancer. She knew she was going to die and she knew it would probably be in less than a week. She couldn’t eat and drinking was hard. She wanted to be sedated heavily and kept asleep permanently, essentially for the last few days because, “this whole dying thing sucks and I’ve had more than enough.” So fair enough, a doctor is called up, a plan is made and carried out.
The last thing my aunt said before going under for the rest of her life was, “Ah, I see the stars, they’re sweet and run carefree. Gather them up.” And that’s when she went under. She passed three days later. Nobody knows what she meant. But somehow, those last words fit her, so her husband got them tattooed on his chest, over his heart.
61. With Friends Like This…
My cousin had terrible friends. His friends got him to take stuff and vandalize so many things. They also put him in prison four different times. Well, my cousin and I got into a car accident and he didn’t make it. When we were in the hospital, and he was about to die, his last words were, “Well, where I’m going at least I’ll be with all my friends. I love you.”
62. A Soft Spot
I worked security in a hospital. In the ER, we had to sit with any 5150 patients so they wouldn’t escape. In California, that’s a threat to others, threat to self, and/or gravely disabled. It’s a legal hold that they can’t leave. I had I think a 17-year-old girl who came in on a Tylenol overdose. I normally don’t listen or really even get invested with patients because it’s usually the same faces on a loop, but she kept trying to strike up a conversation.
Eventually, I relented and she told me how stupid she was. Apparently, it was over a boy and where she was going to go to college and what she wanted to do. Basically, her life story. Taking a break to cry for a second. I left and she was stable in the ER. The next day, I came in and asked if she went home or if she was in an inpatient unit. They told me she passed a few hours after my shift.
It’s been like five years and thinking about it, I start crying like a baby. I don’t cry. I think the last time I cried other than this was my grandpa passed, but even that I can discuss without crying now. Her story is the only thing that completely breaks me down.
63. You May Need Tissues For This One
I worked as a night janitor in the children’s cancer ward at my local hospital. There was a little boy, about six years old, lying in bed and he called me into his room because he wanted help adjusting his pillow. He was hooked up with wires and stuff so he couldn’t roll over to place the pillow how he wanted. Figuring I’d be allowed to do it since a nurse wasn’t really needed for it, I parked my cart outside of the room and went in.
In the room, he started asking me different questions about my job. The first being, was I a nurse? I said no. He asked me if I’d seen his mom in the hallway and told me that she’d gone down to the cafeteria to get him strawberry milk and a donut. I said no to that too. He was quiet for a second. Then he looked me right in the face and said something I’ll never forget.
He said: “If I pass away soon, I hope that my mom is not sad.” That hit me. Like really, really hard. This kid was 100 percent aware that he could die and his mother would be affected by it. I didn’t even know how to feel, so I told him that he wasn’t going to pass away and that tons and tons of people go on to survive cancer.
I left shortly after and broke down crying in the bathroom. A few days later, I was wiping down the wooden support railings along the walls of that hallway and his room was “closed for cleaning and disinfection.” That sign is only hung outside of rooms when someone dies.
64. Big Announcement
My grandfather was in the hospital in a pretty nasty state. He barely could speak, but he made it clear to us he had something to say. He had my mother get him a piece of paper and a pen. Thinking he has some important words to leave us with in case he doesn’t have the chance later, my mom does just that. There’s silence in the room as he scribbles something onto the paper, with my mother and her two siblings waiting in anticipation.
My grandfather finishes, and with a big smile turns the paper for us to see. “I’ve got a girlfriend,” it read, as he pointed to Anna, a neighbor and friend of his. The goofball ended up pulling through and living several more years.
65. She’s Seeing Things
I was visiting my grandma in the hospital as her internal bleeding wasn’t stopping. She couldn’t remember English and my dad, being the youngest child, never picked up Dutch-Indonesian. My aunts and uncles were there to translate but she didn’t seem to recognize them. So I felt really strange when I walked into the room, because she really lit up when she saw me.
She remembered me for a moment, and in the moment of clarity looked to my dad with a really big smile. That’s when the confession came. She pointed up just above her bed on the ceiling and said something in Dutch-Indonesian. My aunt translated: “There are angels. They were sent to get me, but they are waiting patiently.” I assumed she was imaging it, but I always wondered later on if she really did see angels.
66. Lies For All These Years
For years my grandma complained about how my grandpa cooked eggs. My mom would also tell me the story about how she would hold the eggs my grandpa made in her mouth and spit them out at school. When we were younger my grandpa would make us eggs if we slept over at their house and I thought they were fine. My grandma would never eat them though.
It was funny because my grandpa didn’t care. My grandma got sick and was in and out of the hospital. She would tell the staff how much she didn’t like my grandpa’s cooking, especially the eggs. My aunt was the last person to visit her, I was supposed to see her that Friday. The night before her demise, my grandma admitted to actually liking my grandpa’s eggs.
67. Always More To See
“Not yet! I can’t go yet. I still have so much growing to do. I want to see my children and grandchildren grow up…” I am a physician trainee who has done a decent amount of palliative care. I have been privileged to hear many stories and be part of many ends, but I still can’t explain why it is that certain lines remain with me and hit me so much harder.
The gentleman who told me the line above was in his late 60s-early 70s. It made me reflect on how I view patients in this age group. Yes, much older than myself, but still with growing and living to do. I also think of a woman in her 50s I met early on in my training. She and her female partner had never married—partly due to laws, partly because it had never seemed important.
When she was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer, they regretted never making that step. I attended their small wedding in the hospital. She passed a few days later.
68. Blessing in Disguise
My grandma confessed to my mom when she thought she was dying that she tried to coat hanger abort her. Obviously it was unsuccessful. My grandma was a religious woman, and decided that God wanted her to have this baby, and treated my mom like her favorite child. This messed my mom up for a while, and that wasn’t even the worst part. It got 10 times more awkward when my grandma surprisingly got better.
After Grandma expired for real, my mom eventually made peace with it. After she was born, Grandma never treated her like she was unwanted, so mom understood she was in a vulnerable place at the time.
69. Thanks, But No Thanks
On my maternal great-grandmother’s deathbed, I told her thanks for being my great-grandma. Her response was not what I expected. She said, “I’m so sorry.” She responded that way because when I was born, it was out of wedlock. So, I think while she was civil towards me, she harbored not-so-good feelings for me—if that makes sense?
I accepted her apology and in a way, probably made her spirit happy because I named one of my children after her. Not too shocking, but still kinda hurt me when she apologized to me.
70. She’s Here
My grandfather was dying of cancer. He was 90. Our entire family would sit with him in his own home, tending to him in shifts, making sure everyone had alone time with him and all made him feel needed and loved during his passing. Gramps would regularly point to a spot where no one was and say, “Hello, Hazel, they are all here again.” And then smile. Or he’d say, “Yes, dear, that’s Linda’s little girl.”
Hazel was his wife, my grandmother, who had deceased two decades prior. The chilling bit was that Grandpa would then turn to us and say, “Oh, I forget you can’t see her.”
71. Watch Those Teeth
On my wife’s grandmother’s deathbed, something shocking happened. One of her granddaughters was visiting and she was the spoiled one in the family who thought she could get away with anything. Instead of confessing her disapproval of the girl, my wife’s grandmother tried to aggressively bite her. I didn’t like the girl much, so for me, it was magical.
72. The One That Got Away
I’ve been a nurse for 14 years, and the one thing that still hits me is a 14-year-old boy fighting cancer. We did the transplant but he eventually passed fighting the side effects of that transplant. Before that, I’d nursed him for almost a year and we had grown very close. The day he went away to his home country in the US, I told him I am his big momma and when he returned, we would be together seeing through many plans.
His dream was to be a doctor, so I told him I would quit my job and be his nurse the moment he becomes a doctor. On the night before he and his family left, my husband, who is a chef, cooked his favorite foods for the family and all the nurses. My husband taught my patient how to cook the recipes too, since my patient also loves to cook.
We had dinner together and I was crying my eyes out afterward. He was like a second son to me. His last words to me were, “I will make sure to meet you again.” The day I found out from his mother he had passed, I was devastated.
73. It Wasn’t Me!
I had an uncle who was a heavy drinker and just known for being a bit crazy. He was wild, but not mentally unwell—although I suspect the latter was also true. Anyway, the morning after one family party in the house, a mattress was found stinking of urine and no one knew who the culprit was. Because he was so crazy, my uncle naturally got the blame even though he vehemently denied it.
His last words on his deathbed were: “It wasn’t me that urinated in the bed!” So it clearly bothered him for years that he had been blamed for this, which was a minor thing compared to many things he had done!
74. Born This Way
I’m an ex-ICU nurse. I had a patient in his 40s once pass from AIDS-related complications. At the end, he developed an acute lung infection, and the time that my colleagues and I looked after him was during the span while he was rapidly failing. We had to intubate, but he quickly became comatose and passed within a couple of days despite all the treatment.
He came from a religious family, but was estranged due to his homosexuality. He found religion again when he realized he didn’t have long to live, and it breaks my heart that he had convinced himself God was punishing him for being gay. Me and my colleagues tried our best, but his belief and his regret was a lifetime-deep, and our time with him was so short.
I will never forget being at his bedside, he’s gasping for air, with him telling me desperately between breaths how this is his punishment from God and he DESERVED it. He passed before we had a chance to even help him, I feel.
75. TMI On Deathbed
The last two things my grandfather told me were both rather weird and a little shocking. The first one was about what he and his mother did for fun. He said that they would throw big stones on cars from a bridge. This sounds super dangerous and I can’t imagine why his mother would do that with him.
The second thing he told me was about his wife—my grandmother. He told me about how much better looking the lady that delivered bread to his family was compared to my grandma. Now, did I need to know that?
76. Young at Heart
My great-grandmother asked my mother to go clean her “toys” out of her nightstand before the rest of the family went through the house after she perished. My mom thought it was hilarious and awesome.
77. Never Too Late For Revenge
My grandfather was a terrible man. He was physically and emotionally abusive toward my grandmother. My grandma endured it throughout her life. However, when she started showing signs of Alzheimer’s, my grandpa turned it up and started kicking her and pinching her. Eventually, we said, enough is enough, and took her in for her last months.
On her deathbed, a few days before her passing, my grandpa came visiting and pinched her cheeks and messed with her, expecting no resistance. She had a moment of clarity and snapped. She swatted away his hand and shouted, “Stop it. I’m sick of you and your ways. Go, leave, now. I don’t ever want to see you again, not ever.”
She was always a sweet and happy woman, and watching her stand up for herself at last always makes me smile.
78. Nightly Tradition Dies Hard
My Nana was renowned for religiously having a G and T at 9 pm every night. She and my Grandpa had started the tradition on their honeymoon and she even continued it 20 years after he passed. Well, when Nana was on her deathbed in the hospital, we wanted to do something amazing for her last hours. So, we poured a G and T into a hip flask and snuck it into her hospital room.
We proudly offered it to her, only for Nana to turn around and say: “I’ve never really been fond of them.” Bless her, she went out laughing at us.
79. Amazing Grace
My great-grandmother passed in July at 105. She had really bad dementia, so she never knew who I was and barely remembered her own kids. She lived in a nursing home for the last fifteen years of her life and the last five of those years she became a clairvoyant. She would sing amazing grace when she could tell someone was about to die, it was the craziest thing, because the nurses at the nursing home said that it would happen literally every time.
The most chilling part about it is she sang it one day and no one croaked, but she passed out a couple of hours after singing and then expired later on that night.
80. Adoption Adaptation
A couple of days before my grandmother passed away, she was really confused and confessed something: She said my mother had a child, a year or so after my own birth, that was put up for adoption. She was talking about how sad and horrible this was and that I deserved to know. After my grandmother passed I confronted my mom about it and she said it wasn’t true—and I truly believed her.
A couple of months later, I found out the truth. It was my grandmother who’d had a child and gave it up for adoption—not my mother. The child was born after my mother and before my aunt.
81. Pet The Squirrel
I’m an EMT. Most patients that I see in my ambulance are too sick to talk in these cases, but one sticks with me. He was a male in his mid-40s, and he called us for chest pain. Turns out, he was in the middle of a massive heart attack. The saddest part of all of it was that the patient had medical training, so he knew that it wasn’t good.
We were screaming to the hospital, just speeding down the road, and he looked me right in the eyes and goes, “I should have eaten that freaking cake.” When I asked what he meant, he told me, “Screw what others think. If it makes you happy do it, eat the cake, pet a squirrel, take a nap. Screw anyone else, it doesn’t matter.” He crashed shortly after we got to the ER and didn’t come back.
Now at least if I want to do something purely for the fun of it and my wife asks why I want to, all I have to say is, “I want to pet the squirrel.”
82. Pearly Whites Before Pearly Gates
The last thing I heard my grandma say was kinda crazy. You see, my grandma had dementia and was really going through a tough time. She was staying in bed forever and just not having a very good life. On the day of her husband’s funeral, we didn’t even bother to bring her because she had no idea that she even had a husband.
But after the funeral, my dad and I went to visit her. We started talking to her and she had no clue who my dad was. I’m pretty sure the last thing my dad and I both heard from her was, “Well I’m not sure who you are, but you have nice teeth”.
83. Gone But Not Forgotten
I remember this 40-year-old patient who I had was perishing from breast cancer that spread throughout her body. She was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years earlier and had a mastectomy. The doctor recommended for her to have a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction due to the high risk of recurrence of cancer. She said that she wanted to keep her breast (a real breast rather than an implant) in case she remarries so she will be somewhat “whole.”
She very much regretted not getting the bilateral mastectomy. If she did, she would not have gotten cancer in her remaining breast and be facing mortality at such a young age. Also, the patient never ended up marrying after all. Then, a week later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I instantly told the doctor that I want a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction.
I also had an aggressive form of cancer. My doctor kept pushing a lumpectomy, which I probably wouldn’t have gotten before I heard how much she regretted her decision. I feel that she actually saved my life sharing and opening up with her biggest regret of all time. I was 48 years old at the time of my diagnosis and have been cancer-free for 10 years now.
I think of that lady often. She was a mother of five. She was a true blessing to me. She was my last patient on my last shift prior to getting my results and starting chemo. If it wasn’t for her, I know I would not be here.
84. A Load Off Her Chest
When I was in nursing school I had a patient in her 80s who had some pretty severe heart disease. She had been in the hospital more and more frequently and felt like her time was coming. She was a pretty awesome lady to talk to, but had no family and no visitors. I always tried to spend as much time as I could with her.
One day she confessed to me that she had run away from home when she was 17 because her brother had tried to attack her. She fought him off, ran, and never went back. She said she hadn’t told anyone that in all that time. She got sent home and I never saw her again.
85. Majestic Park
My Grandpa was effectively my dad, though not biologically related to me at all. He expired of Leukemia in 2011, and my family and I essentially took days with him in the hospital during the time before his death. During my day with him, he was a bit off thanks to pain and medication. Right after one of his more disconnected episodes, he sits up in bed, swings his feet over to the floor, and then suddenly just stops—maybe due to fluid motion abruptly ending.
From the mouth of a man who had never said anything about beauty, art, or the like come the words “Majesticpark, look at the sky! It’s beautiful,” so I look. Looks to me like the sky from “The Seine at Argenteuil,” which is kinda pretty even to me, a complete neanderthal with respect to art. Then he continues, “I’m so proud of you and your mother.”
For me, the shocking part was the verbal recognition of something beautiful, but the latter portion had me pretty bent out of shape, in a good way and I needed to sit out the evening shift I had at the time. I miss that guy.
86. The Dead Man Room
When I was an undergrad I lived in a house off-campus. One day two officers showed up, saying they got a deathbed confession from the person who formerly lived there. It turns out there was a super scandalous story. The guy had knocked off his gay lover for cheating on him and then buried him in our basement. He then built a fake wall to seal off the room.
To our amazement, it was all true. They even had the archeology students come and uncover the body. Amazingly, we would tell friends this story and they would volunteer to sleep in the “dead man room”—and actually do it.
87. Let The Boat Sail
Before my grandma from my mom’s side passed, she had spent at least three weeks in a semi-conscious or more like a quasi dream state before finally dying. Her house was on a lake and her deathbed was in a room that overlooked it. During those weeks, she would constantly tell my mother that a boat was waiting for her and asked if it was all right if she could get on it.
This persisted, along with my grandmother having full conversations with relatives who were gone years before I was even born, until one day when my grandma asked my mother if it would be alright if she could leave on the boat again, to which my mother finally replied with, “It’s alright if you want to.” My grandma departed a couple hours later.
Eerie little tidbit, my grandmother’s watch, which was in another room at the time of her demise, stopped at the exact time of my grandmother’s passing. Apparently, it’s pretty common for weird stuff to happen around the time of passing for people in my family. When an uncle who I never met perished, a car of his that hadn’t worked for years suddenly turned on.
And when my grandma from my dad’s side expired, the doorbell at my parents’ gate rang but no one was standing there.
88. Sweet, Not So Sweet, Rose
I’m just remembering the last conversation I had with my Aunt Rose. She was manic-depressive and during a visit to my dad’s house, she had a manic episode. When this happens, she talks non-stop, as fast as she can get the words out. On her deathbed, she told me she felt my dad harbored resentment against her because her sister got my grandfather knocked off.
All this time I only knew that my grandfather was knocked off but they always kept the details from me. It turns out my grandfather used to do “the numbers” in the Lower East Side in the 1970s. Because of this, he would have a lot of cash on him in the bars late at night. Aunt Rose’s sister was a junkie, knew this, and had him set up to be robbed.
During the incident, Gramps got plugged with a knife and ended up dying several months later from sepsis. Gramps did shoot both the assailants, although I am unsure of their outcomes.
89. A Life Down Under
Many years ago I was working in an open heart surgery ICU and had a man in his early 40s as my patient. He had many tattoos of demons, etc. He didn’t recover very well after his emergency heart surgery and was in a medically induced coma for about two weeks before we could wake him up and remove his breathing tube. When he finally woke up he was crying.
He said he felt like he’d just spent an entire lifetime in a fiery purgatory and that he’d done horrible things in his life and he completely deserved it. He wept for hours and wanted to apologize to everyone he had ever hurt in his life.
90. He Had A Close Encounter
My grandfather, who had not been a religious man throughout his life, confessed something to us on the second to last day he was alive. He said that in the prior few nights, he was seeing beings in the bedroom with him. He could not discern what they were, but one, in particular, made him very fearful.
91. Double Life
Both of my grandparents served in WWII and were lucky enough to survive. While growing up we were told that they performed normal basic jobs during the war. As each one came closer to their demise, more truths came out. My grandfather on my mother’s side revealed he was more of a black ops seal type and not a cook as he previously stated. Grandfather on my dad’s side was in charge of the army’s computers for casualty tabulation.
92. Third One’s A Charm
I cared for an elderly neighbor who had Alzheimer’s and, before she passed on, she seemed to want to unburden herself of secrets. In the months before she went into a nursing home, I heard a lot about three different topics: some very minor transgressions at work, some feuds with other ladies at church—but that wasn’t the craziest part. There were also some stories about her cousins doing it.
93. Family Reunion
When my grandmother was on her deathbed, she gave a shocking confession. She told her oldest son that he actually had an older sister somewhere back in their home country. She gave birth out of wedlock (not sure with my grandfather or not) and gave her away. My grandmother said she regretted not telling her kids and keeping a family relationship away from them.
My family ended up finding the girl a year or so after my grandmother passed. Some of my aunts and uncles even went to go visit her back home.
94. The Truth About Daisies
My nan used to give me daisies whenever I felt sick or upset. So when her birthday rolled around, I’d always give her daisies from the garden. Basically, daisies were our little gestures to show we cared about each other. I thought it was just between us, but when she was in the hospital, she told me the heartbreaking reason why she always gave me daisies.
When my nan was younger she moved to Bristol. On nan’s first week in town, she was checking out all the shops in the downtown area of the city, and she came across a flower shop. Nan ordered a bouquet of daisies—why not? The shop lady went to the backroom to get the fresh daisies, and they tripped over one another when she came back.
Apparently, this was a real-life version of the “trip-and-kiss” scene from a romantic comedy, because they fell and their lips smashed. The daisies, of course, got all over the floor and in their hair. So my nan and the shop lady became friends and started seeing each other at the shops, or they’d get malts together or eat dinner.
My nan and the shop lady never really became girlfriends. Nan knew she was in love, but also knew that woman-to-woman relationships were not at all accepted at the time, so for her own safety, she never voiced her feelings. After a few years of the ladies getting along as good friends—with benefits—the shop lady was diagnosed with cancer.
So Nan would bring the shop lady daisies to the hospital every day and would pray for her, and such. Unfortunately, it was no use; medical technology was not advanced enough to help the shop lady. Apparently, the two were talking together on the shop lady’s last night of life. At this time, they confessed their love for each other.
But one of the last things that Nan said to her was, “Do you remember the time when we first met? With the daisies?” It sounds so sweet. I’ll never look at daisies the same again. I miss my nan a lot now. She probably would’ve disapproved of the way my mum and dad act to me now.
95. Confession Karma
My great-grandfather was not a nice man. He beat his children (one time he even beat his daughter with a table leg) and I am assuming he did the same to his wife. Anyway, my great-grandmother finally left him. Sadly she had to leave the kids behind because this was the 1930s and women didn’t have the same rights as today.
Most of his kids, like my own grandfather, abandoned this miserable man, so he was left on his own. Eventually, he must have felt pretty lonely because on his deathbed this nasty grandpa sent a message to his children confessing that he had a bunch of money stashed on the old property. If they went to see him, he would tell them where it was.
No one went.
96. Wear Your Hard Hat Kids!
I had a co-worker “Larry” who was in a job-site accident. Basically, he was underneath some scaffolding when it was backed into by a vehicle and collapsed on top of him. He was pinned down, couldn’t feel his legs, and was bleeding from a head wound. Larry was 100% convinced he was going to die. We were trying to pull the scaffold off and render first aid and all that, and he kept asking to use a phone to call his wife “Suzie.”
Our supervisor gave him a phone. Larry called Suzie and confessed to everything. It was truly shocking. He admitted to having multiple affairs, looting from Suzie’s parents, creeping on their neighbor’s teenage daughter and doing coke with Suzie’s sister. Larry was crying, telling her he was so sorry, begging for forgiveness. Turns out Larry was just pinned down by a couple of tubes and bracers that fell together just right and was tight enough to pinch a nerve and slow circulation a bit.
He got six stitches on his head and some bruises, and that was the extent of his physical injuries. However, he did lose his house, his pickup truck, custody of his kids, and half his paycheck to child support and alimony. Plus he got written up for not wearing a hard hat under scaffolding.
97. Dad Denies Daughters
When my partner had cancer, most of his four daughters from a previous marriage somehow made my partner’s cancer about them. They made a few meals and brought them over, but their Facebook posts said they’d cooked 20 meals. Four weeks later, they came to visit during treatment in another town. They made it as impossible as they could for me to see him.
These daughters told him not to cry, because it upset them. When he went on palliative care, he didn’t want to tell them at first because he didn’t want them to visit him. After a week, he felt bad and asked me to tell them. Of course, they all arrived, with partners and kids. They were upset they couldn’t stay with us—all 15 of them.
They blamed me for keeping them away from their dad. They said: “We were there first and it’s our special time as a family.” Their special time was to sit in the same room as him all day, talking and laughing between themselves, ignoring their dad and only waking him up during the day because they thought he wouldn’t sleep that night. An hour before he passed, my partner’s last words were heartbreaking.
He told me: “We should never have told them I was dying. It would’ve been so much easier without them here and I hate how they treat you.” And then, he dropped a real zinger: “By the way, three of them are not mine. My first wife had lots of affairs.” I wish they’d heard every word.
98. His Phone Confessed For Him
My husband had a cardiac event that required an ambulance. As the ambulance was arriving I asked him if the code to open his phone was XXXX, he said yes, then looked up at me and said, “I am so sorry.” He had successful surgery, but had several strokes on the operating table and was taken off life support after seven days. That’s when I learned his dark secret.
When I opened his phone I found out he was having an affair. The same code to his phone also opened his laptop where I found telephone recordings of him and his girlfriend, as well as screenshots of their chats. I don’t know how interesting this is, but it was certainly devastating to me.
99. I Think We’re Alone Now
Nearly all the patients I’ve had in ICU didn’t really have to ability to speak by the time they were my patient. I did have one lady who was going out relatively slowly, and I do remember her saying to me that she regretted how boring her life was and how she wasted it doing nothing but being a housewife. But there was a huge twist.
She said this all in front of her adult kids while they sat there, mortified and hurt.
100. No Show
My wife’s grandmother, who raised her, believed that when you are about to die your deceased relatives show up to escort you to heaven. She was by all accounts a horrible person. On her deathbed her last words were, in a quiet terrified voice, “They’re not coming.”