Sometimes even when we think we know somebody inside and out, there are still mysteries lurking beneath the surface…These stories are all about what happens after a loved one’s passing—when their darkest and most surprising secrets are unearthed for all to see. From living a reckless double life to being a verified hero, these secrets from beyond the grave will have you questioning whether you can ever truly know anybody.
1. He Really Did Care
My paternal grandmother and grandfather had a volatile and violent relationship before they got divorced when my dad was a young teenager. They never spoke to or of each other again after the divorce. My grandmother passed and he did not come to her funeral, which disappointed me, but no one was surprised. Two years later, he passed.
When going through his stuff I found a bible. This shocked me for three reasons. The first reason is that my grandfather was, as far as anyone knew, an atheist. Despite that fact, the bible is clearly well read and there are notes in it. He had underlined certain words and sentences and even circled whole passages. Second, the bible was given to him by a guy famous for murdering a politician in my country. He had written that in a message on the first page.
Thirdly, I discovered something so heartbreaking—I’ll never forget it: My grandfather had cut out and saved my grandmother’s obituary, slipping it between the pages of the bible. I don’t remember what page, because stupid me dropped it, but the passage was so beautiful. He did care and he did mourn. I still have that bible. But that wasn’t all.
This man was a secret keeper extraordinaire. We also learned he had another son, 25 years younger than my dad and he looks exactly like my dad! He is part of the family now.
2. A Nasty Revelation
I had a great aunt that lived with her son. Actually, it was more like her son lived with her. When they both passed, we found the most disturbing photographs ever…pictures of them doing the nasty. I think my mom had a suspicion it was going on. They both passed around the same time and my mom ended up as executor of the estate. I remember her specifically saying not to look at any pictures we found, but I had no idea why until I looked at them.
3. Finally Finding Family
Last fall, we discovered that my paternal grandmother had had an illegitimate child with a young officer who had just returned to the United States at the end of WWII. When she passed, we found a hidden stash of love letters that had been sent between them. At the time, we had asked her best friend, my godmother, about it.
She denied any knowledge of a former partner of that description, but thanks to family members who became enthralled with the concept, we discovered my dad and his brothers had a half-brother living only two hours away. Last fall, he welcomed us into his home to finally meet his estranged family. It was definitely a moment to remember.
We discovered he had been very close to the family physician who was considered an “uncle” despite no actual familial relation. It was a very emotional afternoon as my dad and his brothers shared stories with the brother they never knew they had, even discovering that my eldest uncle, the oldest of my grandmother’s legitimate children, was named after the family that adopted the secret son.
4. Not What You’d Expect From Grandma
My great grandmother, a never-cussing, hardcore bible-thumping, hymn-humming, rule-abiding woman ran moonshine while she was pregnant. If she was pulled over, the officers wouldn’t ask her to get out or check the car, which made her perfect for running it. For six months, she supplied moonshine across a bunch of southern states while maintaining her daily housewife image and visiting her husband’s store for appearances.
5. Turns Out, He’s Totally Awesome
My great uncle served in the army during WWII. Everyone in our family knew this, but he never talked about his time in the army. After he passed, we found out he had a historian write and verify his memoirs. Turns out he was totally awesome. He served in the 1st Infantry Division. He landed on the beach on D-Day, fought through waves of German officers, and risked his life to help a photographer retrieve a camera he dropped. But that wasn’t all.
His unit moved inland and he took out a large number of German officers as he had a weird talent for spotting movement in trees. After D-Day, he served behind enemy lines as a spy for the Allies, where he was captured and sent to a concentration camp. When the camp was finally taken by the Allies, he had withered to 80 pounds and needed to have two thirds of his colon removed because the starvation drove him to eat an egg he found in the dirt.
When he came back home, he got a job in a factory where he worked until he retired and passed naturally of old age. The most surprising part of all? He left explicit instructions that no one was to read his memoirs until after he passed. We all knew him as the quirky old uncle who told the same joke at every family reunion. We had no idea that he was a bonafide hero who’s actually been portrayed in video games and movies.
6. Everyone Was Fooled
My mom’s step-grandpa told everyone he was an electrician and that he was always being called out of town to do various repair jobs. After he passed, the family received a letter from the president of the United States, revealing that he was actually a demolitions expert and worked in some sort of special ops squad for the United States. Even his wife had no idea.
7. A Softy On The Inside
My best friend passed about 10 months ago. His mother and I went through his stuff, trying to figure out what to do with it. We found out that this guy had a very singular obsession: he just absolutely loved kittens. I didn’t know it, his mom didn’t know it, but his computer had over 2000 pictures of kittens doing kitten things. His phone had even more kitten photos.
He even had kitten pictures on the wall. That doesn’t seem so surprising, right? Keep in mind that this guy was a roughneck to the core. He was this hard shelled, rough handed manly man. He didn’t try to be, he just was. He was also like 6’7, 270lbs, and would make Ron Swanson look soft and girly. And, by God, he loved kittens.
8. Not What You Want To Hear
When I was in college, a friend of mine passed suddenly. I wouldn’t say he was one of my best friends, but we hung out with the same group every weekend. The reason we weren’t especially close was really just because the guy had more friends than anyone I have ever met, but in a really genuine way. He made everyone feel special. He was the life of every party and the center of all of the best stories. He was all around just a fun guy that everyone enjoyed spending time with.
A few years after he passed, I ended up becoming friends with a girl who I recognized as being a part of his close inner circle from when we were all in school together. In fact, his passing was one of the first things we ever spoke about. Several months later, we had become quite close and that’s when she made the most shocking confession…Apparently, just days before he passed, he had violated her when he was highly intoxicated.
She never told anyone because she was afraid to disgrace his memory while so many of her closest friends were grieving. To say this changed my perception of him is an understatement, and I have a hard time knowing how to feel about his passing. Sometimes, that makes me feel guilty. I can only imagine the trauma that my friend endured through that grieving process.
9. No Family History
After my grandfather on my dad’s side passed, I found out that my dad and uncle were adopted. I was about 16 and my parents had thought I knew. Back in the 80s, there was occasionally a show on NBC about certain topics. This time it was one about heart health. You answer questions during the show and points are assigned to your answer.
At the end, the total told you how much you were at risk for whatever, in this case it was a heart attack. Basically, it was the “analog” version of the tests you take online these days. Anyways, the question came up about family history and if anyone had had a heart attack. I audibly answered yes because my grandfather passed of a massive heart attack a couple of years prior.
My mom turns to me and says “You know your Dad was adopted, right?” My reply is “NO! But I guess I do now!”
10. Deep Dark Diaries
My great aunt passed about a year ago. She was in her mid 70s. We were unpacking all of her things when we found a set of her diaries, some from many years ago and some just before her passing. In her diaries, she had mentioned that she despised her sister, whom none of us liked anyway, and didn’t like a lot of my cousins.
Most shockingly, she kept on talking about a man who she called, “monster.” This man had been harassing her and harming her for years. She never mentioned it nor indicated that anything was wrong. We suspect that it was her boss. I loved her dearly, she was so sweet.
11. A Third Grandchild
My best friend’s grandmother was always super sweet to me. Whenever I came over, she would offer me food and ask about my life. She, like my friend, knew I was gay, and told me, “I don’t care what you are, as long as you’re a good person that’s all that matters. I had a crush on Liberace and followed him around until he gave me an autograph, so honey, being gay doesn’t bother me.”
She knew my family since her son and my father worked together and were super close, but she never betrayed my confiding in her. I would be over at their house pretty much every weekend and would eat dinner with my friend and his grandparents, and then play video games or hangout. His grandmother relapsed with cancer, and it was bad.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t around much at that time, but I stayed in contact with my friend. He would tell his grandmother I was asking about her and she would always respond, “You tell him once I get out of here we’re going antiquing!” which was something we had made plans to do numerous times, but never did. She passed, and I went to the funeral.
I hugged my friend and his sister and paid my respects. Her husband came up to me and hugged me. That’s when he told me something that broke my heart: “She always thought of you as her third grandchild. She really really loved you, always remember that.” I bawled like a baby in the car, and didn’t stop crying until I got home. I knew she liked me, but I didn’t realize she considered me as her own grandchild. I definitely considered her a grandmother.
12. An Eerie Untold Story
I always knew my grandfather immigrated from Poland at the end of WWII, but I never knew the details. A few years back, I was cleaning out my grandparents’ basement after both of them had passed, and found an old Manila envelope tucked way back on a shelf. Inside of the envelope, we found all kinds of paperwork detailing how he had been rescued from a German concentration camp and his documents that brought him here. But that wasn’t all.
I then found out that as the youngest member of his large family, he watched them all gunned down by Germans who told them If they could run across a field and reach the trees, they’d be safe. None of his family members made it. It was all really terrible, but fascinating. It was a shame he never talked about any of it, but it was obviously something he’d rather forget.
13. The Reason Revealed Itself
After my stepdad passed, we found all the reasons why. The same night, we called his best friend who told us that my stepdad spent most of the days at his house. To his friend, my stepdad said that he worked at night. He put on working clothes and went back home to my mom pretending to have worked all day. His work told us that he was fired months ago.
Days after his passing, letters kept pouring in. They were all bills…thousands of euros he had to pay. In the trash outside, there were clipped up bills he had intercepted before my mom got home every day. My mom glued every one of them together to have a better view of everything. He had also lent money in her name, about $15k, which she had to pay back because she couldn’t prove that he did it.
At the funeral home, they found out that he still had his teeth. He had never had them pulled at the dentist like he said he did. It was because he hadn’t been paying for health insurance. He pretended a couple times over the prior months to be in real pain and that his throat was so sore that he could barely talk. We think he must have screamed for hours in his car or something to sound like that to pretend it to us.
To his parents, he said that he had a new car the week before and drove to them. The car was a loan. He also said that he found a wallet with 300 dollars and had it in cash in his hands. We had such a fun day with that money. My mom found out after he passed that he just cashed it from his bank. He must have felt so horrible about this money issue and knew no way out of it. We still miss him, he was a very funny guy and he taught me a lot in my teenage years. But boy, he did leave a mess behind.
14. One Father’s Finances
I am friends with a pair of siblings. The family has eight kids plus one step-kid total, but I’m friends with just the youngest two. When their father passed, they found out he was completely broke. They also found out he’d put his house in their name and then had not paid for it in over two years. When they were 18 or 19, they’d gone on a European vacation.
Since they were adults, he had them sign partial powers of attorney in case something happened. Well, he switched out the signatory pages so they actually signed full POAs. The entire situation was really messed up, but fortunately because it was fake, at least it didn’t negatively affect their credit. This isn’t even the only financial shenanigan he pulled on those two siblings.
15. A Sweet Surprise
I had an aunt who was severely disabled most of her life and confined to a wheelchair. I always thought she was lonely, but after she passed, we discovered that she had actually had a secret romance. She had a lover most of her life with similar disabilities who passed shortly before her. I’m glad she had someone in her life like that.
16. She Stuck It To The Man
My grandmother was definitely the stereotypical housewife type. She never talked unless she was spoken to, cooked, cleaned, was a perfect stay at home mom, and had a slightly overbearing husband. After she passed, we went through her junk room and found dozens of books on feminist literature. We also found her scandalous journal entries.
In her journal, she talks about voting democratic in each and every election, which was expressly prohibited by her husband. She also volunteered at the Girl Scout Office to help girls get better opportunities. It was really cool to find out that my grandma was a secret feminist and silently but surely “sticking it to the man.”
17. Case Of A Forgotten Name
I had an uncle named “June.” That’s the name that we put on his tombstone after he passed. One day, while visiting the cemetery, my dad, who’s June’s brother, pointed out that June was actually named “Junior.” It turns out he was named after his dad, my grandfather. He was called June for short and everyone, including his daughter, had simply forgotten it wasn’t his real name.
18. A Hidden Hero
My dad was an Air Force pilot who passed in a crash during a plane malfunction. I grew up thinking he couldn’t do anything and couldn’t land and that was it. 20 years after he passed, I found out the disturbing truth: he had the choice between jettisoning to safety and risking the plane landing on the base and harming people, or steering the plane as far away from people as he could and going down with it. I hate that I grew up without a dad, but I’m glad he at least passed saving people.
19. The Truth Comes Out
I had a friend who passed in a car accident at twenty years old and it was pretty devastating for the whole community. He was a great guy, but after he passed, a ton of stuff came to my attention about him. For instance, he had lied about his mother dying from terminal cancer. She was very much alive and hadn’t had terminal cancer.
He had also told me he was near genius IQ, and had chosen the pretty mediocre university we went to over the Ivy League because of scholarship money. He is still a great guy in my eyes, but it did teach me a lesson about gullibility.
20. No One Knows The Whole Story
My ex-girlfriend’s family is very troubled. She, her parents, and her younger brother all struggle with mental health issues and behavioral problems, but her baby sister, who was 12 years younger, was the shining star of the family—incredibly kind, well behaved, beautiful, and the only one to be successful at school.
In many ways, she was a symbol of hope for the family. She passed last year at the age of 19 from an overdose. The craziest part of it all was that it blindsided everybody. No one in the family had any idea whatsoever that she was drinking and using drugs until her cause of passing was determined. Needless to say it was a terrible and shocking loss.
21. Couldn’t Hold It Any Longer
When I was 12 or 13 years old, I would help my grandpa cut grass and do other yard work for elderly people. We used to drive by the wastewater treatment plant almost every day and, on occasion, I would make a comment about how bad it smelled that day. Well, it turns out that half the time, it was my grandpa pooing himself.
He just held it in until the right time and, luckily for him, it was mostly silent. That explained why he would immediately go into the next customer’s house to fully relieve himself since about 90% of our customers were family or friends of family. My grandma told me this a couple days after he passed and I just thought it was hilarious. He was a great guy though. I miss him a lot.
22. A Shared Interest
I found out that my grandfather had a fairly large playing card collection. It was mostly casino decks from Vegas, but also a few random others like a Jack Daniels deck and one of those specialty decks. I found it in his house when we were cleaning it out after he passed a few years ago. The reason this is so shocking is because I’d been collecting playing cards myself since I was about 12.
I had never known that we shared this interest until he passed when I was 22. For 10 years, we had a shared, somewhat obscure hobby, and neither of us had any idea. I now have all of the cards we found in his house which had basically doubled my collection at the time. I offered to share, but nobody else in the family had any interest in them.
It makes me really sad to think that we never got the chance to talk about it. If there’s any sort of afterlife, I hope he sees that his collection went to a good home where it can be fully appreciated. Some of the specialty cards are still sealed and are the one deck I will never, ever open, even though I’d be super curious to see them all.
23. What’s In A Name?
My grandmother passed a few months ago. My entire life, she has always said she didn’t have a middle name and said that her mother didn’t give her one. Over the years, I’d seen credit cards or various other paperwork have a middle initial on it where they listed her name. When I asked about it, she said she used her maiden name as a middle name when it was required for random things.
After her passing, her daughters and I were going through some of her old paperwork and found her birth certificate. And lo and behold my grandma was a total liar, because guess what—there was a middle name on it. Her daughters had always been told the same as I had and none of us, or anyone else we’ve asked, ever knew that she had lied about this her entire life, let alone why. Her sisters and husband of 60+ years were oblivious, as well. Weird.
24. Bad Dad, Great Doctor
I was surprised to find out that my horrible dad had saved so many lives and was actually a good human being. He was a surgeon for 20 years in one of the top hospitals in the country. However, the corruption was so widespread throughout the country that if you had a family member in the ER, you better have paid some kickback to the nurse and doctor if you wanted them to take care of your dying family member.
If you were poor and unable to pay, it was most likely that your family member would not survive. My dad, on another hand, hated corruption and would never accept it. He banned his team from receiving kickbacks as well. He tried to save anyone who came to his care. So, at his funeral, around 400 people came and said a final thank you to my dad.
One person who stood out the most to me was this one old man. He told us that when he got out of prison, he had no money and no family. When he went to the ER after getting into some serious accident, my dad went above and beyond to save his life, and tried to get the hospital to forgive his medical bill. Unfortunately, none of our siblings really had any good relationship with him when he was still alive.
25. When A Community Unites
I had a cousin named Jeffery. He was a little odd and lived with his parents until around the age of 30. He was a really great human being, loved DC comics, worked at bass pro, collected rocks, and played PC games. He always socialized and such with others and was genuinely nice. One day at his parents home, he passed in the garage from a stroke. It shocked my family. But that wasn’t the most heartbreaking part.
What shocked everyone more was the outreach of love and sadness we got from his online gaming friends. Apparently, he had helped multiple people online with things like depression and mental issues, even talking someone out of passing. There were notes from all around the world that people sent to his parents, and someone from Japan even showed up to his funeral to pay his respects. You were one of the good ones Jeffery, rest in peace.
26. Fried Chicken Was Life
My maternal grandfather loved fried chicken more than life itself. He ended up dying from clogged arteries, heart failure, a heart attack, and something else…not all at once, but in a short span of time. How do I know he loved fried chicken? He had specifically asked for “KFC chicken on the bone” for his funeral meal after we buried him.
This was funny because I had just lost about 30 pounds for wrestling and I couldn’t digest food as heavy as that. So, on the drive back to Arizona, I hurled the colonels’ goods all over. I was 14 at the time. Oh, and also, he had a collection of KFC buckets he kept. I’m not exactly sure why, but this guy was licensed to kill for the government, and he loved his chicken.
27. Raised On The Ranch
An old, grumpy, and kind of mean cowboy I knew named T lived in a trailer with a little wife on this huge undeveloped/falling apart ranch for as long as I had known him. Before he passed, we had lost contact, but I got an invitation to come back to the ranch to put T to rest. I went to the funeral thinking I would be one of the few. Boy, was I in for a surprise…
Seriously, so many people were there. I was shocked since I had only known T as being a pretty solitary guy. I found out that he and his wife adopted and fostered troubled children from all over the country for decades. Everyone was telling incredible stories of how grateful they were that they had grown up on this ranch.
Everyone was crediting T or his wife with helping them in some way, from teaching them how to be a mechanic, to getting them into and sponsoring college, to teaching an adopted daughter how to cook and shoot. I mean, these were really incredible stories. I was shocked. I was, apparently, one of the last kids they unofficially fostered on the ranch.
I deeply credit who I am today as a result of T and his wife. The ranch was given to the YMCA to be turned into a sleep away kids camp for disabilities or low income kids in the summer, and to rehabilitate horses and convicts in the off seasons. They were just incredible. Never judge a book by its cover, you just never know.
28. A Gift From Beyond The Grave
I was given a gift for my confirmation from my grandmother, who had passed 4 years prior. She had given every grandchild a handmade bobbin lace handkerchief for their confirmations. Though, I never knew about it. She must have known that it was unlikely she would make it to mine, so she made the handkerchief beforehand and gave it to my parents to keep.
I don’t know how long they had it, but considering that she was 89 when she passed and was suffering from dementia for a while in the end, it was probably close to 10 years.
29. From A Prankster To A Seaman
I found out the reason why my grandpa was forced into the navy. He dumped a keg of black pepper into the air system of his high school and got caught on his way down the ladder from the roof. It shut down the school for a month. The judge said he could have been incarcerated or go to the navy. That’s when his life changed forever.
My grandpa’s stepdad said he’d be at the recruitment office by the morning. He became a medic and caused trouble by removing the red cross on his uniform. His reason was because the red cross made him an obvious target and he wanted to live. I love my grandpa and think he was an awesome guy.
30. It’s The Little Things That Matter
I lost my grandma to bone cancer a few months ago. We have a huge family…my grandparents had six kids and the next generation is made up of over 20 grandkids. We had brunch as a family at her house the day after she passed and afterwards my grandpa passed out envelopes with our names on them. My grandma had kept all of the cards, drawings, newspaper articles, sports or music program handouts, notes and other miscellaneous things we had given her or she had found, and kept them in said envelopes. She had one for everybody.
One of my favorite gems was in my mom’s envelope, which was a Christmas card my mom had made for my grandma when my mom was a little kid. In the card, it said that bad kids make grumpy parents and Santa wouldn’t be coming. It was really cool, but shocking that she was able to keep up with it for so many years without any of us knowing.
31. Coming Into Cash
About 20 years before she passed, my grandmother “discovered” about $10,000 in cash that she had hidden in various spots around the house. She grew up during the depression and only marginally trusted banks, so she took a ton of money and hid it, just in case. All the bills were printed pre 1960. She simply forgot that she had hidden the money, so it was as much a shock for her as it was for us.
32. Unopened Treasures
When my brother passed, my mom learned that he never unpacked most of the “care packages” she used to send him. I don’t really blame my brother; our mom tends to send random stuff that is completely unnecessary. I guess her love language is “Dollar Store Junk.” But, it did hurt her feelings and I wish someone else had gotten to his apartment before her and quietly gotten rid of them.
33. Keeping The Love Alive
My wife left incredibly loving statements about me in her diary. I still haven’t been able to get through reading the whole thing, but I did flip to the back and found where she wrote, “I knew you’d look back here. Thank you for slumming it with me all these years.” For the record, I’ve never “slummed” a day in my life.
34. Ignorance Is Bliss
When my father-in-law passed, we were cleaning out his house. Unluckily, I found his illicit stash and a few other unsavory toys. I boxed them up and got them out of the house when no one was around or watching, and buried them in the dumpster. He was a good man and I love his daughter. I thought it was one last favor I could provide him.
35. A Captivating Career Choice
After her passing, I learned that my grandmother was a synchronized swimmer at the 1939 World’s Fair and was a swimmer in a couple of those giant synchronized swimming numbers in the movies in the 30s. I’m a semi-professional mermaid now and I would have loved to talk to her about her experiences.
36. So That’s Where The Pool Came From
Just today, I heard this story about my grandpa, who passed last November. Back in the 60s, maybe before my dad was even born, he was very good friends with one of these three brothers called the Paulsons. When the Paulsons wanted to start a pool installation business, my grandpa thought it was a bad idea for whatever reason, and wouldn’t give them the money. They went to the bank to get a loan.
It was a small town, so they talked directly to the owner of the bank for this couple-thousand-dollar loan, but he said no. After a little time, they came back to the bank again, this time at night. They blew a hole in the bank and took what they needed before getting caught. Considering how close my grandpa was to the Paulsons, the officers tried to get my grandpa incarcerated, too, but there wasn’t any evidence he was in on it or even knew about it.
Whenever someone asked him about it, he never said he wasn’t in on it. But, he never said he was, either. So, my grandpa was probably kind of a bank crook. The epilogue to this story happens years later when the Paulsons get out of incarceration and go back to the bank owner to ask for a loan. Funnily enough, they get the loan this time, and that’s how my grandpa was able to get a pool in his backyard.
37. A Secret Sibling
We very recently found out via ancestry.com that my grandfather had an illegitimate child that was born the year he married my grandmother. I have a half-aunt, blood test confirmed. She’s 50, and only knew her father could be my grandfather because her mother told her what his name possibly was. So, she went looking and she eventually found us. My mother sent her a DNA test to confirm, and it was a match.
38. Multi-Million Dollar Decisions
My dad passed away about a year and a half ago. At his Celebration of Life, his best friend from high school spoke. I knew my dad patented a retinal scan, but there was something I did not know…He had received no less than three offers for his patent. He was offered $20 million from the United States Government, $21 million from a medical company, and $22 million from IBM.
He turned down all of the deals as he didn’t want to sell out his invention. He started up a company called EyeDentify instead, and was later bought out by others that helped start the company for considerably less.
39. It Pays To Be Kind
An elderly man at my church lived alone because he was a widower, and was thought to be quite poor. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, parishioners would bring him food baskets and practical things he could use for daily living. To everyone’s amazement, when he passed, he left the church just under $2 million with a letter expressing his gratitude for the years of care the church had shown him.
40. They Were All In On It
About a year after his passing, I found an old 1988 Wall Street Journal article about my father. It turns out that when I was eight, my dad had been federally indicted by the SEC for insider trading and in this article, about five or six of my parents’ long time friends were named as having different roles. My mom’s best friend, my godmother, worked as an assistant for the CEO of the company and was giving my dad all of his insider information when to make trades.
My dad’s close friend, who I knew was an attorney, represented my dad. My dad’s friend in Florida whose house we used to vacation at, was his partner in the scheme. My mom’s hair dresser who I always knew as my “gay uncle,” was one of the friends buying the stock. He was also the one who the SEC tapped the phone off and had him recorded talking about how my father set up the whole thing. It took me a while to wrap my head around all of that.
41. Weird Financial Decisions
My mom passed from cancer a couple years ago. While I was going through her office, I discovered something about her finances that had me face-palming big time. I did some math and figured that she spent just shy of $200,000 on shamans, miracle cures and weird investments in South America during the last two years of her life.
42. Surprising Stunts From Grandpa
When my grandfather passed, I found an old medal of his. There were two men on a motorcycle. One of them was driving and the other one was standing up on his seat. I asked my dad about it and it turns out that my grandfather used to be a motorcycle acrobat. Seriously, how rare was that? How many motorcycle acrobats used to be in middle Europe around 1960/70?
43. Better Than The Best
My grandfather was scouted by the Australian Olympics team for archery. This man had never done professional archery and had never gone to any competitions. The committee had heard about him purely by word of mouth. They sent a representative who had a chat with him and watched him shoot over the next few days before offering the position.
Grandpa then went to Sydney and was asked to shoot a few arrows with the members of the team that year. He smoked all of them by splitting arrow after arrow. Then, he told them he wasn’t interested in representing Australia and left. He just wanted to see if he was better than the best. That goal stuck with him well into his final years doing dancing or any hobby he applied himself too. It was amazing to hear about.
44. More Important Than You Think
The most shocking thing that I learned about my friend after he passed was that he would talk about me to his family, in a good way, of course. When he passed from cancer last year, I met his parents and introduced myself as a former coworker. I told them that he was always really encouraging back in the day when I always spoke of wanting to be a writer.
His mom perked up and said, “Oh, he used to talk about you! He always hoped it would work out for you.” I found that to be very encouraging. I cried a bit in the car as I was leaving the wake.
45. Putting Other People First
My grandfather passed in December of 2015, the day before my 18th birthday. He passed of old age, but he still had to suffer through Alzheimer’s. I was one of the last people to see him before his burial and he looked like he was sleeping. What I learned after his passing was that he did a lot of volunteer work during his time, despite his failing business.
He worked at his local church and did so much good for the people. I loved his story. He lived far away, so I sadly never really had the chance to ask. He now rests peacefully with his wife who passed 15 years prior.
46. Not Your Typical Meet Cute
My uncle passed last year because of cancer that spread in his lungs, suffocating him. What I learned during the speech my own father gave before his cremation, left me in tears. Before meeting his wife, he lived in a flat. One day, there was a party and my father was present. He was drinking and was confronted by a lady in her late twenties.
She was as old as my uncle, and a little older than my father. The woman made a snarky comment about my father drinking. This was very odd, considering they were at a party after all. It was my uncle’s neighbour, whom my dad ended up calling, “The loud and annoying woman next door.” I personally prefer to call her “mom.”
47. Some Skeletons In The Closet
I was extremely surprised to find out that my grandfather ended my uncle’s life because he thought the child was not his. Then my grandmother had another baby, my father, who they passed off as the dead child. For context, my grandfather and grandmother married in the early 1950s. My grandfather was in the army and stationed in Germany. This was during the conflict in Korea, but he didn’t go over there.
His mother was sick, so he came home early to be with her. His wife became pregnant, but he didn’t think the timing made sense based on when he came home, so he thought that the baby wasn’t his. That’s when he did the most horrifying act: he ended the baby’s life with his pistol. He said he was cleaning the pistol and it was an accident. I don’t know if the baby was his or not.
They then had another baby, my dad, and never went to the hospital. They just passed my dad off as the first baby. We think my dad is about two years younger than his birth certificate says. This all came out when my grandfather passed and my grandmother was still alive. My dad already knew, but didn’t really talk about it and still doesn’t.
48. Living A Double Life
My aunt showed up at her longtime lover and father of her two kids’ funeral…just to meet his wife and six legitimate kids. She had no idea. He led a really well kept double life and it all fell apart. His wife hates my aunt, although strangely his youngest kid with his wife, who is three days older than my aunt’s older kid, gets along really well with my aunt and is currently living with her.
The kid is studying at a college in my aunt’s town and his roommates did him dirty, didn’t pay rent and he was evicted. My aunt told him he could stay until he found a new place. Eventually, they agreed he could just pay her rent and stay until whenever because he likes how quiet her place is for studying and she likes that her kids are getting to know at least one of their half siblings.
49. A Deeply Disappointing Find
When cleaning out my great aunt’s house, we found a ton of her handwritten journals. She was always very sweet and giving. She was also a bit opinionated, but always pretty nice about it. When going through one of her journals, I learned a lot about her that I never knew. Quite a bit of what I discovered disappointed me. I had no idea she was extremely prejudiced.
My brother is half black and she wrote about how every time was around him, she couldn’t stand it. When going to the grocery store, she always complained about different races. Everything is this race’s fault or that race’s fault. She always seemed so sweet and caring. It’s been hard to accept that she was actually very hateful and bitter.
50. He Knew Ahead Of Time
Apparently, my uncle would confide in my mom that he knew he was going to pass while young. He said he had special powers and an angel would come visit him and tell him the future. At 26 years old, he passed. One of those electric power lines snapped and dropped down and electrocuted him. He had three life insurance policies totalling somewhere over $500k.
When they cleaned out his room, they found a bunch of trinkets that were supposed to be “enchanted,” witchcraft-like stuff. Coincidences like that is why I can’t ever shut out religion and the possibility of God, angels and demons.