Some people just don’t want to carry secrets with them to the afterlife. So, when standing by a deathbed—watch out. There’s likely to be an outrageous zinger or two. It could be a long-forgotten transgression, a saucy family secret, or even some long-awaited moment of revenge. They’re all here—and then some. Sit back, have a read, and get a few ideas about what to say as the end draws near.
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. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.”
5. 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.
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. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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?
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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!
16. 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.
17. 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.”
18. 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?
19. 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.
20. 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.
21. 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.
22. 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.
23. 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.”
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. 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.
27. 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.
28. 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.”
29. 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.
30. 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.
31. 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.
32. 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.
34. 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.
35. 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.”
36. 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!
37. 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?
38. 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.
39. 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.
40. 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.
41. 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”.
42. 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.
43. 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.
44. 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.
45. 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.
46. 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.
47. 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.
48. 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.
49. 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.
50. 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.
51. 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.
52. 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.