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26 Deathbed Confessions That Have Completely Changed The Way I Look At Others — Even My Loved Ones

"My mom and aunt grew up thinking their sister, Suzanne, died by slipping and falling while getting out of the bathtub. They were all in their twenties when it happened, and it wasn’t until my grandfather was on his deathbed that my mom and aunt finally found out how she really died..."

Have you ever found yourself up late at night wondering how many people actually confess to murders and other terrible/bizarre/intriguing things on their deathbed or is that just me......?

Assuming it's not just me, I asked the BuzzFeed Community to share the wildest deathbed confessions they've been told...and YUP, they delivered.

So without further ado, here are some of the wildest, most terrifying, and surprisingly sweetest(...?) deathbed confessions out there.

1. "My mom had a patient who was terminal and confessed to killing his twin brother in Vietnam so he could blame the death on the war, steal his identity, and then return to the US to be with his brother’s wife."

"The wife had passed away years earlier, and the patient’s children blamed the confession on dementia until after his passing. But as it turns out, the patient’s daughter ended up finding a handwritten confession from decades ago stuffed in an old Bible."


cemetery with american flags at each tombstone

2. "A great aunt of mine says that when her husband was on his deathbed, he confessed that he had actually shrunk two of her very favorite and expensive sweaters by drying them many years earlier."

"She thought that maybe someone broke in and stole her things because he threw them away to hide the evidence. For YEARS, she had hoped that they might turn up. She said she even suspected one of her friends may have stolen them at a party! Nope. He was just afraid to admit that he'd ruined them. For like 20 years. She forgave him (obviously), and they had a laugh about it right near the end."


3. "Not my story, but that of a hospice worker who spoke to my class. One of her patients was a bed-bound woman in her nineties who was generally unresponsive but had flashes of recognition and engagement. Now this patient was from a US state that prided itself on its state university and the university’s football team, and this woman’s family had attended this university for four or five generations. However, her 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. Suddenly, the patient sat up, looked at her great-granddaughter, said, 'Traitor!' and fucking DIED."


4. "My great-grandmother told us her birthday was Oct. 30 her whole life. On her deathbed, we found out it was Oct. 31 — she and her family had lied for 80-plus years out of superstition. Paperwork proved it after she was gone."


5. "When I was in hospital, the guy in the bed next to me just asked to stop taking his meds as he was ready to die. Last thing I heard him say was 'There's no one waiting for me at home, so I'm going where they are.' Wasn't really a shocking confession, just a lonely and heartbreaking one."


6. "I didn't see it, but my aunt watched her elderly mother fall down the stairs and confess, just before she died, that she wasn't her biological mother. She told my aunt 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."


7. "Before my grandma passed, she told us she hated being married and raising kids."

"She said she wanted to do so many things she could never do, but that she still loved everyone more than anything. My mom later passed away with the same type of regrets."


8. "I had a patient who was an 86-year-old woman who put a BUNCH of crosses around the room. I had to ask her to take them down due to the inability to create the care she needed. She insisted they all stay up because 'It was one cross for each soul she took.' If that's true, she took 14 souls."


9. "When my grandpa was dying, he confessed to my mom that her younger brother was not his biological son. My grandma had passed away years earlier and had gone to her grave with the secret."

"My grandparents were not together and lived separately, but during that time, it would have been scandalous to have a child by another man. My grandfather raised my uncle like he was his own son, and none of the kids or anyone suspected he had a different dad. It wasn't until later, when my mom told my uncle, and he didn't care. Basically no one in our family knows; even I found out by accident."


10. "I work in end-of-life care and have been there for many deathbed confessions, but the saddest one was a woman who delivered a stillborn baby out of wedlock at home by herself and decided to put the baby's body in the basement freezer because she couldn't bear the idea of her community knowing what happened."


11. "My mom never knew her dad, as she was the result of a one-night stand back in the early '60s. My nan came from a conservative family, so it was a bit of a scandal. She was going to give my mom up, but her own mother (my great-nan) said no way and raised her herself."

"My nan always lied about who my mom's dad was, saying he was a horrible person and going as far as to give him a cartoon character's name, thinking it would make it hard to ever look him up. On her deathbed, she confessed she actually didn't know who he was, and that he was one of a few sailors who were at the port when my mom was conceived. She had no names and no details about him at all."


12. "My partner's grandfather never spoke about his World War II service. After he served, his adult life was spent mostly as an alcoholic and being a shit husband and father, though in his later years he was able to make some good. In his dying hours, he relived his time at war. Some things he said were: 'Oh god, they're here.' 'They're behind us, sir.' 'Stab him, stab him...fucking stick him!' 'Help! Medic!' 'They're all around.' He also had a string of names he kept saying. Such a tortured, broken mind."


13. "My dad told me that when his grandfather was about to die, he finally told his family why he had this tattoo on his arm — it was always a mystery because he was a pastor at a church, and he never spoke of it."

"Apparently when he was 19, he was a safecracker and robbed a bank and then got arrested, so he got the tattoo in prison. But when he got out, he decided to never tell anyone and turned his life around."


14. "My grandfather admitted to me and only me that he 'accidentally' had sex with a man."


15. "My mom and aunt grew up thinking their sister, Suzanne, died by slipping and falling while getting out of the bathtub. They were all in their twenties when it happened, and it wasn’t until my grandfather was on his deathbed that my mom and aunt found out how she really died."

'They had been cleaning out the house when they came across Suzanne’s death certificate and discovered the true cause of death. They confronted my grandfather who confessed that Suzanne had died by suicide."


16. "When my grandfather died, he finally told my mom that he and my grandmother had been divorced for YEARS. No one in the family knew at all."

"He had it in his will to still give her everything, and they still lived together. When my mom was going through his things, sure enough, she found the divorce papers dating back to 1978."


17. "My grandma confessed to cheating on her husband, and she encouraged my mother (her daughter-in-law) to do the same."


18. "A lady told me that she used to be a sex worker during the Second World War 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. She also told me that she aborted more than five fetuses during that time."


19. "Not really a confession, but my cousin and I got into a car accident and he died. His friends got him to steal and vandalize so many things. They also put him in jail four different times. When we were in the hospital and he was about to die, his last words were: 'Welp, if I go to hell, at least I’ll be with all my friends. I love you.'"


20. "My grandmother was born in Cuba, and when she came to the US, she would cash her social security checks and keep them in a pot under her bed. When she died, we decided to go through every inch of her apartment to see if we could find the money she would hide."

"My uncle told us that the final week she was in the hospital, she kept telling him to check in the oven but gave no context as to why. Well, when my mom and I opened the oven door, we found a trash bag taped under one of the racks. We opened it up and found two Tupperware containers with a total $12,000 in them."


21. "My dad grew up thinking his mom committed suicide when he was 10. When my grandfather passed away about a decade ago, he confessed to my dad on his deathbed that he had actually killed my grandmother."


22. "My grandmother told all of the 'kids' (me and my grown cousins) that she had a tattoo of the outline of Texas on her ass. The nurse in the room burst out laughing and confirmed that it was true."


23. "My grandma confessed to murder on her deathbed. Usually, you’d think it was the pain relief, but she was such an eccentric that it was actually believable. We traced all her ex-husbands, partners, and any other likely candidates, and fortunately no one was missing or died an untimely death, but sometimes I wonder..."


24. "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, but each time he confessed to us, the details changed. It happened a couple of times a day over the course of his final week. We finally figured out that he would watch the local news and hear about these things happening then would think he had actually witnessed them."


25. "My great-aunt passed away a couple of years ago. She was suffering from viral encephalitis and fluctuated in and out of consciousness. One day, 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, and eventually, she explicitly called me to her side. Her eyes looked huge and confused, and I doubt she knew who I was. She spat out her words, most of which were barely comprehensible, putting particular emphasis on 'boy' and 'ingredient.'"

"I sat there for 15 minutes, listening to her erratic account of, as I finally gathered, how she sometimes used to cook eggs in the urine of a stable boy instead of water. She insisted that he was handsomely compensated for his services, but now and then, she started to cry and couldn’t stop. 

I googled this weeks later, and there indeed exists a traditional 'dish' in China described in the West as Virgin boy egg from centuries ago. Apparently, this concept had fascinated her and 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."


26. And finally: "Over the course of my great-grandmother's nearly 100-year life, she had collected owls. Literally thousands of owl figurines. She had clocks, wall-hangings, potholders, lamps, stained glass art, salt shakers — everything you could imagine, all depicting owls. We all wondered about the importance of the owls. She never talked about them, we just all knew she loved owls."

"Well, when she was nearing death, at the age of 98 or 99, and the doctors said she only had a couple days left, my grandparents asked her if she had anything she wanted to share or ask before she goes. She thought for a moment, then said, 'I never understood the owls.'

Turns out, she didn't really give a shit about owls. Some time in the '40s or '50s perhaps, she bought either a trivet or a set of salt and pepper shakers that were owls. Then someone got her another owl figurine. From then on, someone got her an owl to match, and it kept going. All the sudden, her kitchen was owl-themed. From there, it snowballed. The owls flowed like wine, baffling her for 60 years, and eventually taking over as the bulk of her personal belongings. The moral is: if you're not actually into something, mention it early."


Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.