Keeping my Dad's secret

I lost my Dad on 13th January from lung cancer. He died quite suddenly at the end and we were with him when he died.
4 months before he died though, he told me a secret from his past which absolutely devastated me and changed my view of my Dad forever. I am the only person EVER to know this secret and he made me promise never to tell my mother or my sibling. I have shared it with my husband and a few very close friends and have had amazing support from the FSU at my local Sue Ryder Hospice but this secret haunts me every single day. My Dad wasn’t the man I thought he was and I can’t get over it. And the awful thing is that everyone else thinks he was the most amazing man they ever met. If only they knew! Am eaten up with this, especially around my Mum.
I cannot share this with any of my family as to do this would ruin their memories of the man they loved, so I have to suck it up and carry it with me forever.
Sorry for whinging - just needed to unload and rant a bit.

Hello, welcome to our online Community. I am sorry that your dad shared a secret with you prior to his death and that it has ruined your memories of him. Are you able to understand why he shared the secret with you and not other members of the family? You often hear that people "want to get their house in order " before their passing, do you think he wanted to clear his conscience? Sorry for do many questions. Thinking of you Carolyn

Charasi - Freedom is a gift we receive and give back.
I share in your pain and you have said a lot in such a short space here. I just want you to think back before you learned about this secret of your dad and before he became unwell. What was dad to you? Possibly your ‘bright star’, your ‘hero’, etc. Think on the happy times you spent together; then put this thinking into your emotions - anger, fear, peace and joy. What I expect emerged is your Dad whatever you perceived him to be. Then think of the turmoil he had in his last hours on earth and wanting to offload, but who can help him, his daughter whom he trust, whom he cherished, whom he cared for. So he found peace by entrusting this to you. Is this a privilege? Think on how this feels. Now to fact, no one on this planet is perfect - we all make mistakes and think on the side of you that no one knows about that core you, that precious you, that safe you, thoughts that you would not share with anyone. Finally consider the effect on your mother if she knew, the family, friends the devastation; possibly living with mother saying to you “My married life, my life was a lie”. Whichever you chose you will live with for the rest of your life. Now think about putting closure to Dad’s life and celebrate that life you grew up with and knew and shared. Then think about letting him go and taking with you into the future the parts of the past you want to cherish. By freeing him you find you free yourself. By forgiving him with a forgiveness that is altruism not reciprocity will give you inner peace. When you are ready close the book on dad’s life and celebrate the parts of him you need. By the way my mother told me she had two twins. They died (kidney). My dad died and never knew. Mom disclosed it to me, but I never told him. He said, “I am going to die, but I am worried how your mother will cope without me”. Hope you will make the right decision.

Hi Carolyn,
Thankyou for taking the time to reply to me.
My Dad said he told me “as I would understand”. Well, I didn’t! But I tried really really hard to be non judgemental and understanding but the knowledge of what he had done and how he had deceived us, especially my Mum, affected my relationship with him in the months before his death. I tried sooo hard to be loving towards him but wanted to scream at him at the same time. I WISH he had never told me.
I don’t think he wanted to clear his conscience, I think he was scared of being found out via Facebook - long story.
I think he was selfish and I hate him for what he did.

Hi Hunter,
Lovely and very wise words. Thankyou for taking the time to reply to me.
I am in turmoil at the minute. Possibly because yesterday was the 3 month anniversary of his death and my emotions are all over the place.
I will think long and hard about what you have said. I have chosen already NEVER to disclose his secret to those it would hurt the most but I hurt all the time. I doesn’t feel like a privilege - maybe one day it will - at the minute it just feels like he was very selfish.
Sorry if I sound harsh - am all over the place.

Hi Charasi,

It’s totally understandable that you are angry and in turmoil - you’ve been put in an incredibly difficult position. It sounds as though it won’t be easy to learn to live with what you know, and it will probably take time.

It’s good that you’ve got a few different sources of support outside the family so you don’t have to bear this burden completely on your own.

Feel free to keep venting your emotions on this site if it helps at all - that is what we are here for!

I guess if people have a secret they will always be afraid it will get found out. If Facebook could uncover it is there a possibility that your mother and sibling could still find out? Maybe one day you may realise why he chose to tell you. Thinking of you

Of course you are right, it takes time. You are not harsh at all. No one knows your dad more than you. You will have the best interpretation of his intentions being closest to his thoughts at the time - you saw his body language, heard his disclosure and intentions and interpret them. So yes your feelings are absolutely true. However within your inner conflict continue to accept your own family support. Will keep you in my thoughts.

Hi Charasi,

I was wondering how you were getting along? Drop in and post any time you feel you need to talk. Thinking of you.

Hello Charasi
Hope you are ‘keeping up’. Thinking of you

Hello All,
Am still here and thank you for thinking about me. It means a lot.
Am still struggling to be honest especially as the 6 month anniversary is looming.
We have also arranged to scatter Dad’s ashes this coming week which I am not looking forward to. True to form - he has been selfish ( my opinion) and wants to go back to where he was born. So my poor Mum is left with nothing as the place is around 80 miles away and she has no plans to be scattered there when her time comes.
Hey ho - I try not to be bitter and twisted but I miss him and hate him and love him and want to kill him all at the same time. Aaaaarrggghhhh xxxxx