People Disclose What They Discovered About Their Loved Ones After They Passed
Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

It's always heart-wrenching when a loved one passes away. You can't make any more memories with that person, you won't be able to see or talk to them again, and you won't be able to learn anything more about them... or so you think.

While it's true that you won't see your relative again, that doesn't mean you stop learning things about them. My aunt played six instruments, spoke nine languages, and made the hair spray she used to give me. I never knew any of that until after she passed. It made me see her in a whole new way. I also inherited her journal, which included the formula to make that hair spray.

There are plenty of opportunities to learn about someone you've lost. Sometimes you learn something good, sometimes bad, and sometimes just plain hilarious.

That's probably the inspiration behind Redditor HarryHolmes68's question.

He asked:

"What did you find out about one of your loved ones after they passed away?"

Made From A Grandmother's Secret Recipe

"Wow my Nana had a famous chicken stew wouldn’t share it at all. After she died my grandfather admitted it was just canned creamy chicken soup some veggies and KFC chicken. I make it now but no wonder it had a certain taste it was KFC chicken"

– Megalush

"That my grandmother lied about all her recipes"

"I used to ask for copies of recipes of my favorites but I could never make it taste right. I'd cook things with her that when I did it with her helping never tasted right. Always got the "oh don't worry, it takes practice". Thought I was just a terrible cook for years. When clearing out her home after she passed away recently, my dad found a secret stash of recipes very well hidden. Turns out all the "copies" she wrote for us were wrong, deliberately. I'm 43 and just started making these recipes again off her secret stash recipes and wouldn't you know, I can make them so they taste they way they should."

– eczblack

"I grew up loving the meatballs in gravy my grandma would make at the holidays. Turns out I just loved frozen meatballs in Heinz gravy from a jar."

– DeadMansPizzaParty

A Beautiful Life

"My uncle was the gentlest, most kind hearted man I knew. Always joking with us kids and making everyone laugh. He married into the family and was loved by everyone."

"On the day of his funeral, the minister started talking about how he grew up. Then the minister continued on to the part no one, not even my aunt knew. She knew he was in the army in WWII but, nothing about what he did."

"He was a combat medic. Landed on Omaha beach. Everyone in the room was silent, awestruck, by this revelation. The weight he must have carried thru his life, refusing to tell anyone, not even his wife of 50 years."

"I realized he had seen the worst of life, been thru a literal hell on earth and chose to make everyone else's lives better because of it. Still brings a tear to my eye 18 years later."

– DihtdtscIdgara

And A True Villain

"My maternal grandmother was a con artist and lived life on the run since she was 21 years old. I have since uncovered 7 different marriage certificates around different states, marrying different men, and I suppose funding her lifestyle. I also believe she abducted my mother from a hospital as we’ve found her real birth mother now, aged 91. It’s an insane story I’ve uncovered."

– YUHMTX

Remember The Name

"My dad passed when I was 6yo. He loved golf. My single mom couldn’t afford to put me in it but I used to dabble at the local park. Finally, in college I could afford the uni rate of $200 all summer (‘92). One night I went out and joined two older guys. They saw my last name on my tag and asked if I was Joe’s kid. I was. I spent those 9 holes learning about him crashing his Aston Martin, hitch hiking cross Canada with just his wallet (that I am using right now!), and how much he could drink! But they didn’t leave out the fact that his crazy partying days ended when he met mom. That happened 30yrs this summer, heck maybe to the week!, but I’m still tearing up finishing this post."

– justaspoonthanks

The Family Keeps Growing

"Uncle Ingram was apparently a sperm donor back in the 1950s. New cousins pop up on 23andme every couple of years."

– Vampilton

Found Family

"I was kicked out at 16, my best friends mother took me in as her own, she died yesterday, my best friend sent me a picture of her photo album titled, “my sons” and it was just pictures of my best friend and me. It’s been a pretty emotional last 24 hours."

– Iian8787

Everyone Deserves A Chance

"My grandfather was a bank executive at a small bank in a farm town in Arkansas. After his death my mother found a ledger in his safety deposit box. He made loans to people the bank had denied due to background, type of employment and/or skin color. He made the loans from his own pocket. Most of the loans were between $200 to $500. He charged a nominal percentage rate and everything he earned in interest he donated to the church. My grandmother had no idea and was heartwarmed when she found out. He died in 1972."

– username987654321a

A Secret Life

"Oh ok I got this one"

"My mom’s late boyfriend. Really great guy. Colon cancer and passed at age 54. He was a lifelong firefighter after the army. He joked all the time about being a spy in Vietnam. Always joked about having a third degree black belt. Just on and on"

"You never knew if you could take him seriously"

"So he passed. Sad times of course. I help mom clean out his house. We find his old war chest from the Spanish American War. Was passed down"

"Opened it up and god damn…I start finding all sorts of papers marked Top Secret. All sorts of coded messages. I could make out bits of things but it was in verbiage I didn’t understand"

"And hey look there is a black belt that is rather old"

"He wasn’t lying the whole time"

– DaniTheLovebug

The Real Life Tommy and Tuppence

"My Grandmother passed a couple of years ago. She was in her 90’s; a wonderful, bright, classy lady whom I loved. She worked in strike command in the war (the girls moving the model planes on the big maps in the WW2 films), then worked at Bletchley Park towards the end of the war (it is known for being a major centre for allied codebreaking) and then when the war ended she went to work at the Coal Board (government organisation that managed the procurement and distribution of a critical resource at the time) where she met my Grandfather."

"I started reading John Le Carre novels a few years ago after seeing one next to my Grandfather’s chair when visiting. In one book (I forget which) the ‘Coal Board’ is used as a euphemism for the secret service. I formed a theory that my Grandmother worked in British Intelligence in the years after the war, and so did my Grandfather."

"Earlier this year I visited my Grandad; now in his mid 90’s, still heartbroken after losing his great love but doing much better now. We were chatting about my Grandmother over a cuppa and I told him my theory. He looked me dead in the eye and said ‘well it’s about time someone worked it out’. When I mentioned the theory to my Dad some weeks later he suddenly seemed to be flustered and changed the subject very quickly…"

– Ordinary_Shallot_674

Star-Crossed Lovers

"Not my story but I'll just add this here..."

"A friend of mine lost her great grandmother, who had 16 children with her husband. After, they tried to learn more about her past but nothing existed before her marriage, same for the husband. They went to NM to try to find relatives but came up with nothing for a very long time. Eventually, a cousin found her sister. They were told that everybody thought she was dead a long time ago, and blamed her husband's community. Their great grandmother was full blooded Native American to the area and their great grandfather was a Spanish conquistador. They fell in love, but it was clear that both of their families and communities were against a relationship between the two. So they left. They came to CA and started their very large family. All of their kids, grandkids, and great grandkids say there was nothing but love between the two."

"Edit: a Spanish conquistador descendant"

– Born-Rice-7778

Jump Back!

"During ww2 my great grandmother was a teenager. At her funeral I found out her and her friends had went through great lengths to get an illegal radio. Those were mostly used to hear news about the war while being under germany, but my great grandmother and her friends didnt do that. They werent freedom fighters, they werent rebels, they didnt want to think about the war. All they wanted to do was take the radio, go into the woods and dance"

"I think about that often"

– Wwud400

Unsung Hero

"My youngest brother passed away. We hadn't seen each other in a few years bc I'm estranged from my dad and stepmom (his mom)and he lived with them. Found out the reason they no longer dead named/misgendered my sister was because HE wouldn't allow them to."

– Exact_Roll_4048

Brotherhood

"My great uncle was a cop in Chicago back in the 70’s and 80’s before he retired. He’s recently passed and I found out how him and his best friend (who we call flounder) met."

"So Flounder is about 20 years younger than my uncle was, so I always wondered how the exactly became friends, but when I found out it made me respect my uncle more."

"When he was younger, Flounder had a really shitty home life. His dad was a drunk and aggressive and his mom I don’t know much about. When my uncle was a cop, they would get frequent domestic calls from Flounders house. So, since this was back in the 80’s, my uncle and his two parters would go the house and his partners would stay behind and beat the shit out of the dad, and my uncle would take Flounder for ice cream."

"This caused a friendship that lasted decades and it was really tough to see Flounder, a very happy and goofy guy, be solemn during the funeral."

– Gibby_the_loser

From Pizza To The Top

"i found out that when my dad applied to a job in IT, which kickstarted his career and eventually led to him working at IBM, he wrote on his resume that he was currently a Pizza Pie Engineer. he got the job."

"mine's not as cool or funny as the other comments here. i just found this out today and it made me smile. i'll miss you forever u/dmacnutt"

– walanis

Serving The Community

"How successful my grandfather was and how he gave his community everything."

"My grandfather came from a very poor family and was the only son to go to college as the other one had to drop out so they could afford one son to be educated. From that, he earned his doctorate and became the first doctor in my community. Previously, we didn't have doctors in the community we could go to, so this was kinda huge. On top of that, he started the first clinic and was the foundation of the medicine aspect of my community."

"At the time, he lived in Kenya, and he brought the first readily accessible x-ray machine to the area. Besides the large hospital, no other local clinic had an x-ray machine. He dedicated his life to providing health care to my community and the people who lived in the area. He reached out to other clinics to work together and was the founder of many in the area. He dedicated his life to providing care to people even after he had retired. I never realized how much time, effort, and money he put in the ensure that he was able to ensure some form of medical care to even the most rural settlements."

"I had no idea how much of an impact he had on the community. After he had passed, so many people around the world reached out to us from London to New Zealand to give their condolences. After learning of all this, I carry those stories with me. The one thing I regret the most is never asking him of his achievements. I wish I had more time with him, but I'm glad I got to see him and be with him when he passed. It's hard to move forward but learning of what he did for his family and community lights a fire in me. I know I can never be half the person he will be, but I will strive to live up to his reputation because he will forever be my #1 role model."

– little_bees

Music Should Always Be Free

"My mom was a private music teacher and after she died we went through her books. Turns out half of her clients were "on scholarship" ie not paying at all. Just got free lessons for years."

"She was a saint and didn't tell a soul."

– iamterrifiedofyou

A Prophet In The Making

"My brother was killed in a car crash at 18 years old. I found out a little later from my mom that he had said to her about 2-4 months before he died that he had feeling he was going to die very young. He didn’t know why, he just had a feeling. And he was right. :("

– HoneyBun_Bia

A True Hero

My maternal grandmother we found after she had passed was using 10% of her income to sponsor unfortunate kids all over the world. She had been doing it for the last 40 years of her life nonstop. We found letters of her giving those kids advice, and then keeping in contact with them pretty much their whole lives. She received pictures of them growing up, and having families."

"Essentially, my grandmother had far more than 5 kids. She helped to raise, and more grandchildren and great grandchildren than we ever knew. Most of the kids she sponsored were orphans. We spent the next several months after her death getting in touch with all these people. Some managed to attend her funeral, some to this day made a trip to where we spread her ashes, and sent us photos of them there."

"We knew she was a saint to us, but we didn't know she was a Saint to hundreds of children spanning 4 decades."

– sicurri

What a beautiful thing to learn!

It's never easy losing someone, but with lessons or secrets like these waiting, they can live on in your heart.

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