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Woman Told Her Daughter Her Father Had Died – Years Later, the Girl Discovered a Heartbreaking Truth

When Cassie returns from a getaway with her husband and son, she walks into her home to see a cryptic message from her mother — telling her to watch a video. As Cassie presses play, her entire life changes. In the end, she’s left wondering which of her parents are worthy of forgiveness.

In my eyes, my father could do no wrong. He was everything I needed him to be and more. He was a businessman who was always traveling, but he ensured that he made enough time for me.

“You’re my little girl, Cassie,” he would say, bopping my nose with his index finger. “You’re the most special.”

A father carrying his daughter | Source: Pexels

My parents always went out of their way for me — ensuring that despite their busy schedules, we would have family dinner almost every night.

It was the one thing that kept me grounded while both of my friends from school were in the middle of their parents’ messy divorces.

“I think it’s trendy now,” I told my mother as she cut slices of banana bread for me after school one day.

Sliced banana bread | Source: Unsplash

“Cas, you cannot think that divorce is trendy,” she laughed. “It’s devastating and traumatic, and very few families actually keep things civil.”

“I’m just saying that it’s trendy because a lot of kids live between two homes,” I explained to her. “It’s one of those things we were talking about in class today.”

I was fourteen, and the world seemed more dramatic than it should have been.

A smiling girl in a hoodie | Source: Pexels

But what I didn’t know was that my words seemed to be an incantation that settled over our home.

A few weeks after that conversation, my father went away on a business trip. A few hours after he had been gone, there was news of his passing.

“How?” I asked. “How did he die?”

“I don’t know what to tell you, Cassie,” she replied. “I’m just saying what the paramedics told me.”

Two paramedics standing | Source: Pexels

“So what will we do next?” I asked.

“What do you mean?” she asked, puzzled by the question.

“For the funeral?” I asked. “Aren’t we going to have one?”

“I don’t think so,” my mother replied. “Dad wanted to be cremated and have his ashes spread at the beach. Let’s do that instead.”

I couldn’t fathom why my mother would want to do that — but at the end of the day, she knew my father best. And the longer I thought about it, the more beautiful and sentimental a private ceremony at the beach felt.

“Don’t be difficult, Cassie,” my mother said when she saw me thinking about my next move.

“I’m not,” I said. “Really. I was just thinking about it. It’s a great idea, Mom.”

A pathway to the beach | Source: Unsplash

I could have fought her for a send-off that I thought would have been more appropriate. But what use would it have been? At the end of the day, we had both lost him.

The months following the beach ceremony felt weighted, and I knew that I was becoming deeply depressed — my father had been our world. And his absence was felt more than anything.

But, with time, I learned to live with it.

A girl sitting on the floor and looking out the window | Source: Pexels

Last week, I decided to book a cabin in the woods for a little family vacation. My son was adamant that camping was the new best thing, and I knew that despite the wonders of nature, I wasn’t going to camp in a tent without a bathroom in sight.

Instead, I thought that a cabin would be the best option — my husband, Derek, could camp outside with Drew, our son, if he insisted on it.

A cabin in the woods | Source: Unsplash

We had a dog, therefore, I asked my mother to house-sit for the week so that we could be at peace, knowing that Romeo was taken care of.

A week away was more than enough to restore my mind — and eventually, when we went back home, I was surprised to see that my mother wasn’t there. In fact, it looked like she had never been there.

But there, on the coffee table, was a note beneath the TV remote.

Watch this, Cassie. I’m sorry. — Mom

I didn’t know what was in store for me, but while Derek got Drew into the bath, I put the TV on and began to watch whatever my mother had planned.

The TV flickered to life, and there he was, my father, his voice a long-lost melody, his image aged but still, unmistakably him.

A person holding a TV remote | Source: Unsplash

Tears streamed down my face as the realization that he was still alive enveloped me in a mix of joy and disbelief.

The video message was nothing short of unpredictable.

My dear Cassie, I’m still here, alive. I’m so sorry for the pain that you must have felt from my loss. But it was needed. I needed to be removed from your life because of the sordid truth of my past. Your mother knows everything, please ask her for the truth.

My health is on a steady decline, and I would love to see you and explain it all.

Love you, Dad.

Without telling Derek or Drew anything, I grabbed the car keys and ran out. I needed my mother to explain.

“So, I bet you’ve got questions for me,” she said, opening the door.

“Explain it all,” I said.

“Cassie, it’s heavy. You look tired from your trip; are you sure you want to do this now?” she asked.

I nodded. It was now or never. I needed to know why my father faked his own death to get out of our lives.

My mother made us some tea and took out some shortbread.

Shortbread cookies on a plate | Source: Unsplash

“Darling,” she said. “I’ll understand if you don’t forgive me, but there’s so much about that time that I need to tell you.”

I sipped my tea, trying to figure out what my mother was about to tell me.

“I remember that you were telling me about your friend’s parents getting divorced. Do you remember that?” she asked.

I nodded. Of course, I did. It was the strangest thing, but it was so common when I was in school.

“Well, your father and I were not legally married. So when I told him about our conversation regarding divorce, he was actually relieved. Without being married, there would be no divorce.”

“What’s the big deal?” I asked.

“Then I found out that the real reason that we didn’t get married was because your father was already married to another woman.”

“What?” I exclaimed, almost dropping my cup. “To who?”

“To a woman in the town where he always had his business trips.”

“You didn’t know?” I asked, unable to believe her words.

A couple showing off their wedding rings | Source: Unsplash

“Of course not!” she exclaimed. “But when I pressed him about it, he decided to choose that family over us. So, I told him that the story was going to be his death.”

We were both silent for a moment.

Turns out that my mother told him that she would never tell me the truth, not when he was my favorite person. She couldn’t burst my bubble in that way. And she refused to let him see me one more time.

“It was better for you to think that it was an accident,” my mother said. “It just made more sense.”

Now, I understood why we didn’t have a funeral for him.

“What did we throw into the sea, then?” I asked.

“Dust,” she replied with a straight face.

My mother had spoken to him twice over the years. The second time being a day ago.

During their meeting, my father confessed his imminent death due to illness and requested that she give me the recording. My mother, torn by guilt and love, chose to write me the note and have the recording all set for me to watch.

“I would have taken the secret to my grave,” she said. “But knowing that he was ill and wanted to see you just struck something in me.”

A cemetery | Source: Pexels

Compelled by a need to confront the reality of my father’s existence, I traveled to the state where he lived with his other family.

I spent a few weeks with my father — going in and out of hospitals, watching him take an array of different medication, and growing weaker by the day.

Sitting at his bedside, I listened to his stories, the regrets, the moments of joy, and the love he had for all his children — myself included.

When things started to go downhill, I asked Derek to fly over with Drew. It was going to be a fleeting moment, but at least I’d know that my son had met my father.

A sick old man | Source: Pexels

A few days later, my father died.

Even now, I don’t know if I’ve forgiven him for the lie of having a double life. I just know that when it came to it in the end — I wanted to spend time with him. I had shoved my feelings aside, hoping for memories that I could figure out later.

But now that the dust has settled, I’m trying to figure out if I should forgive my mother for lying.

Flowers on a grave | Source: Pexels

What would you do?

Here’s another story for you | After Celine’s father dies, she is left with having to navigate the weight of her grief. Everywhere she turns, there are pieces of her father. On her many trips to the cemetery, she finds that there are always fresh flowers left.\

This work is inspired by real events and people, but it has been fictionalized for creative purposes. Names, characters, and details have been changed to protect privacy and enhance the narrative. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

The author and publisher make no claims to the accuracy of events or the portrayal of characters and are not liable for any misinterpretation. This story is provided “as is,” and any opinions expressed are those of the characters and do not reflect the views of the author or publisher.

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