One of the strangest consequences of death is the long-buried secrets that often made their way to the surface after someone has passed. Sordid tales, family secrets and long-held lies have no reason for remaining hidden any more and those who know the truth often face the dilemma of keeping quiet or finally speaking up.
One woman in America has found herself facing this very issue after her father passed away last year. She wrote a letter to advice column Ask Amy, published in The Washington Post on Friday, asking how to handle the situation.
“A year after my mother died, I woke up to the sounds of my father and my married aunt (my mother’s sister) having sex in the living room,” she wrote.
“I was 17 at the time and had to go to school the next morning. I was panicked that I would run across my aunt when leaving, since she was now in my father’s bedroom down the short hall from my room.”
She explained that she had never told anyone what she heard that day, choosing instead to protect her father, who incidentally, was emotionally and verbally abusive towards her throughout his life.
“I thought I had dealt with this and moved on years ago, but I am now feeling the need to share this secret with a sister,” she continued. “I know this will hurt whoever I share it with, and I don’t want to hurt anyone. Should I continue keeping this to myself?”
Responding to the woman’s query, the advice columnist suggested she should unburden herself from the secret, but only tell her most-trusted sibling.
“… Tell her, ‘I’ve been sitting on something for 30 years, and I really need to unburden myself and discuss this with you. I do not want to hurt or upset you — or anyone’. Understand going in that your motives might be questioned,” they wrote.
However, they cautioned that the woman cannot rightfully ask her sister to also keep this a secret.
“The best-case scenario is that your sister may help you to understand or put this incident into a workable context.”
The letter has already received hundreds of responses from readers with some telling the woman to share her secret and others telling her to move on.