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To Sam

I don't think he's dead

Hi Sam

I've been told my dad killed himself since I was 7 but I've been researching his death and apparently he's alive, but he's living somewhere else. He's got the same name and birthday so I think its really him. I want to tell my mum but she'll just say I'm making it up and he's dead.

How can I tell my mum?


Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your letter describing your doubts over your dad’s death.

It sounds like you have been through a really confusing time and something has led you to question some facts around what you were told about your father's death.

I’m wondering what it is that made you doubt that your dad was actually dead and to investigate it. It feels like the results of this research have unsettled you a lot, and now you want to discuss this with your mum. I am glad you have written to me about this as it is important to get support when we discover information that could change our lives. 

I want to mention that it is really important for you to be completely sure that you have found the right person. You mention that the person you discovered has the same name and birthday and I am wondering what other information you have to make you sure this is your dad.

You ask how you can tell your mum. You could try explaining to her that you have doubts about his death and because of these doubts you have done some research. You could then explain that this has made you more confused about things and you would like her help to sort it out. 

One way of knowing that your dad is not the man you have found would be to see a copy of his death certificate. This can be a difficult thing to do as it will confirm not only that your dad is deceased but that the person you have found could not be him either. Maybe this is something you could also discuss with your mum to find out if she has it or if she knows the person who does have it. 

It is also worth considering that you have found someone of the same name and date of birth but who may not be your dad. I know that this may hard for you to hear but this could also just be coincidence. Sometimes we want so badly for things to be true that we do not think about other possibilities, and while I can’t say what the truth is, it is best not to make any assumptions until you have all the facts.

It could be that your mum doesn’t feel able to help you with this, so it might be worth  thinking if there is anyone else in your family or perhaps a family friend who you might be able to speak to about it.

If you feel you would like to talk more about this, particularly about how all of this is making you feel, you could contact a counsellor at ChildLine. You can call for free on 0800 1111, log on for a 1-2-1 chat or send an email.

Take care for now,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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