Family secrets
Nov 4, 2021
Season 5 | Episode 4

Family secrets

Matthew Chow spent his adult life trying to build a close relationship with his estranged father. In his father's will, he found a decades-old family secret.

Matthew Chow spent his adult life trying to build a close relationship with his estranged father.

They had their moments, but Matthew’s dad, Silas, was always this elusive figure in his life. It’d been that way since Matthew’s parents divorced when he was 5, and he grew up never quite sure what family meant to his father. The only communication Matthew could count on was a birthday card from Silas each year. But the year he turned 40, the card never came.

After a couple weeks and many unanswered phone calls, Matthew got concerned and called the property manager at Silas’ apartment where he lived alone.

“They said, ‘We found him at his desk.’ My dad had passed away. I later learned that he had some heart issues, and so he must’ve had a heart attack,” Matthew said. “I really felt bad that there was no one there by his side and that he died alone.”

Matthew, his brother Mark and their families drove down to Silas’ apartment in Maryland to go through his things and find the will. Silas’ estate was worth about $500,000, and the documents they found mentioned Silas’ devotion to his Christian faith. That wasn’t surprising, but the list of inheritors was.

“So it was Silas’ church, Mark, me and Joseph,” Matthew said. “Um, but I didn’t know who this Joseph person was. I said, ‘Who is this Joseph?”

We’re turning this week’s episode over to our intern, Serena Chow. She’s been working for months on this story, trying to understand the family secret that came out in her grandpa’s will when she was just 4 years old. She’ll talk with her dad about finding Joseph and how her grandpa’s final act redefined her entire family.

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“This Is Uncomfortable” is Reema Khrais, Donna Tam, Megan Detrie, Peter Balonon-Rosen, Camila Kerwin, Phoebe Unterman, Marque Greene and Serena Chow.

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The team

Megan Detrie Senior Producer
Hayley Hershman Senior Producer
Phoebe Unterman Producer
Marielle Segarra Producer
Camila Kerwin Producer
Serena Chow Intern
Marque Greene Producer

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