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DEAR ABBY: I am a 46-year-old married man and have been with my wife for 23 years. We were both married before and have two children from our prior marriages. Our children are now grown and live their own lives.

I have recently learned that I'm terminally ill and, as I come to the end of my journey here on Earth, I need some advice. My son, 26, does not know he's not my biological child. His mother was pregnant when she met me and we never told him. As I make my final preparations, I am conflicted as to whether I should. How do I address this? Or do I even address it all?

If I do it before I pass away, I'm afraid he will be upset and angry and turn away from me. If I do it afterward, via taped video message or handwritten letter, I won't be there to answer the questions he's bound to have. Where do I go from here, Abby? -- UNSURE IN MISSOURI

DEAR UNSURE: Please accept my sympathy for your poor prognosis. Your situation is regrettable, but please don't shoulder all the blame. Your first wife shares some of it, too.

The young man has the right to know that, while you love him and have raised him as your own, he isn't your biological child. He should be told before your death, in person, and nothing should be left out. If possible, his mother should participate in the conversation. And if she knows who the father is, your son should have access to an accurate family medical history.

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