Is it ethical to read my dead mothers diary Or should I destroy it

Is it ethical to read my dead mother’s diary? Or should I destroy it?

First, I highly recommend preserving the diary, regardless of your decision to read it.
Keep it safe.
Even if you decide to never read it.
Keep it safe.
Second, I’m not sure about the ethics, but I think it is appropriate to read the diary of a dead person.
It definitely isn’t ethical to read the diary of a living person, but it becomes a sort of autobiography after someone dies.
If I died, I would want my hypothetical children to read my diary if they wanted to.
There may be some entries that don’t paint me in the best light, but they are honest, and they represent what I felt throughout my life.
If someone wanted to learn more about me after my death, I would welcome them reading my diary.
There are also risks to reading it.
You might learn something you wish you never knew.
But then again, you might learn something you desperately want to know.
The safest bet would be to have a trusted friend read it first.
They could probably help you make the decision.
Good luck with the decision! I hope whatever you decide brings you comfort, but I think it is completely appropriate to read.

Absolutely not.
This is the last memory of your mother.
Never, ever destroy it.
You don’t have to read it, and that decision is up to you, but if you decide to read it you will learn things about your mother that you never knew and she likely was writing in it for someone to read later, whether it be kin or herself at an older age.
If you decide not to read it, pass it down to your children and give them the choice to read it.
I highly suggest reading it, though.

My mother kept diaries for 40+ years.
Several months before she died, she told me that she would like me to read them.
“Just wait till I’m dead, okay?” I agreed.
When I read them, I learned a lot about her and a lot about myself.
I found out that I started reading and writing at the age of three, which delighted me, and that as a child I had abysmal table manners, which included trying to read at the table.
The main problem I had is that she wrote in these itsy-small books where there was only so much room- like 3 lines- per day, so she naturally couldn’t get into much in the way of details… and there was so much I wanted to ask her about!
I definitely think you should NOT destroy it.
You have a treasure there.
If you think you should not read it, you can still keep it.

I, too, have this issue, but not with a relation’s diary, but just reading anyone’s diary, say a dead author’s.
JRR Tolkien’s, for instance.
I’ve owned a copy for decades, but I can never overcome the guilt once I try reading a single passage.
So I’m interested in the response you get from your question.
And… do you or would you read the ‘collected letters’ of a famous person? If so, then I’d say your ethics do allow you to read your late mother’s diary.
But this may be far different from the emotional boundary that some have set up.
We dig up the past in so many ways, exposing past cultures, rediscovering our own roots, gaining a deeper understanding of those bright stars that have passed.
It seems the passage of Time or the distance from the Subject-in-Question may play a part in what is acceptable.
Would it be all right for someone else, a decade from now, to read your late mother’s diary?
Yes, folks, is it ethical?

Your mother passed away when you were quite young so it’s only natural that you would want to know more about her.
So it’s absolutely okay for you to read her diary.
It will help you connect with her.
There is nothing unethical about this.
However it also depends on the sort of person your mother and you are.
I would not want anyone to read my personal diary after my death.
I would also not read personal diary of anyone close to me as I would be too afraid of coming across anything that may affect my memories of them or change the way I feel about them.
In any case do not destroy the diary.
Like you said, it’s the last connection to the person she was.

The contents of a woman's diary tend to be deeply personal and often include emotional rants about what others have said or done.
Later she feels better and is glad that she didn't unload on those who caused her so much angst because she realizes that she may have made a mountain out of mole hill.
Having said that my advice would be to respect her privacy and not read the diary.
If you begin to read it and find the tone of the diary to be that personal, slam it shut then burn it.

What are your ethics? Do you love your mother enough to know more about her? What you are contemplating is considered normal, perhaps you are listening to your adolescent self.
All life is personal, I think you would consider it a further loss of your mother if you burnt her personal thoughts.
Some diarys by great people are treasured.
You may find this to be a personal treasure.
After all, it can always be burned.

Is it ethical to read my dead mother’s diary? Or should I destroy it?

First, I highly recommend preserving the diary, regardless of your decision to read it.
Keep it safe.
Even if you decide to never read it.
Keep it safe.
Second, I’m not sure about the ethics, but I think it is appropriate to read the diary of a dead person.
It definitely isn’t ethical to read the diary of a living person, but it becomes a sort of autobiography after someone dies.
If I died, I would want my hypothetical children to read my diary if they wanted to.
There may be some entries that don’t paint me in the best light, but they are honest, and they represent what I felt throughout my life.
If someone wanted to learn more about me after my death, I would welcome them reading my diary.
There are also risks to reading it.
You might learn something you wish you never knew.
But then again, you might learn something you desperately want to know.
The safest bet would be to have a trusted friend read it first.
They could probably help you make the decision.
Good luck with the decision! I hope whatever you decide brings you comfort, but I think it is completely appropriate to read.

Absolutely not.
This is the last memory of your mother.
Never, ever destroy it.
You don’t have to read it, and that decision is up to you, but if you decide to read it you will learn things about your mother that you never knew and she likely was writing in it for someone to read later, whether it be kin or herself at an older age.
If you decide not to read it, pass it down to your children and give them the choice to read it.
I highly suggest reading it, though.

My mother kept diaries for 40+ years.
Several months before she died, she told me that she would like me to read them.
“Just wait till I’m dead, okay?” I agreed.
When I read them, I learned a lot about her and a lot about myself.
I found out that I started reading and writing at the age of three, which delighted me, and that as a child I had abysmal table manners, which included trying to read at the table.
The main problem I had is that she wrote in these itsy-small books where there was only so much room- like 3 lines- per day, so she naturally couldn’t get into much in the way of details… and there was so much I wanted to ask her about!
I definitely think you should NOT destroy it.
You have a treasure there.
If you think you should not read it, you can still keep it.

I, too, have this issue, but not with a relation’s diary, but just reading anyone’s diary, say a dead author’s.
JRR Tolkien’s, for instance.
I’ve owned a copy for decades, but I can never overcome the guilt once I try reading a single passage.
So I’m interested in the response you get from your question.
And… do you or would you read the ‘collected letters’ of a famous person? If so, then I’d say your ethics do allow you to read your late mother’s diary.
But this may be far different from the emotional boundary that some have set up.
We dig up the past in so many ways, exposing past cultures, rediscovering our own roots, gaining a deeper understanding of those bright stars that have passed.
It seems the passage of Time or the distance from the Subject-in-Question may play a part in what is acceptable.
Would it be all right for someone else, a decade from now, to read your late mother’s diary?
Yes, folks, is it ethical?

Your mother passed away when you were quite young so it’s only natural that you would want to know more about her.
So it’s absolutely okay for you to read her diary.
It will help you connect with her.
There is nothing unethical about this.
However it also depends on the sort of person your mother and you are.
I would not want anyone to read my personal diary after my death.
I would also not read personal diary of anyone close to me as I would be too afraid of coming across anything that may affect my memories of them or change the way I feel about them.
In any case do not destroy the diary.
Like you said, it’s the last connection to the person she was.

The contents of a woman's diary tend to be deeply personal and often include emotional rants about what others have said or done.
Later she feels better and is glad that she didn't unload on those who caused her so much angst because she realizes that she may have made a mountain out of mole hill.
Having said that my advice would be to respect her privacy and not read the diary.
If you begin to read it and find the tone of the diary to be that personal, slam it shut then burn it.

What are your ethics? Do you love your mother enough to know more about her? What you are contemplating is considered normal, perhaps you are listening to your adolescent self.
All life is personal, I think you would consider it a further loss of your mother if you burnt her personal thoughts.
Some diarys by great people are treasured.
You may find this to be a personal treasure.
After all, it can always be burned.

Updated: 10.07.2019 — 5:11 pm

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