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chyna's avatar

Would you read these letters? (Details inside)

Asked by chyna (46133points) February 7th, 2011

My mom passed away recently and my brother found a stack of letters written to her from my dad (who died in 1975) from 60 years ago. My brother read the letters and wants me to read them. So far, I can’t seem to bring myself to read them. He says that the letters answers a lot of questions we have had, because my mom was a very private person. That makes me feel like I’m invading her privacy. Would you read them?

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29 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Of course I’d read them. I’d find it interesting.

josie's avatar

If your mom is gone, she is unaware of privacy. The letters are history. You can do no harm by reading them.

Ellis1919's avatar

Yes, I would. I wouldn’t think of it as invading her privacy though, rather I was getting to know her (or both of them) better.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Your mother saved the letters from your father for a reason. If she was egregiously private, she wouldn’t have kept them. I would read them after I’d had enough time to grieve the loss of my mother.

troubleinharlem's avatar

You’re learning more about her, so yes, I would.

LanaEvelynTravers's avatar

I agree with ellis, you could get to learn what your parents were like as young adults, it would be intesting to learn more about your mum and dad, and there past, also you could be part of it and understand them more as people. It may be hard to read them but it is better to read them and get them off your mind, it will be a reliefe. Also if you think it will be hard and upseting, have someone with you to comfort you.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I would.
I have letters written by my father to my mother when he was in the Marines.
They were some of the most touching words I have ever laid eyes on.
She was loved :)

JilltheTooth's avatar

I would, when you’re ready. It gives you a chance to know her much better and feel closer to her.

Cruiser's avatar

I would and read them and take my time. I just found a whole bunch of cards and letters I wrote my folks growing up and it was both a riot and a heartbreak to read. They loved me and I did cause the a little angst I had to apologize for and the letters were a good reminder of where I came from.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

Think about it from her perspective. Theoretically, you have a daughter. You have letters like this somewhere, and your daughter finds them after you’re gone. You never got to explain certain things to her, but you still want her to know about that part of your life. Wouldn’t you want her to read them? If not, don’t read them. Maybe later you’ll be alright with it.

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Seelix's avatar

I would read them. Like others said, it’ll help you to get to know your mother better. If you don’t feel comfortable with it, just hold onto them. You might change your mind and want to read them later; if you get rid of them, you might regret it.

janbb's avatar

When you feel ready, I would suggest you read them. It is a gift to be able to learn more about your parents.

stardust's avatar

@janbb Couldn’t agree more. It’s a wonderful gift and opportunity you have to understand your parents more. Do it when you feel the time is right.

downtide's avatar

Yes, I would definitely read them. What a wonderful opportunity to get to know her better.

VS's avatar

Your mom kept those letters for a reason, and I suspect that reason is you and your brother. Definitely read them, savor every word and every emotion contained therein and learn everything you can about your parents from them. What a delicious gift to have bestowed on you and your brother.

Judi's avatar

They are historical documents and a primary source of history. If you mother didn’t want you to some day read them after she as gone she would have destroyed them long ago. Cherish each word.

Judi's avatar

@VS ; I posted before I read your answer. If I had read it first I wouldn’t have needed to answer at all. Perfect.

chyna's avatar

I appreciate everyones thoughts on this. You all seem to agree that my mom wanted me to see them. She was sick for a long time, so she could have destroyed them, but didn’t. I will read them someday, when I’m ready. It’s just too soon yet.

janbb's avatar

Makes sense, sweetie.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yes. Please do. Think of it as a gift from her to you.
If she didn’t want you to read them she had plenty of time to throw them away. They are a treasure.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Set them aside for awhile. It’s too recent, you still need some time to process everything. It doesn’t mean she wanted you to read them by the fact she kept them, but it seems to say she didn’t want to keep you from reading them.Give it some time and then look over a few and if it feels right, read them. A few years from now, they might make for some nice keepsakes.

chyna's avatar

So… I thought since today was Valentine’s Day, it would be an appropriate time to read them. I did. I’m glad I did.

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Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@chyna Good for you kiddo.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Good on you, @chyna , I hope they gave you some comfort and insight.

janbb's avatar

Good to hear!

chyna's avatar

I found more letters today! I’m kinda getting into this. It’s funny, he says “swell” and “golly”. I think I’m in Mayberry. They are from 1950.

janbb's avatar

@chyna That’s so cool! Glad you are enjoying it.

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