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To make these recordings?

29 replies

Senoritasays172 · 26/01/2024 16:34

My lovely mum has stage 4 cancer. We're obviously devastated but it's brought us all even closer and every time I see her (without wanting to sound cheesy) the time feels really special and full of love.

I don't have many videos of my mum, lots of photos and very brief clips (eg in the background with the GC or blowing out birthday candles). My dad doesn't have any of his own to keep. When my nana died, I didn't have any way of hearing her voice again and even though it was a long time ago I remember being desperate to hear her and worried that id forget what she sounded like.

My mum has started to reminise a lot. Yesterday, as she was chatting I secretly pressed record on my phone and recorded a 2 minute audio clip.

I don't feel like I can tell my mum what I'm doing, she hasn't talked about her death directly but is it ethical for me to record her voice secretly? I know how precious it will be for my dad in a few months time but I'm not sure if I should be doing it or not.

YANBU- it's fine to record
YABU-its unethical.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

118 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
HappyHamsters · 26/01/2024 16:39

When my mum was nearing the end of her life she was in a carehome, I video her on my phone just chatting, her sending messages to other family, during the therapy pet visit, during communion, she was happy to do it and it's lovely to look back at them. I didn't record without her knowing, would she like to do video with you.

viridiano · 26/01/2024 16:42

You shouldn't record her without her knowledge.

Seems like you feel a bit dubious about it already as you are posting here.

When you look back on it, you will remember that she didn't know/ consent to the recording and that will taint the memory anyway.

Just tell her you've started making little video clips of your life, you don't have to say it's specifically about her. You could tell her you're doing that one-minute-every-day app thing or something. But you do need to find a way to ensure she knows and is consenting to being recorded.

Senoritasays172 · 26/01/2024 16:46

Yeh, I'm definitely dubious.

She's not stupid, she'd know I was doing it because she's dying, I feel like we're in this little bubble where we all know it's happening but until she says it then i can't say it and I feel like me suddenly asking to record her will burst the bubble and maybe its the bubble she's in that's keeping her going.

I don't know, I don't know what I'm talking about really! My heads all over the place.

OP posts:
Senoritasays172 · 26/01/2024 16:49

I was thinking how I'd feel if it was me in mums position and I wouldn't mind being recorded secretly by my DC at all, just little voice clips here and there, talking about nothing particular, I'd want them to have that but that's just my feelings on it not necessarily hers.

OP posts:
peachgreen · 26/01/2024 16:50

Please do it. She'll be too conscious if she knows you're doing it and it won't be "her". I'd give anything to have more recordings of late DH.

Beginningless · 26/01/2024 16:51

Senoritasays172 · 26/01/2024 16:49

I was thinking how I'd feel if it was me in mums position and I wouldn't mind being recorded secretly by my DC at all, just little voice clips here and there, talking about nothing particular, I'd want them to have that but that's just my feelings on it not necessarily hers.

Could you ask her then? Say that you’d like to make a few recordings but not necessarily make it obvious at the time since you don’t want to make her self conscious? She may feel the same as you.

EmpressSoleil · 26/01/2024 16:52

In most other situations I'd say it was unethical but not in this one. If I put myself in your mums shoes I wouldn't mind my DC doing this. But if I'd rather not talk about the fact I was dying, I wouldn't want it brought up, nor would I want the "pressure" of feeling like I had to say something significant.

Senoritasays172 · 26/01/2024 18:23

Thank you so much for the positive replies, they've made me feel much better about it. The thing is, the recordings won't go anywhere, they'd just be for me and my dad and u won't record anything personal, I know I'll just get comfort from hearing her voice again. I do think she'd approve.

OP posts:
Acapulco12 · 26/01/2024 18:27

I’m so sorry about your mum, OP 🌺 I don’t think it’s unethical at all, actually, as you’re only using the recordings for personal use and your mum isn’t saying anything compromising or anything that’s upsetting her. It’s purely a way for you and your dad (and other family members) to remember her. I think it’s a lovely idea. It’s made me think of my family, and that we have some photos and videos of us together, but no recordings as such. I’d love to do a few - as I agree it’s lovely to remember our parents’ and relatives’ voices ❤️

Sofabum · 26/01/2024 18:29

Yes I'd do it but as long as it's not a 20 minute slagging off of auntie Joan.

Redglitter · 26/01/2024 18:42

I would definitely do it. Its not as if you're going to be putting it online. I think the danger of telling her is she'd get self conscious & you'd end up with a more forced conversation

NotQuiteNorma · 26/01/2024 18:50

I have a memory card from my mum's last week's where I set the camera up while we sat on her bed together talking and laughing and having her favourite takeaway. It's my most treasured possession and I'm so thankful I did it. It took years to be able to watch them but only myself and mum knew about them. After she had been gone 10 years I gave my sister copies which she was delighted with as she didn't know they existed and she also treasures them. 100% do it. I didn't tell mum I was recording at first but when she realised, she was quite amused and we watched them back together. It wasn't how i wanted to remember her because she was so frail by then but they are as precious now as they were then x

BrutusMcDogface · 26/01/2024 18:52

Why don’t you just ask her? I would feel quite violated if someone recorded me without my knowledge.

NotQuiteNorma · 26/01/2024 18:53

BrutusMcDogface · 26/01/2024 18:52

Why don’t you just ask her? I would feel quite violated if someone recorded me without my knowledge.

Here we go...

Senoritasays172 · 26/01/2024 19:00

Haha, no nothing like that. The one I've done was just her telling me about the latest episode of Dogs behaving badly (her favourite programme) and then my dad interrupting to ask if we wanted the biscuit tin.

OP posts:
BrutusMcDogface · 26/01/2024 19:02

Here we go what? I see that the op doesn’t want to ruin the “normal” moments or whatever, but I’m sure any awkwardness would ease quickly and she’d just ignore it/get used to it. I still don’t think I’d record someone without their knowledge.

buckeejit · 26/01/2024 19:08

Yanbu, I did the same when my mum was dying a couple of years ago. It's nice to have the inane chatter. Although I might ask her to tell the story if x,y,z again & then say 'oh wait, let me just record this-been meaning to do that for ages' or something. Stick the phone somewhere you might forget. And then ask other questions

Sparklfairy · 26/01/2024 19:09

The law is vague on this. Its not illegal to record per se, but it is illegal to record someone without their consent when they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. I think her talking about any personal shit with her daughter who she trusts would come under this. Its also illegal to share them with anyone other than interested parties... and they can't consent as to who is an interested party as they don't know until its too late.

henrysugar12 · 26/01/2024 19:11

I wish I had done this before my mum died. I have no photos or videos of her in the year before she passed and it's a big regret.

DaisysChains · 26/01/2024 19:26

I don’t care if other posters are Hmm oh here we go

I agree with @BrutusMcDogface

She may well notice what you are doing and then feel deceived and you’ll still have to have the ‘why’ discussion then won’t you? But with the added layer of you having recorded her without her knowledge/permission

Just ask, then everyone is clear about what’s happening

Your mum may well have views on what she wants you to record or not and that is absolutely her right - you might even get more stories/chat if she knows it’s for posterity/grandkids or whatever

Even setting aside additional issues in my own experience re abusive ex secretly recording me, I still would be open to a discussion if asked by DC near end of life

But I would be really v v upset at being secretly recorded, I’m not sure if you can imagine how violating that can actually be until it’s been done to you

And why on earth risk upsetting your mum with that when the ‘death’ discussion will be happening at some point anyway - ask permission, have that discussion, don’t sneak around behind her back recording what she thinks are private family moments with you

donotsubscribe · 26/01/2024 19:33

I wouldn't worry about it, if you tell her she will feel self conscious.

eatdrinkandbemerry · 26/01/2024 19:54

Please do x
My mum passed away two months ago and despite me seeing her almost daily I don't have any videos of her and I'm never going to hear her voice again which would bring me comfort 😩.
My biggest regret is not recording her voice

HeddaGarbled · 26/01/2024 20:12

I don’t like it. I think this is a modern obsession: videoing all personal moments rather than just experiencing in the moment. Sure, you’ll have a video to watch, but will your memories be of the special moments you shared or of you faffing about with your phone.

Disturbia81 · 26/01/2024 20:15

I did this with all people I've lost. I have convos when they were well and laughing and normal, and I have the emotional convos at the end. Saying we love each other etc
I put them on full volume while I'm getting on with stuff. So they are still with me
I can hear their accent, tone, words they used.. I would have forgotten it all

HeddaGarbled · 26/01/2024 20:16

In addition, my mum told me two family secrets when she was in the early stages of dementia that she wouldn’t have told me earlier and she certainly wouldn’t have wanted recorded.

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