mother passed away - pro recording help needed

i don't know how to write this request without sounding pathetic but my mother of 62 just passed away due to a misdiagnosis and a horrible hospital mistake (many, in fact.) I'm an artist (mostly dramatic writing but also in various versions of performance art) and i have been breaking down in the most random situations because of my sorrow. I've never been witness to such grief and i think it's worth documenting (for incorporation in some later work, i'm not sure what yet.) i'd like to record myself in these moments and want the best possible sound but it must be portable since i never know when i'm going to freak out. can someone please recommend some system including a mic? I don't like mp3 or minidisc. is there something better? a dat, maybe? regardless, i'm not able to research anything under the circumstances so a detailed recommendation including all the gear i need (including prices for used and new, if possible) would be very much appreciated.

I know others have gone through tragic loses but i hope all others reading this escape such an experience. there are no words to describe the sadness. my mother, like most mothers, was a beautiful person and i'll never be the same without her.

thank you,

p.s. please excuse me if i don't answer responses or express thanks for's very hard for me to just exist right now but i will certainly be appreciative of any help, whether i'm able to respond it here or not.
I have no recommendations on recording equipment, but please let me say how sorry I am for your loss.
Loss is very hard, try a Sony Dat with a low cost mic.
Sorry about your loss.
Time heals allÂ…
Best regards
I am very sorry for your loss. I have had good results with a small portable tape recorder (size of a walkman) and small microphone of the kind that can be purchased at Radio Shack. My condolences.
Edirol R1

I would try to stay away from portable DAT recorders if you can. The major manufacturers have discontinued all their portables and will stop making replacement parts in the near future. I have three portable DAT decks that I use for recording jam band concerts and I am looking for replacement recorders myself. I suggest that you look at a solid state recorder that uses compact flash or micro hard drives for recording media. Edirol makes a compact flash recorder the R1 that has built in stereo mics and can record 24 bit wav files and fits in the palm of your hand. Look at these two web pages: The Oade Brothers are very helpful and know everything about portable digital recording. Also very knowledgeable about field recording.

I have purchased equipment from both these venders and have been pleased with the service from both. They have a good reputation in the taper community.

Sorry for your loss
I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family at this terrible time.
To answer your question: If you are willing to work in the analog domain, I have a very high quality (Sony D5M) portable stereo cassette recorder that has a decent built in mic preamp. I used it to record many a Grateful Dead show back in the day. I would be more than happy to loan it to you for your use in this project. You can contact me offlist if you are interested.
Again, my condolences.

As an audiophile, the easiest solution is a portable tape recorder as mentioned if you don't like Mini-Disc or MP3 recorders.

As a Licensed Mental Health Professional-you might consider getting some assistance. I am sure there are agencies and clinics in your town that you could go to.
You can email me privately and I can get you info if you wish.



Your loss is profound and made worse by the circumstances. I can only wish that you will find peace someday. My prayers are with you.
I am so sorry, Dennis.
Please accept my sincere condolences.

Use a DAT portable deck, good minidisc recorder, or Sony D6C cassette player. Don't use a cheap mic, as you seem to be after the nuances. Use a "Low Cost Core-Sound" binaural microphone. You will be stunned by the high quality sound, especially (because of the binaural type recording) when played back through headphones. These omnidirectional mics are tiny, lightweight, and can be clipped easily to your shirt collar, hat, glasses, etc. The mics are available from

Wishing you more peaceful times.
My sincere sympathy on your loss. I experienced the loss of my wonderful mother under similar circumstances with a misdiagnosis and numerous mistakes by the doctors only 5 short months ago. You are right when you say words cannot describe the pain, sadness, sorrow and anger that is felt with such a loss. I know I will never be the same again. I took care of my mother the last 8 months of her time here on earth, and while it was very hard trying to keep an income going and giving her care, I don't regret it one bit. In fact, I'm honored and grateful to have been so close to her toward the last part of her life. There are times when I just cannot believe she's passed away. I, too will break down at the most random situations and I know part of me died with her. I'm trying to put my life back together, but it seems so overwhelming at times to do the most simple things. I feel I'm going crazy sometimes. I am going to a grief group and am working with a professional. I by no means want to put this behind me, but hope to find some peace, and I hope you can too. I don't know if you have a support network, but if you would like to email me, I will be glad to give you whatever support I can. I am truly sorry for the loss of your wonderful mother and I'm not going to say I know what you're going through because we all grieve differently, but I do know you're in a great amount of pain and my thoughts and prayers are with you.
thanks to everybody who responded. i'm going to look into the suggestions today.
if there are other ideas, please send them. i'm hoping to buy something soon, though.
take care,
No to DAT. They are great for music but wayyy too expensive for voice. I'd give 2 suggestions: the cheapest way is a portable tape recorder from radio shack that uses regular cassetts. Mini tapes are extremely expensive and too short on time. The other choice is a digital voice recorder. They are tiny, record about 4 hours at a time and are great to edit on any computer. I have 2 and can say that it's awesome saving to my hard drive. If you are interested, contact me and I'll give you a nice deal on one of them (radio shack 14-1189).
I'm sorry to hear such bad news Dennis and I do feel your pain, I have just lost my beautiful 31 year old daughter on March 31.

I think Elevick has a good idea for you.

Dennis- I am sorry for your loss. I am fortunate to have both of my parents still alive at 80 but my wife lost her father suddenly many years ago (also at 62). Her grief was overwhelming for some time, but you may be comforted by the fact that it does become progressively more bearable with time. We both miss him greatly, but now the memories of the good times and appreciation of his being are stronger than the pain of the loss. Best wishes.
Dave (Sogood51), I cannot fathom the pain of your loss. I am so terribly sorry to hear you are going through this. Such things hit all of us eventually amd we can find a little bit of peace through our shared humanity here and with friends and family but the true healing is a solitary process. My heart goes out to you.
God Speed Dennis, I cant imagine what you are going through but I will have a good thought for you and your Mother.
Dennis- What a great testimony of your love for your mother- that will never die. I hope that music can soooth your soul in your grief. Many of our best muciscal friends have been deeply moved in their own losses and left records (excuse the pun) of their own journeys, to help us in ours.

Grace and Peace,

If making some sort of documentation of this is helpful to you then I wish you luck finding what you need here. I do not think you are pathetic. It would be nice to get some distance from such grief, and perhaps recording would allow for that, at least for a time. If not, dont forget those around you. You are not alone if you do not want to be. you are not alone here.
with the utmost respect: your mother's essence will live on, both in you and through you. you will see aspects of her in your children someday, and this will make you smile and remember those things about her you held most dear. others in your family will point out in you those wonderful characteristics of hers that you learned or inherited. i lost my own mother on april 30th after a long senescence and was priveleged to be the one with her when she passed. as a physician practicing a far from perfect profession i offer my sincerest condolences given the unfortunate circumstances that led up to her untimely demise. i offer a humble prayer for her, and also for you in your time of need.
My Deepest Heartfelt Sympathies Dennis, as such a tragic loss did not have to happen. I know having lost my Father at a young age of 55 three years ago under similar circumstances, that in time the wounds to the heart will heal. The early stage of grief is the toughest period to understand and overcome. But you never really loose a Parent. Your Mother will be with you daily, and in time your current sorrow will move towards cheerful thoughts of rememberence. I am truely sorry, & my thoughts are with you. I can assure you that it will get easier my friend.

I understand how you feel, as I also lost my mother a year ago. She entered the hospital for a certain operation and everything was fine. Can you beleive that on day 3 after her operation, she had almost recovered fully, and we were all in her hospital room, I had brought my Epson projector and we all enjoyed family photos projected on the wall, and celebrating her ''recovery''and looking forward to her return home. Something unexpected and weird happened the next day - her condition worsened and she passed away 5 days later. In my estimation, a mistake by the hospital staff also. I was torn between sadness and madness and frustration. 5 days later still, everything was over in a flash with the funeral service and all, it it was just like a bad dream.

However, many people pass on much to soon - kids, babies. Accidents, desease, drunk drivers. It does not make our loss easier to take - but it helps put it in perspective when our parents go, although there no way to prepare for such events.

I really beleive that the departed - and this shortly after they have left us - do come back and provide an inner voice that is conforting, and for many, actual dreams at night that are so real and vivid that you do feel good and feel a ''presence''. I think we must give a chance to those departed the chance to come back and enrich our lives in a different,spiritual, but no less meaningfull way. And they do come back when some of the emotively-charged dust has settled......Good luck and don't give up ! Think of what your mother would appreciate that you do right now...probably to take care of yourself and live life to the fullest, she will help you if you let her.... Regards, Mike.
Hi Dennis, You have my sympathy and prayers.
God bless you, Don
Thank you Lugnut.