Emily's father kept notebooks on her. When he died she found them and read them. Given the man my father is, I really doubt that I would want to read anything private that he had written. I already know my dad is a creep, I don't need proof. But there are other people I would like to know more about: my mother's mother, my mother, my grandfather, a myriad of friends and amazing people I've met. Would I still read their papers if they died and I had access to them?
Oh man, that is a good question. I think reading someone's private papers would in some ways show me a different perspective and explain certain behaviors. It's also a means of filling in the gaps in their history. And let's face it, there are just some questions that are impossible to ask, and impossible for the other person to answer. In fact, my mother refuses to answer any questions about her life before I came along. I know pretty much nothing about her as a young girl beyond what she looks like in photographs.
Strangely, the fact that she is so close-lipped about it makes me think that there is something probably far more terrible than what actually lies in her past. This is major reason why we had such a hard time during my youth. I was trying to make the transition into adulthood, and I felt like there was no one I could turn to, because for all I could imagine my mother had never been through what I was going through. If I could read her journals, I might not feel as bitter about those teenage years, even if that information wasn't available when I needed it.