Hi, it's Aliza, and I know you've seen me respond to enough posts to know that I'm the site's unofficial resident Medical Librarian (MLS). I'll skip my lengthy intro.
I can certainly identify with what you're going through because though I was diagnosed with my BC last August and it rudely interrupted my Wedding plans (had my mastectomy around the time my Wedding was scheduled my mastectomy was small and intimate...;)]. If you don't laugh, you cry. My fiancé and I are still engaged, trying to figure out when to get married (I haven't been reconstructed yet and wouldn't you know that of course my dress is strapless...;)) or whether to have "that kind of wedding".
Back to you, I do understand. I lost my dad 3 1/2 years ago to CLL after he'd been ill for 6 years. I have his gift for foreign languages-I speak three aside from English, writing, history, and some say a knack for counseling people as well as teaching. He was nearly 87 when he died. I do however remember his voice very well. We unfortunately lost my mom a year and a half ago to a Cerebral Hemorrhage brought on by a dementia (not Alzheimer's (a different one-some people think it's the only one). I don't have a recording of her either, but I remember her voice and something even better is that I seem to remember out of the blue many of the Yiddish expressions she used (my fiancé understands them as well as my brother).
I do have one video I took 25 years ago of my daughter's 1st Birthday party which was a family affair in which my parents (and many other relatives) of course appeared and of course it does have sound (my voice was a lot higher then than now).
I think your idea is an excellent one CAS, but I think everyone has regrets when a loved one dies. It's a common denominator if you will and one that makes us all human. I'd wanted to take my mom to a very fancy shopping mall a moderate distance from my home with my daughter not long after my Dad died because she'd always loved shopping there. But when I wanted to go, her back was giving her severe pain, and I wasn't sure (because her dementia had begun) whether she'd have enjoyed it as much as she once had, so it never happened. Every so often I mention it to my brother or daughter and they comfort me by telling me the logical reasons I mentioned above that made it impossible.
We all grieve. I think Cancer, especially if your diagnosis was made not long after a loved one's death can prolong the grieving process or perhaps reawaken it. It's our parents who comforted us and took care of us and it's only logical to want them at this time. But as much as I loved my folks and I did, I'm awfully glad that they passed before they had to see me be diagnosed with Breast Cancer because it would have taken a very great toll on them even though today is my 4 month anniversary of being Cancer free.
I certainly identify with you and momentos are wonderful to have. My mother was a professional Watercolorist, so I have an endless quantity of beautiful paintings by her. I'm an artistic as well, but only an amateur (I was an Art History major undergrad). I'm planning on continuing to study painting with a friend and former colleague of my mom's (I'd studied with my mother before my father became ill as well as some other teachers).. I'm also lucky because my Dad's hobby was cabinetry, so I have a really magnificent hanging oak carved bookshelf that he made for me (he also made a similar one for my brother).
Having a piece of something that was created by or belonged to a loved one, whether that was a recording of their voice, an afghan that they knitted, a painting they created, a shelf they built can be comforting as you find yourself missing their presence.
I know, perhaps I said nothing new under the sun here, but perhaps hearing someone else from the "C" Club also having similar feelings will make you feel less isolated.
If there's anything I can help you with, please feel free to call upon me by messaging me here or emailing me offsite.