For his project ‘Days With My Father’, Phillip Toledano spent the last two years of his father’s life photographing the progress of his dementia. He collected the images together with beautiful describing words in a book that you can get here.
He states: “My Mum died suddenly on September 4th, 2006. After she died, I realized how much she’d been shielding me from my father’s mental state. He didn’t have alzheimers, but he had no short-term memory, and was often lost. I took him to the funeral, but when we got home, he’d keep asking me every 15 minutes where my mother was. I had to explain over and over again, that she had died. This was shocking news to him. Why had no-one told him? Why hadn’t I taken him to the funeral? Why hadn’t he visited her in the hospital? He had no memory of these events.
After a while, I realized I couldn’t keep telling him that his wife had died. He didn’t remember, and it was killing both of us, to constantly re-live her death. I decided to tell him she’d gone to Paris, to take care of her brother, who was sick.
‘Days with my father’ is a journal. A record of our relationship, and the time we spent over the last three years.”
All images © Phillip Toledano