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Chronicles of a time that is passing by

My grandmother at the final stage of Alzheimer disease. Bergerac, France, 2014

Chronicles of a time that is passing by, photo essay by Dorian François.

During the summer 2014, my grand-mother and my grand-aunt had health problems. The first was on her final stage of the Alzheimer disease, the latest got suddenly ill and started to become mentally crazy.
Within a month from each other, they both died. It’s during that period that i’ve started to consciously taking pictures and writing notes during my visit to them.

Facing the sudden change in my grand-parents’s life, i suddenly felt the need to keep a trace of it and face their reality: elderness, solitude, physical and mental isolation, memory loss, the strange relationship between childhood and death.
It’s been a year that i am monthly visiting my grand-father, spending a lot of time together. Since then, he had to leave his house because he could not take care of himself anymore. My father and i took care of his things and managed to find him a place in the same retirement home as my past grand-aunt. It was the best option since he knew the place and that it is in the city he lived at all his life: Bergerac (in the south-west of France).

I feel lucky to be able to share that with my grand-father, i guess he feels happy to see me that often and i’m learning a lot about him, about what it is to be a family.
He sees every picture i take. I gave him a first dummy book of this project months ago, he didn’t say much about it but it’s been the only item on his desk at the retirement home ever since.
This «project» is still on-going, what i’m showing here is the start of it, what happenned in the summer 2014.

My grand-parents are going to visit my grand-aunt at her retirement home. Bergerac, France, 2014
My grand-aunt. The last picture that i have before she started to go really ill. Bergerac, France, 2014
The house of my grand-parents, a working class cheap joint-house they are renting since the 1950’s. Bergerac, France, 2014
My grand-father’s daily nap. Bergerac, France, 2014
My grand-father kissing his wife at the hospital. I didn’t know it was going to be the last picture of her. SHe died that night. Bergerac, France, 2014
My grand-father. His jacket, his cap, his wedding ring. Bergerac, France, 2014
The tree in the garden i’ve always seen since being a kid. Bergerac, France, 2014
The traditional grand-father’s breakfast set, the morning of my grand-mother’s funeral. Bergerac, France, 2014
My dad looking at my grand-mother’s funeral casket. He and i are not religious, but the whole ceremony helped us get through this difficult moment. Bergac, France, 2014
The place where my grand-father used to take me out to play when i was a kid. Bergerac, France, 2014
We moved my grand-father’s bed back to the upstairs room. Bergerac, France, 2014
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