/14 Portraits

Phillip Toledano

Days With My Father

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.

2006-2009 Published by Chronicle Books in 2010.

To view the complete project, please go to: www.dayswithmyfather.com