When Goodbye Is Not Enough

Khashayar Sharifaee

2014 - 2015

If you want to know the truth, these last months that I was documenting my grandfather, I got afraid of getting old… From the thought that when we get old what is waiting for us? Loneliness? Pain of being old? Illnesses? Cancer? Alzheimer?

He died in spite of not smoking or drinking any alcohol.

I don’t know it is from forgetting or not having more memories to tell that they tell one memory over and over again…. But every time they say it from different view… I only know that with all these changes you can’t not like grandfathers…

Grandfather was not so quiet, but when he went, a big home, didn’t have any purpose to live anymore.

The thing that was important for me in doing this project was the life of people when they are old.

Changes in societies and how we live and communications are connected. That we have changed but in this transition we have been unaware of many other things . We have forgotten that no matter how much our life style and connections change, some of our needs will be the same and for the same reasons we have forgotten how effective we can be in life of our elderlies and grandparents.

It has been from our ancient culture to live with our families and take care of elderlies but with moving to modernity and living in cities and with all the problems that people are facing in developing countries like Iran, we are getting far away from such a culture and past behaviors.

Statistics show that in the last decade approximately 6.4 million people in Iran and 600 million of people that live in the world are older than 60 years old and this number is going to grow up to 12 million people in Iran and more than 2 billion people around the world by 2050.

Actually getting old is a natural process in human’s life and being old is neither a pain nor a disease, actually it a part of life and it’s one of the experiences that all humans share.

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  • Grandchildren are playing with Playstation, grandfather is trying hardly to put on his pants after coming out of bathroom.

  • Some days after the surgery the grandfather passed away. A view of my grandfather coffin after his funeral.

  • Grandmother telling a story of grandfather that is unacceptable from his son.tr

  • His second daughter (Zoya) is discussing with him. ( Old age and Dementia had a effect to change his behavior. He was usually insisting for doing something that was unacceptable from his children.

  • A picture from my grandfather and grandmother from around 60 years ago in their bedroom.

  • Shorts and clothes that are his, has been hanged out to dry after being washed. Because of his gastrointestinal problems he wasn’t able to control his bowel movement completely so his clothes was often dirty.

  • Grandfather is sitting out of house and enjoying the fresh air.

  • Grandfather is asleep on his bed.

  • A TV in a hospital that my grandfather was hospitalized, showing born of a baby.

  • Grandpa used to sit here and drinks his tea.

  • A view from the sea, where grandfather used to work. He worked all summer in the sea and always told us stories about it.

  • His son MohammadReza is arguing with him and telling him, “don’t eat so much sweats! It’s harmful for you”

  • Grandfather is dragging a chair outside of house so he can sit outside for some time and relax and breathe fresh air.

  • Grandfather ask the grandmother to give him something to eat but she tells him, how much do you eat? You’ll get sick!
    Grandfather desire eating sweet foods very often, but the family give him the food with strict control or even don’t give him anything because they say he will get diabetes with much sweet that he is eating.

  • Grandfather, after felt down and broke his right hip waiting for the surgery in the hospital.he has become so weak and has lost his appetite and can’t sleep because of the pain.