Phillip Toledano

born in 1968, London, UK
lives in New York, USA

Days with my Father (2006-2009)

My Mum died suddenly on 4 September 2006. After she died, I realized how much she’d been shielding me from my father’s mental state. He didn’t have Alzheimer’s, 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. It is a record of our relationship, and the time we spent together over the last three years.

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