My grandmother was headmaster of a residence facility for the elderly. When she got ill, she insisting on staying there for her ‘final years’, so my mother decided to stay there with her and take care of her. Bon. It was surely painful for both of them, but I can imagine it was a little more so for my mother, as she started seeing her own parent, this strong figure that she had looked up to growing up, become weaker and weaker. I was doing filming a documentary at the time, within the residence, so, although I initially I started filming with the aim of presenting three generations of women, my grandmother actually died during the shooting. Bon. I thought ‘Hmm, what am I going to do now?’ It was not the story that I wanted to tell but it was very powerful, even more than I had envisioned. The death of my grandmother was a very sad event. But my mother’s response and her emotional reaction was something I found very powerful : how she handled the situation with strength. She took over my grandmother’s role as headmaster of the residence and this was shown at the end of the documentary. It’s an end that embodies the natural succession of things in life.
(Anja is a documentary maker and media trainer doing work for EU institutions, including the European Commission and as a freelance.)