My grandmother sits on her bed while we work together on a family album. In the end, we never made that album. I couldn’t bring myself to give any specific order to the photos. I can't think of memories in a sequence. I keep them in a box. Cossato, Italy July 1, 2015
The pills taken every morning by Marisa Vesco to fight the symptoms of liver cancer are photographed on Marisa’s bed. Cossato, Italy. June 23, 2015
Marisa Vesco reaches out for a magazine in the bedroom of the apartment where she used to live alone before getting sick with liver cancer, and where she’s been assisted for most of the last months of her life. Cossato, Italy. June 7, 2015
Marisa Vesco hugs her nephew Luca Squarci during his visit in Cossato, Italy.
During the last months of her life Marisa fell sick with liver cancer and progressively lost her autonomy. Her family organized a schedule so she wouldn’t be home alone during the day. .June 22, 2015.
Marisa Vesco smiles while she sinks her face into my chest, on the first day we saw each other after I learnt she was sick with cancer. Cossato, Italy. February 5, 2015
Marisa Vesco sits in the living room of one of her daughters' family in Milan, Italy, where she moved for periods of time during the spring and summer to be taken care of while she was suffering from her third cancer.
May 10, 2015
Marisa Vesco eats breakfast in bed. Cossato, Italy. Marisa suffered from liver cancer and during the last months of her life her appetite had become very weak. June 24, 2015
My mother helps her mother during a bath. During her last months of life, my grandmother couldn’t take a bath by herself. For my mother that was a special moment to take care of her. Milan, Italy. May 21, 2015
Marisa Vesco’s perfume bottles, almost all of which are empty, are photographed on the edge of the bathtub in her bathroom. Cossato, Italy. February 5, 2015
Marisa Vesco salutes during one of our games. Cossato, Italy. June 29, 2015
Marisa Vesco and her daughter Chiara Micheletti are photographed during an emotional moment in Marisa’s room at the hospice L’Orsa Maggiore, where she has been hospitalized for a little more than a month before passing away. Biella, Italy. August 21, 2015
My brother Luca Squarci throws in the air the ashes of my grandmother in one of her dearest places. Northern Italy. December 16, 2015
My grandmother’s life and mine overlapped for 27 years. I always called her “Nonna.”
Our age difference and profoundly contrasting values and way of thinking did not prevent us from developing a strong bond. At a lunch table a few months before her death in Milan, I learned from my mother, her daughter, that Nonna, 85, suffered from incurable liver cancer. Years before, she had already survived two bouts of breast cancer.
My grandmother was told her liver was sick, but no one ever mentioned the word “cancer”, as we were sure she would have not accepted to die of it, after fighting it twice. Because of this, one question haunted us until the day she died: Did we have the right to know the truth about her condition when she did not?
Nonna spent most of her last months at home, surrounded by family. She reconciled with the idea of death and said she could slowly feel it coming.
During those months, as my grandmother faced my lens sometimes completely naked, her body bearing the signs of past and present illnesses, she did not show the slightest bit of shame – only trust and pride.
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