One of the most difficult things about deciding to migrate was saying goodbye to my grandparents. When I was seven, my grandmother on my father’s side died, followed three months later by the only great-grandmother I had the chance to meet. My mom once told me that I then asked my remaining grandma to promise me she wouldn’t die. I’ve always been close to family, and I remember my mom telling me, when I was younger, to spend all the time I could with my grandparents. If nature follows its course, she said, they will probably be the first ones to be gone. This memory, real or fabricated, stuck with me – and so did the fear and angst of losing my grandparents.
Remember Me is a photo essay I produced right before I left, to try to cope with feelings I’m unable to express with words, and to try to hold on to my grandparents and everything they represent. The essay got a whole new meaning to me within the last year, when my worst nightmare came true: both my grandfathers passed away in Brazil, and I was unable to say goodbye or be with my family.