A love story, the final chapter

Photographer: Karen Khachaturov

23.03.21
Edition: Journey of aging
Topic: Women

This is the story of my grandparents, Karina and George. Together for a half of a century, they built a life of love and laughter. They created a family, raised me and my brother, and travelled the world together. 

Until December 2020, when Karina unexpectedly passed away.

In the days and weeks following her death, I watched my grandfather slowly sink into depression. After 50 years of marriage, 50 years of love, joy, smiles and tears, George was alone, and he, like my brother and I, was drowning in his grief. 

Karina was like a second mother to me and I felt overwhelmed by the emptiness and loneliness, the loss and frustration, caused by her death. Her memory seemed to linger everywhere in the house, in her photographs on the walls, in the flowers she left behind. 

As I started to grapple with my grief, I recalled how happy Karina used to be when she posed for my photographs. I decided to continue the tradition, but this time photograph George, as he struggled to carry on after her death.  

This photo essay is about a man fighting against loneliness. What would you do if you were George? How would you continue living with the idea that darkness will swallow you the moment you wake, and emptiness will meet you the moment you fall asleep? How do you continue living after your love is gone? 

Through photographs of Karina and pieces of her life that remain behind, George feels her presence. His day can become a litany to her memory and, at times, it seems he carries on a conversation with her.

“My bedroom feels empty without you.”
“My bedroom feels empty without you.”
“I feel your absence especially at mealtimes. I miss your cooking.”
“I feel your absence especially at mealtimes. I miss your cooking.”
“Your plants remind me of you and I feel closer to you when I care for them.”
“Your plants remind me of you and I feel closer to you when I care for them.”
“I miss your kisses and your touch.”
“I miss your kisses and your touch.”
”Even the sewing machine reminds me of you, and the care you put in everything you did.”
”Even the sewing machine reminds me of you, and the care you put in everything you did.”
“In short, I miss you every minute of every day, from the moment I wake until the moment I close my ...
“In short, I miss you every minute of every day, from the moment I wake until the moment I close my eyes.”
“Your memory will remain with me forever, in my heart and in my mind.”
“Your memory will remain with me forever, in my heart and in my mind.”
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