Srishti Bhardwaj

When Death Comes

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved.
But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly-that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”

I am traumatized by “Death”. But how can I fully live if I can’t look at death? This essay is my attempt at a visual interpretation of this inescapable event. These photographs show how death has affected me in one of the most intimate and direct ways possible.

Until my grandfather’s death, I had never encountered someone dying in front of my own eyes. My grandfather was undergoing dialysis. He was put on a ventilator. He became very weak. With his eyes closed, I could see him going. I was shattered. He was brought home. His wide eyes and sounds of machines were his last gestures, his last goodbye.

To not be able to talk to my grandfather in his last days filled me up with guilt and regret. So, I wanted to overcome this feeling by making photographs. My intention is to look at death in an inclusive manner.

For me, death is about withering, suffering and pain. Be it a portrait of a space, an object or even something abstract. These photographs speak for the universality of death rather than the stories of those particular dead.

This essay is an attempt to cope with the absence of a long-lost.