These were my grandmother’s teeth. When she died, I kind of joked to my partner that I wanted her teeth. When we went to her care home to get her things, my mother said ‘What shall we do with her teeth?’ I said I wanted them. They were in the brown jar in the bathroom. On taking them home, I felt weird and unsure what to do with them, and I felt that my grandma should have them buried with her. My grandma would always say ‘I’ve got my teeth in’. She wore them for special occasions. When she moved to the care home, she got these new ones. They never fitted her, and would hurt her, so she didn’t wear them all the time. When I said she should be buried with them, my mum said she hated them and wouldn’t want them in. When I saw her lying in the chapel of rest I thought, yes, she looks better without them in.
I once took a photo of my gran’s teeth with her toffees, and my partner remembers my grandma laughing at that, after I’d set the photo up. I used to take photos of her feet, and of her in socks and slippers. My grandma loved my photos. I used to give my grandma presents of my photography. I used to take photos of her, portraits, and general family photos, and she would say ‘Oh you could take a photo of your Grandma’s slipper and show everyone.’ She would love the fact that her teeth are now in a photography exhibition which will be seen by people.
I feel I can give them up as my grandma didn’t like to wear them, and I feel that they are not something which is a part of her, as before, but just an object that she didn’t like anyway.