Two pictures I carried round in a notebook on opposite pages for many years. On the left is my brother, Charles (1964-1982), on the right my first son (b 1995).
I kept the images opposite each other because I thought the people in them looked unbelievably similar. Scanning the pages today, loading them up to edit and looking at them for the first time in a long time I can’t see a resemblence at all. In fact my brother looks uncannily, eerily, like our paternal grandmother, a woman my mother loathed viscerally and to whom I, she always said, was identical.
I used to show these pictures to people, like a diptych, an icon, a small personal shrine against the tyranny of death and say “doesn’t my son look just like my brother who died”.
How could anyone respond other than to agree in a generalised way with perhaps a quiet qualifier about children often looking similar, so clear and so desperate was my desire for that connection to be imprinted on face and page and body and mind.