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Documentary photographer Czesław Siegieda recorded life in a Polish community in England from 1970 to the 1980s. The Poles of my parents’ generation held a strong sense of being part of a community, and had faith in life after death. Whenever someone died, it would become even more evident to them that one day they will die too. They acknowledged death as something natural and to be expected, especially in old age. For this reason, death was often part of a daily discourse.

My parents mentioned death on various occasions. They reminded us that we could enjoy health, by the grace of God, but there would come a time for all of us to depart. The older they grew, the more often they touched upon that topic as if they were getting ready for that journey to the other side. They instructed us what we should do, once they are gone. They talked about it as if it were something ordinary.