Little Things

It’s all about the little things.

My dad died almost a fortnight ago when he lost his footing during a climb in the Lake District, and – since then – it’s felt like I’ve been involuntarily transplanted out of my life and into somebody else’s. I’ve only been in and out of work, and I’m glad to have done that: it’s added a semblance of normality to my routine. But most of my “new life” seems to consist of picking up the pieces of the jigsaw of my dad’s affairs and piecing them together into a meaningful picture.

An endless outpouring of sympathy cards adorn shelf after shelf in my dad’s house.

The big stuff is easy. Or, at least, it’s easy thanks to the support of my sisters and my mum. The big stuff isn’t small, of course, and it takes a significant effort to make sure it’s handled correctly: arranging a funeral and a wake, pouring over the mountains of paperwork in my dad’s files, and discussing what’s to ultimately be done with his house… those are all big things.

But the small things: they’re tough. The little things that sneak up on you when you least expect it. Last night, Becky and I were watching television when an advertisement came on.

We were both trying to work out what it was an advertisement for – perhaps some kind of holiday company? – as we watched a scene of a family (father, mother, and two teenage daughters) packing their bags and moving them into the hallway. The kids squeezed past their dad on the stairs and hugged their mother: “It won’t be the same, without dad,” said one.

The commercial was for life insurance, and it pulled a Sixth Sense (spoiler: Bruce Willis is dead the entire time) on us – the girls’ father wasn’t there at all.

That we happened to see that advertisement was a little thing, in the scale of things. But it’s the little things that are the hard ones.

Funeral’s tomorrow. I’d better finish writing this eulogy.



  1. WT WT says:

    You ass, I hadn’t seen Sixth Sense yet.

  2. Katie Katie says:

    The little things never go away, but they get easier slowly.

    For me, it’s hearing Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, which he used to sing wandering around the house, and the strawberry on my foot, and the anniversaries. They get easier with each year.

    Which reminds me, today is four years exactly. Huh.

  3. Liz Liz says:

    My thoughts are with you today. I won’t phone or text you in case your phone is left on and you are busy. Plesae know that we love you and are thinking of you.

  4. Lola Lola says:

    My father hasn’t passed, but he has disowned me and I do feel a sense of loss when I see things like you were describing on the television. You’re right that it is the little things that sort of catch you. At least, I feel that’s true for my experience. I don’t know if I know exactly what you’re going through, but I hope you feel better soon.

Reply here

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Reply on your own site

Reply by email

I'd love to hear what you think. Send an email to; be sure to let me know if you're happy for your comment to appear on the Web!