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.
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.