Sometimes, just a small, simple thing, can trigger a moment of sadness and grief.
For Rachael Prior, it was a bright red jumper in a well-known retailer’s menswear department, whilst out shopping with her husband and children in London.
“I caught sight of this cosy red jumper and thought it was the sort of thing my late father would love. I’d have picked it for him and I could imagine his face in that moment,” Rachael told the BBC.
Nowhere and no time do I miss my dad more acutely than in the men’s department of M&S at Christmas.
— Rachael Prior (@OrachaelO) November 11, 2017
Although her father, Lynton, died 10 years ago, the sudden feeling of grief was overwhelming.
“It felt cathartic to use Twitter but I didn’t think for one minute my innocuous tweet would catch on. It’s been bizarre.”
I played Southend tonight. Every time I have I was stressed because my parents were in the audience.
This time I was aware that they were not.
— Alison Moyet (@AlisonMoyet) November 11, 2017
TV personality James Corden, host of The Late Late Show in the US, encouraged his followers to read the whole thread, saying “It will warm your heart. Beautiful”
Read this whole thread and it will warm your heart. Beautiful x https://t.co/cGV0g52e0h
— James Corden (@JKCorden) November 11, 2017
Author JK Rowling joined in, saying the thread shows how ‘Twitter really is wonderful sometimes‘.
Briana Chernak, from Chicago, shared her ‘I love you’ tattoo which is the last thing her father said to her and is in his handwriting, which means she carries his love every day.
It’ll be five years in December. The last thing he ever said to me and in his handwriting. I carry his love everyday ❤️ pic.twitter.com/PaQNT0WVUL
— Let It Bri (@realslimchicken) November 11, 2017
One of Rachael’s father’s former pupils talked of his ‘legendary assemblies’.
Others shared their own personal memories, like LA_PDX, who posted a note from her dad telling her to use “good judgement in credit card purchases.”
Rachael, who’s head of film at a production company in London, even learned more about the word Tuttie, which her father, who was from Rochdale, called his aftershave.
Unfortunately, she has been unable to read every post.
“I feel like I’ve missed so many. It was nice to share my moment. Twitter has felt like a place overwhelmed by politics of hate, so this thread reminded me why I joined. It can be a place where people come together and support each other.”
“Everyone can connect to the loss of a loved one,” adds Rachael, who thanked everyone for what she describes as a very healing experience for her.
And as clinical psychologist Sarah Davidson puts it, this “more connected and emotionally impactful” thread could compete with High Street store Christmas adverts.