Ghosts aren’t what you think.

Ghosts are the arguments that you have with your mother every time you see her, even though you both know that you’ll never agree. And ghosts are the arguments that your father continues even when you agree with him, as he tries to prove that he is right to his own father, long dead.

Ghosts are the fears that stop you asking someone out, because they might reject you like someone else did, long ago.

Ghosts walk your house at night, as you worry whether you have made the right choices. Ghosts walk your house in the morning as you worry whether you’ll be able to solve the problems you face today.

Ghosts give good advice, and bad. Often the same ghost gives both. They’re only human, after all.

Sometimes ghosts tell you that you’re wrong, and sometimes ghosts tell you that you’re right. (Ah, but they lie, they lie).

Ghosts watch and tut as you have the same arguments with your children that your parents had with you. Ghosts tell you that this wouldn’t happen if you’d listen to their advice. (But their advice is the same now that it was then, so I wouldn’t trust them if I were you).

Ghosts are everywhere. You may not see them. But you hear them. They sound like you.

Ghosts follow you. You can’t run away from them, they will always come with you. When you break up with your new lover for the same reason you broke up with your old lover, the ghosts applaud.

Ghosts don’t like change. They’re dead. They follow the same patterns, over and over. But they want you to stay with them and keep them company. Ghosts need the living.

When you walk with a ghost, you make it stronger. When you listen to a ghost, you make it louder. You can’t run away from a ghost, but they will fade if you let them. Slowly, so slowly.

Ghosts are terribly strong. They’re as strong as you can make them. And when you fight a ghost, only you get hurt. (They’re already dead).

Ghosts aren’t what you think. They’re all around you. We all see dead people.


Goodbye, Sir Terry

I was heartbroken to see the news that Sir Terry Pratchett had died. I grew up reading his books, and my career aspiration is still to become Granny Weatherwax.

In two years, we’ve lost Iain Banks and Sir Terry. I’m in the mood to demand a 24-hour armed guard and medical team to follow Neil Gaiman, just because I couldn’t stand to lose him too.

I heard the news just before I had to go out, and shortly afterwards I ran into a friend who is very religious. She asked how I was, and I was briefly tempted to tell her the news. But I worried that she’d tell me that he had gone to a better place, and I didn’t want to hear that.

And then I imagined what he would have said about that, and for just a moment I actually managed to be glad that he had lived, rather than sad that he had died.

Rest in peace, Sir Terry.