Heading uphill is an improving situation and heading dowhill is a deteriorating one. Falling means to lose control of one's well-being. The depth of the fall indicates how serious the decline is. Falling into a shallow ditch might be a temporary loss of one's composure. Falling from a cliff could mean outright death.
I dropped the male figurine of a set and my father passed away soon after. It was his own fall in effigy, if you will. Clay and porcelain represent the 'human clay', the physical embodiment.