“Farewell to Father” by Jacob Levenson. Men’s Health March 2010.

The following excerpt from the full Men’s Health article made me think a lot about my Dad, especially the night he died, November 27, 2005. I never really gave myself closure to my father’s passing until years later. I don’t feel like those are wasted years but it does make me wonder if my life choices would have been any different had I given myself the time to process what his death, and more importantly his life, meant to me.

“My father’s message was always the same: As long as I believed in the path I’d carved, I had nothing to fear. He devoted himself to becoming a father who dared me to govern my life by my convictions. A part of me knows the mystery worth investigating was how he transcended the pain, the indignity of physical decline, and the claustrophobia of his bedroom. But I found myself longing for him to express fear, doubt, vulnerability—some sign that the mechanics of my mind applied to him. I thought again of the moments when he had helped me face uncertainty. He’d always encouraged me to never fear, to have faith in my capacity to confront on my own terms what lay ahead. And there’s no doubt, this was his gift to me. But he was wrong on one count: Fear is not the enemy. The task was not to defeat fear—or to hide it—but rather to accept it as inseparable from the task of venturing out into dark waters.”

Men’s Health (1-year auto-renewal) [Print + Kindle]

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