Like father, like son? No. Not at all.

Father and son touching fingertips

27 March this year was the last ‘coming-of-age’ milestone of my father’s suicide. He took his own life twenty-one years ago, in 1998.

Ordinarily I’m overcome with a sense of dread in the weeks before this annual milestone, but this year, I wasn’t.

Dear diary, let’s have another look at this life…

American writer Jessamyn West, author of The Friendly Persuasion, said, “People who keep journals have life twice”. It’s hyperbole, but appeals to those of us who want to live a life worth remembering. To live a life twice! How grand. 

Journaling is something I’ve done off and on from the time I could write as a young boy. My grandmother Ann, a progressive and learned woman of letters herself, would let me read the diaries and letters of her parents and grandparents, and while I never knew them as people, their lives and thoughts came alive on the page and set my young imagination on fire.