A son left behind after his father’s suicide reflects on the life choices he’s made in an attempt to understand and considers how his father’s death has shaped not only him as a person but also his approach to life and parenthood.

Because of his illness, my father lost control of his body. But by killing himself, he regained control of it. In doing so, he took control of his fate, which changed my fate. Maybe that was how it was supposed to be all along. I often wonder if his death was meant to be—if everything that came after it depended on his suicide, including my decisions to become a journalist, to head off to war, to teach others about what I have learned, and to become a father.