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Have You Told Your Dad You Love Him?
October 15, 2006

Midlife Wisdom For Men Issue #068, October 15, 2006

=========== TABLE OF CONTENTS ==========

· From Our Readers · Have You Told Your Dad You Love Him? · Where There Is A Will, There Is A Way


Written by Noel McNaughton (c) copyright 2006


If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a big favour and forward it to him. If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting Midlife Wisdom for Men.


Welcome to this issue of Midlife Wisdom for Men.

Isn't it funny how we can get so nervous about something as lovely as telling someone we care about that we love them? Just the same, that's the way it is for many men and their fathers.

Another thing people get funny about is writing a will. Very few people have wills, and many families suffer for lack of a will when a parent dies. Not to mention that millions of dollars go back to banks over time, when people die without leaving a list of their investments and bank accounts, because they 'thought they had lots of time to get it done'.

There are about 1200 words in the articles in this newsletter, which should take you about 3 1/2 minutes to read.

All the best,



To The Editor

Hi there Noel,

It is time to wake up...That revelation came to me earlier this week as I moved first into and then out of a serious bout with the black dog of depression. I was so low that I literally had no where else to go but up. Rock bottom and in despair. A fight with my spouse and huge doubts about my worth, my goals in life, my willingness to accept any posting given to me just to be a "good person" and to be able to feel some sense of contribution.

And then I picked up a little CD from the library on mindfulness by none other than Thich Nhat Hahn. I went through a guided meditation session. I found myself at first unable to breathe let alone bless each breath in and out, and then I began slowly letting go of the need to control anything. I experienced a mounting excitement and a huge sense of peace and serenity. Then came a couple of phone calls that proved to me that at least some of the prayers I had been praying (although they weren't in my consciousness as prayers if you know what I mean) could be answered by simply giving me the experience of being heard. Heard by whom? God I guess, (actually I know).

I have just purchased and read Picking Up The Burning Feather (I added the live link - ed.). I am grateful in that for many months when I get your newsletter I have been trying to get the link to the book to open up and this evening it finally did. It was a very easy and loving task to just buy the book, read it and find that my God comes to me through the revelations of spiritual masters like Thich Nhat Hahn and of course even my friend Noel McNaughton.

Blessings on you for your spirit as Kris Kristofferson would say. Thanks for the insights and the peace that they can bring and thank God for the chance and the strength I have been granted to finally acknowledge that I am not alone and there is a friend waiting for me to call whenever I need help.

Namaste yourself,



Have You Told Your Dad You Love Him?

I wrote about this topic a couple of years ago, and got some feedback from readers whose relationship with their fathers was strained because of abuse, or desertion, but I believe it is an important topic, and with many new subscribers between then and now, I have decided to address it again.

I have met many men over the years who have never told their dads they love them, and whose dads have never told them, and now their dads are dead. These men live with the regret of never having spoken these words to their fathers, or heard them spoken. I did not want to be a man living with that kind of regret, yet for years I had not told my dad I love him either.

How I did it

I wanted to tell my dad I love him, but was afraid to. I told myself that because he was not very comfortable talking about feelings, I would make him uncomfortable by expressing mine. Thinking about it later, I realized it was actually me that would be uncomfortable, whether my dad was or not. About fifteen years ago I was at a leadership training workshop, and one of the exercises we were assigned was to name the important people in our lives, and list any we had 'unfinished business' with. I realized it was time to tell my dad I love him.

I decided to take the 'easy way'. Knowing I would be visiting my dad the following week, I wrote him a letter, telling him I love him. I also told him about a couple of things he had done that had hurt me, which I wished later I wouldn't have put in the letter, because it 'muddied the water' a bit.

The following week, he and I were driving together to a seminar on grazing management, and I asked him if he got my letter:


"Do you have anything to say about it?"

"I don't know why a person would write a letter like that."

"I just wanted you to know you are important to me."

"Well, you kids are important to me to."

And that was the end of the conversation. But I noticed that our relationship changed in subtle ways after that. There was a bit more openness between us. My dad is still alive and doing well at age 91, but when he does die, which will likely be sometime during the next ten years, I will not have to live with the regret of never having told him I love him.

How about you? Are you one of the lucky ones, whose dad freely tells you he loves you and is proud of you? And who you respond to in kind? (I have heard there are such fathers.) If not, and your dad is still alive, when will you tell him you love him?

And do you tell your kids you love them?


ON A FROZEN DINNER: Serving suggestion: Defrost.


Where There Is A Will, There Is A Way

A surprisingly small percentage of adults (some says as few as 20%) have written wills. If you are single with no dependents, and have few possessions, there may be some excuse for this, but beyond that, there is none, as far as I am concerned.

A will is a way of looking after your family's needs when you are gone. It is also a way of making sure your wishes for what happens to your estate are carried out, and it is a way to keep your family from getting into fights that could tear it apart. They say 'money makes people funny', and I have heard many stories of family members doing all kinds of sneaky things, such as stealing heirlooms and emptying bank accounts, when a parent dies, before the siblings even know what's happening.

Denying Death?

Some psychologists say refusing to write a will is a form of 'death denial', as though writing it will somehow either hasten our death, or at least make us face our mortality. Elizabeth and I wrote our wills shortly after we got married, and I suppose it did make us think a bit about our death, but by the time you reach midlife, chances are you are going to be considering it anyway. If not, you might be 'in denial', and be prone to acting as though you will never die by trying to stay 'young and hip' when you aren't any more. (Hip, maybe; young at heart, hopefully; but not young.)

If you do not have a will, I strongly urge you to write one. Get some legal advice, so it is done properly. If you hand write it (a 'holograph will'), which is a poor idea, but could be done in an emergency, it must all be in your handwriting, not partly typed and partly written, in order to be a legal will.

If you love your family, write a will.


"Middle age is when your medicine chest is better stocked than your drinks cabinet." Pam Brown


I do this newsletter and host the website as a service to other men, and am happy to do so. Just the same, it costs some money, and if you would like to make a small contribution to help with those costs, I would really appreciate it. If you would like, you can make a donation at:


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The ManKind Project® offers trainings which support men in developing lives of integrity, accountability, and connection to feeling. Our trainings challenge men to develop their abilities as leaders, fathers, and elders as ways of offering their deepest gifts in service to the world.

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Got your copy of Picking Up The Burning Feather yet? It will help you on your spiritual journey.

Just go to Picking Up The Burning Feather: A Spiritual Guide For Midlife Men.


Just For You: A Free Do-It-Yourself Retirement Planning Report

If you are a new subscriber to this newsletter, you will recall I promised you a link to a secret page on the Midlife Men's site where you can download a free 27-page report on 'DIY Retirement planning' by George Slater.

Welcome to the newsletter, and for your free report, go to: DIY Retirement E-Report , and follow the instructions.




A Destroyer of Compasses by Wade Bell, published by Guernica Editions, (Toronto, Buffalo and Lancaster UK) $15.00 Cdn

One Man's Mid-Life Crisis Led to Spain. Planning to spend six weeks, he stayed five years.

A book of stories the Toronto Globe & Mail called "an assured and sensual portrait of a culture" with "precise and ironic examples of human idiosyncracy." The review went on to call stories "gems."

Available from Amazon, E-Bay and local bookstores.

I Need Your Questions and Feedback!

Got comments? Questions? I'd love to hear from you.

Just email your suggestions and/or questions to . I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks.


Well friend, that's it for now. Again, if you enjoyed this and/or found it useful, and know of anyone else who might like it, please pass it forward. And if you have questions or recommendations, I would love to hear from you.

All the best, Noel

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