My father died this Monday, due to complications from colon cancer that had spread to his brain. He had been struggling with cancer for the past two years, and his health began to decline rapidly in September. He died at Georgetown University Hospital with my mother at his side, and by all indications he was not in pain at the time.
As you know my father had a profound love for ancient Greek philosophy, Plato in particular. I did not share his particular interest as my academic pursuit, which is comparative politics. However his esteem for reason and breadth of knowledge - on politics, economics, history, philosophy, religion, and mathematics - guided me throughout my life and does so today as a graduate student.
I was vaguely aware that he participated in this messageboard, which I found as the homepage saved on his browser. So although he may not have met any of you in real life, and I am not acquainted with you at all, I wanted to share with you news of his passing.
This board provided my dad with an outlet for his ideas that were just too esoteric to discuss at length with us. As people with like-minded interests, you brought him joy through your musings and engagement with his thoughts, so thanks for that.
Thank you for sharing these sad news with us. Your father was an honour and inspiration to this forum, which now will become a lot more silent.
There was no post from him lately, while I know that he wouldn't let a month pass without scrutinizing some platonic passage, and I begun to worry. When a notification about your message arrived, not noticing the leading M. I thought "At last, a post from Don"...
- But if death is the journey to another place, and there, as men say, all the dead are, what good, O my friends and judges, can be greater than this? ... For besides being happier in that world than in this, they will be immortal, if what is said is true. - We miss him, but we know he is alive and even better.
Here is a link to Don Paarlberg's posts. He is still somehow present among us in these. His last one was at September, and all of them belong to the period of his suffering this illness, teaching us to focus on philosophy despite personal adventures and all emptiness that would make us lose our courage. I'm so grateful that you wrote us Michael. I'm embracing you.