Jason Leonard, a local comedian, educator and founder of Lafayette Comedy recently lost his father and has opened up about it on Facebook.

I first met Jason at the (don't laugh) Louisiana Beard and Facial Hair Association's Inaugural Beard Contest in Lafayette. It was a great event (considering that it was the first), and Jason had an immensely enviable beard. Bearded and mustachioed men and women (they were real sports about it, wearing drawn-on or otherwise fake facial hair) milled about, sampling stouts and IPAs and beard and mustache products.

The second time I  saw Jason he was on stage, doing his comedy show which, I understand, is a tough gig.

Since then, I have followed Jason on Facebook. His posts range from funny to insightful, with many of the posts including conversations with his kid, Clemmy. Not many of his posts are serious, so when I opened Facebook to this post it struck me, hard.

Not knowing anything about Jason's personal life, his post reminded me of the old adage " be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about".

Anyway, Jason writes about losing his father for the final time. I say "final" because, judging by his post, Jason lost his father over and over through the years by getting his hopes up and then having them crushed, over and over again.

I can't imagine that it was easy for Jason to write the following post, as it shows what some might judge as a darker side of his life and it shows vulnerability. It shows the hurt, the fear, the rejection and the confusion he experienced as a child, but it also shows how it made him a better father, husband, friend.

Kudos to you, Jason Leonard, for writing the words that many may think but never say. Thank you for showing your vulnerable side and letting people know that it's okay to have these feelings. Thank you for telling us what you went through because your words might just wake up some who are not where they need to be.


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