This seems to be doubly true for Kakashi. One of the most important (and painful) moments in Kakashi’s life happens at a very young age: the loss of his father.
Before Sakumo’s Death
This is the moment where Kakashi holding up the kunai he won for his incredible jutsu. He looks up to his father so much that being able to show off his skill makes him feel that one step closer to reaching his fathers level. Just imagine him running home to show Sakumo, excited and proud of his accomplishment!
Later, we see Kakashi intervene when Gai is getting beaten by the people who insulted his father. Kakashi kicks the older ninja’s butts (without much effort) in order to help his rival.
Kakashi then joins up with his father to continue walking to where ever they were heading in the first place. But before he leaves, he tells Gai:
I can’t believe you didn’t return a single punch after what they said about your father.
Considering the slander against his own father that Kakashi would hear leading up to his fathers death, this line shows how he would react. He would fight whoever insulted his fathers honour, even if they were stronger than him, and he would ensure they did not get away unscathed.
When playing a game of kick the can with some of his peers, Kakashi says:
Saving my friends, no matter what… that is my ninja way
This line was like a punch to the gut. This is still before his fathers death and at this point he still firmly believes in protecting his comrades. This makes it that much more painful to see his reaction to loosing a member of his team in the next episode.
After Sakumo’s Death
He decides to abandon a man to his fate to prioritize the mission. This is the exact opposite of how younger Kakashi would have reacted. It shows just how much he changed after his fathers death. He abandoned his, and his fathers, ninja way.
We also see him sitting by himself, staring off into the distance the way all Naruto characters do when they are angsty and hurting. Instead of playing with friends, he begins to close himself off more and more, leading to the events of the rest of his story.
Loosing his father marks the end of his childhood. Kakashi is more social, loyal, and, most importantly, happier when his father is around.
JUST LOOK AT THIS BEAUTIFUL PICTURE! Look at the happiness on both their faces!!!
Everything changed in his life when Kakashi lost his father, but that lead him to be the shinobi we know and love. Kakashi shows us that you can go through hell, experience loss, make mistakes, and still live a life to be proud of.