I’ve been working on a post about Gord Downie in my head for several weeks now… I’m not sure I have all of the words ready yet – but when I heard the news of his death this morning, I wanted to try. I know there are many of you for whom the grief is still too near.
It would be stretching it to call myself a fan of the Tragically Hip, but their music is woven throughout my memories. It was my favourite CD to listen to at a house I babysat at. When I was 14, I agonized over what to buy my first boyfriend for Christmas – my friend and I settled on a Trouble at the Henhouse tape. A friend and I used to joke that he would be 38 years old… and never kissed a girl.
I’ve watched Gord’s courage with amazement. I loved that, when he found out he was dying, he decided he wanted to continue doing what he was already doing – that he was living his life in a way that he loved. (Oh, that we could all say this.)
I was amazed at the work he put into it. He had to re-learn 90 songs for their last tour. Wow.
I also admired his work on the Secret Path. He knew he was dying, he knew he had a Voice at this moment in history, and he chose to use it to help bring awareness and justice. I bought a copy of the graphic novel a few weeks ago in a bookstore, but have been waiting to read it (and listen to the music) until I can give it the attention it deserves.
Its a sad day.
But I am inspired to live more courageously because of his life.