Gord Downie, 1964-2017
Gord Downie, poet, musican, activist, icon was open with his diagnosis of glioblastoma -- terminal and aggressive brain cancer -- and yet his death is still a blow. After announcing his illness in May 2016, Downie was a constant presence in Canadian life. He completed the Tragically Hip's final tour while fighting memory loss, a symptom of his disease. He worked tirelessly to raise awareness of indigenous issues releasing Secret Path in September 2016. The solo album and graphic novel tells the story of Chanie Wenjack, who died of exposure after running away from a residential school. His final solo album titled Introduce Yerself will be released on October 27, 2017.
Of course we all knew that his time on earth was to be short but perhaps we can be forgiven for selfishly wishing for a little more music, a little more poetry, a little more time to share his thoughts. Sadly, we have run out of time and all I have to say is "hey man, thanks."
Gord Downie died on October 17, 2017 surrounded by friends and family. He was 53.