Samantha Nutt’s Eulogy for Gord Downie, published today in the Globe and Mail.
My heart is broken. Shattered in ways that feel incomprehensible, though I knew this day was coming. I could not prepare for it – I did not want to accept its inevitability.
Our beloved friend and Canadian icon Gord Downie has passed away.
I don’t imagine he was ever comfortable with the word “icon”. In person he was modest, self-effacing, almost shy. He transformed himself on stage with twists and turns, grimaces and sequinned hats, his signature handkerchief tucked into the back of his belt. He could be hard to talk to, but only because you could not help but feel that somehow he was operating on another plane. A plane where life and poetry collide, and from where he interpreted thoughts, feelings and stories in ways that only the truest artist can – he taught us about ourselves.
I would not be overstating the point when I say that without Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip, War Child Canada would not exist. In the late 90s we were an idea – an aspiration about how to build a different kind of humanitarian organization for women and children in war zones. When we asked for help, almost everyone passed…..