This past Saturday night as the The Toronto Police tweeted “Please be advised, Canada will be closed at 8:00pm”, Canadians came together to celebrate a musical legend’s last performance. For those of you who do not know, Gord Downie, the front man for The Tragically Hip announced to the world in May that he had been diagnosed with a terminal brain cancer. The concert last Saturday was the last stop on the band’s summer tour.
Life is short. This is not just a cliché that I throw around lightly, it is one that that I was faced with and know how scary as hell it is to be faced with a possible end date, one that makes you appreciate the words so viscerally that you ache with the hope of extending your life. Being given an end date or at least in my case been faced with the high probability that it may occur has profound effects on oneself. For me, (as you very well know because I often blog about it), I started on a mission to better myself both mentally and physically. I turned to fitness to get physically stronger and in turn I also became mentally stronger. I also promised myself that I would not ever say the words “I’m bored” or “I just want this day to end” because for me being bored still meant being alive and for someone who is facing the end, hanging onto every minute of every day was so important.
My heart goes out to Gord Downie, the lead singer of the Tragically Hip who stood up on stage and performed for the last time in his life. The tears that he shed don’t do justice to the emotions that he must have been feeling as he walked away from a love that enraptured his heart for over 30 years, a love of music and performance. Gord decided to finish off his tour and do what he loves most, he is living his life to the fullest. He had a choice, he could have retired right away and go into hiding, rather, he decided to continue to do what he loves to do and to share with the world his talents one last time. So without sounding overly philosophical, how would you spend your last months or years? I think it’s so important that we all take the time to reflect on our answers as there is a lot to be said for what lies in those answers.
I sign off this week quoting one of Downie’s most iconic songs, these words are a reminder to all of us that we only have one life and we must live it to the fullest.
“First thing we’d climb a tree and maybe then we’d talk Or sit silently and listen to our thoughts With illusions of someday casting a golden light No dress rehearsal, this is our life”