Dear Gord,

I had the privilege of seeing your Calgary show of your Man Machine Poem tour. As a Canadian, your lyrics bleed through me. They hold memories unlocked by the sound of a familiar chord or a favourite verse. Like most Canadians (and fans), I have so much I want to say and to share many sentiments of gratitude for you sharing your time to give us what we all wanted: The Hip in all your multiple metallic suit glory. However, I am writing from a much different place. You see, through your own passion you have helped me with a passion of my own. You have brought life to death. You have created a platform for conversations that so many fear.

My hope for all of those who attended the shows, those who missed out on getting tickets to the shows and hopefully those who tune into CBC to watch your final show take an opportunity to not become fixated on your life but take this as an opportunity to reflect on their own lives. You have taught us how to embrace life in the immediate face of death. You see, beyond the amazing concert, I watched you. I watched you breathe in each and every moment. I watched you truly be present. I was humbled by your gratitude that I felt in the rafters of The Saddledome. I was reminded how often we, as humans, miss these moments and take them for granted. I was reminded how we quickly move through our own lives tackling the next item on our to do list and passing over experiences and opportunities. You changed this. Thank you for sharing your courage with each and every one of us and teaching us that love conquers fear; life conquers death.

Mortality is a tricky thing that we all try and avoid, until we can’t. We all feel that we have more; more money, more opportunities, more time. We live anywhere but but ‘here’ and we exist more than we live. You, Gord, have inspired us all. You have inspired us to play big in our lives. You have inspired us to settle for nothing less than our truest selves. You have inspired us to show up to our lives. After all, there is no dress rehearsal.

Because of you, I believe we are all ahead by a century.

Yours in living,



Photo Credit: Ross Neilsen