Adieu, le bon Jack

Agree with him ideologically or not, Jack Layton was clearly no ordinary politician, and the week following his passing has been no ordinary week.  The widespread emotional outpouring in response to his death has been, dare I say it?  Unprecedented?  I certainly can’t recall anything quite like it.

Of all the memorials to Jack Layton, planned or improvised, to me the most touching is the now-famous chalk memorial in Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto:

Not just because it was such a spontaneously creative outpouring of grief, respect and even love for the guy.  But because one night the sky cried it all away, and then within 24 hours:

… tenacious Torontonians had stubbornly brought it back.  It was an act in such synchronicity with Layton’s determinedly optimistic spirit, I found it really moving.

I wonder if what we saw this past week says something about what we really want.

5 Responses to “Adieu, le bon Jack”

  1. 2 BC Mary Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    I loved what you said … loved it so much, I included it in something I wanted to say about Jack Layton. With credits of course. I hope you’re OK with that.

    Last week was a passionate experience — and I still don’t feel quite ready to walk away from it and do “business as usual”. There were lessons to be learned.

    Did you laugh and applaud when Stephen Lewis said the words “Social Democracy” in his eulogy? and innocently set off an explosion of passion? When the congregation (apparently, unexpectedly) took over with their applause and cheers … in the middle of a funeral?? We surely did.

    Many thanks … and best wishes.

    The Legislature Raids

  2. 3 Joanne Manley Monday, August 29, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Thank you for this. I feel the same way, and it is not sentimental. Jack will bring out the best in us, if we let him.

  3. 4 catzmews Monday, August 29, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Very nice! I agree – Canadians may just be telling the world what they really want for the first time in a long time.

  4. 5 G.J.W. Monday, August 29, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Jack was a true Canadian. Not once, had I ever disbelieved what he said. He loved his country and the people. We came first. These days that is something, to hang onto and cherish. His words brought Canadians together, like never before. We must turn our dispear for Canada, into hope again.

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