A major loss occurred for Canada and I considered how to present it. It is unknown internationally. Princess Diana’s fatality in France shocked us August 31, 1997. Mother Theresa’s loss 5 days after, touched us. Had her death in India not occured close to the younger, controversial one; she would have received louder fanfare. Both activists promoted kindness. The world sympathized with the USA on November 22, 1963; when a Dad (President John Fitzgerald Kennedy) was shot in front of his wife and tiny children.
Being affected supercedes politics. That’s why Canada grieved Jack Layton, New Democrat party leader, when he died of cancer August 22, 2011. For the first time, we used the word ‘love’ for a politician! Cities held memorial services and condolences, like for the other martyrs. What’s different is this hero was not yet known outside our country. It felt weird that we were alone glued to the television, thus I’m writing about this.
Think back to the excitement of Barack Obama’s election in the USA. No matter what, he is a change. He interviews on TV talk shows, curtailed Donald Trump with stand-up comedy, and filmed a skit for Betty White’s 90th birthday. There is unusual approachability and affection. The white house is no longer stuffy. Imagine if he had died before the election; hope dying with the person your citizens favoured! This is Canada’s loss, wondering what we’ll do… since our new hope didn’t make it.
Jack was on a first-name basis with us all. He publicly adored his kids, Grandchild, and NDP wife Olivia Chow. He tackled homelessness and the environment years before being the NDP leader. He meant it. What I take away is proof, that a genuinely caring person can enter politics. On his death bed, when he couldn’t care less about votes, he struggled to leave a personal letter for our people!
I took little interest before he came along. Without being Prime Minister, he had a state funeral. His “Letter To Canadians” is a cherished public record. The Laytons were comforted on January 5, 2012. Jack’s Granddaughter, Solace, whom he would have pampered like Beatrice, has just been born.
Letter To Canadians
Jack’s First Book