Gord Downie, the lead singer of the legendary Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip, passed away on Tuesday night, and now his family is hoping to organize a public memorial where fans can honour the influential Canadian musician.
There has been a public outpouring of grief and mourning for the 53-year-old singer, who died after a long battle with brain cancer, including a tearful message from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Downie’s brother Mike told the Canadian Press that the public’s reaction has been “unbelievable.” He also said that a “private family gathering” is being held today.
On the subject of a public memorial, Mike stated that it would have to be “something that Gord would like and appreciate, so we’ll just have to figure that out.”
Downie revealed that he had cancer in May 2016 after being diagnosed in December 2015 following a seizure. He is survived by his wife, Laura Usher, and his four children
“I was going to say [the public’s reaction] helps with the sadness because it’s so uplifting, but it actually makes you a little sadder too because you realize there’s a lot of people who are really hurting,” Mike said, trying to hold back tears.
“It also makes you feel like you’re part of something. I think that’s true for a lot of Canadians. I’m in good company.”