The Canadian Imagination

What it means to be Canadian; examining and reworking Canada as a nation.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

A life, mourned

A teenaged driver, killed in a traffic accident. The community came together to mourn the life cut short, and could find nothing but good to say of him.

Somehow I doubt the same was true during his life.

In life, as nearly as I can gather, he had been "kind of average", marginally gifted at some things (most of them not valued), marginally klutzy at others, a few good spots, a few blemishes, too often at loose ends for time, no visible piercings or tattoos, beginning an average apprenticeship, no gang memberships and no Rotary Club ones, nothing exceptionally pro- or anti-social: on the whole, invisible.

Why is it we make a cult of finding the best about our dead, and the worst about our living?

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