First Doris Anderson, now June Callwood — it seems that ‘tis the season for saying goodbye to older Canadian feminists. I just read the Toronto Star’s obituary for Callwood and the quotes they have from her last public interview (with George Strombo, of all people) really resonated with me.
On the afterlife: Theres nothing next, she said. Thats alright. What you get is a life. A baby is a miracle. You open a babys fist and theyll close their hand on your hand and hold on. What theyve got is a life to live as best as they can. Thats what you get. You dont need anything else if youve got that.
On not believing in God: I believe in kindness. I believe its very communicable just as meanness is. Strangers hold doors for one another. Sometimes they say thank you, sometimes they dont. Something in us says: `If I hold this door it helps this person, and that person is slightly changed. Great consideration for one another - thats whats going to save the world.
On death: Im okay, Im 82 years old for heavens sake. Dust to dust is the way it ought to be. The death of the young is inexcusable.
June Callwood was the kind of woman who got shit done. Throughout her long career as a journalist, author and activist, she got received everything from the Order of Canada to her pilot’s licence (not to mention 15 honorary doctorates!). I can only hope that when I die, I leave the planet with half as much grace and peace of mind as she displayed in that last interview.