by Jill Campbell-Miller

This post originally appeared on Active History and is cross-posted here with permission.

β€œI just hope he’s at a cottage without a cell signal and wi-fi.”

I said that to my mother-in-law several times during a recent visit to Cape Breton. After all, I told her, the book project that Greg Donaghy was co-editing with myself and fellow historian Stacey Barker had recently been progressing ahead of schedule (Breaking Barriers, Shaping Worlds: Canadian Women and the Search for Global Order, UBC Press, 2021). Perhaps he felt no need to respond to my texts and emails quickly. But even as I said it, I knew it was not right. If Greg was anything, he was conscientious and dedicated to his work. Emails, texts, and phone calls rarely went unanswered. The thought of him lounging at a cottage while his inbox filled up was, in fact, patently un-Greg-like, but I did not let myself think about alternative explanations. I had been waiting to hear from him for some guidance before I undertook a few revisions to our introduction. On July 5, we all learned the terrible truth – a heart attack left Greg in a coma, which led to his death on Canada Day.

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