Wednesday, 22 October 2014


jian ghomeshi, Q, CBC, my father, my hero,
 Jian Ghomeshi is taking a break from CBC to deal with "personal issues." 
CBC Radio/Q

*EDITOR'S NOTE  Stay tuned: This story is developing faster than a case of Ebola ...

Today in Ongoing Mysteries of the Persian-Canadian Sphynx, Jian Ghomeshi, beloved host of Q, almost broke the Internet on Friday by announcing that he's taking an "undetermined" amount of time off to deal with "personal issues." Which is the kind of vaguely dodgy phrasing that would normally trigger my "rehab" alert, but in this case sounds more like chronic overachiever/workaholic finally hits wall. And finds that the wall is made of grief.

As the hundreds of thousands who follow him on Twitter or Facebook already know, Jian lost his father earlier this month. He shared the news on Facebook in a poignant post that began: "My dear friends, forgive me if I am lost. My heart has been broken."  
Losing a parent is devastating for anyone. But for someone who not only loves his father but also carries his voice around with him as his spiritual soundtrack, the voice that urges him to constantly strive for excellence (Jian once told Toronto Life that his father's parenting motto was "you have done well; now do better"), the sudden loss of that love and that voice leaves a void so raw and gaping that it can, at times, be hard to even remember how to breathe. Factor in that Jian is 47 (or, more bluntly, "mid-life"), and you either just close your briefcase, walk out of your office, get on a plane and disappear into a village in Tahiti or you catch yourself before it gets that bad and you say, "I need to take some time off. My whole psyche hurts." Jian chose the latter.

Will he be back? No one knows. Probably not even Jian. But his fans can take be assured that he will keep them posted in one of his favourite ways, via Twitter. Below, his most recent tweet. Which sounds a little coy considering this bizarre new development.