Before You Go: How to submit your essay to your loved ones -

Before You Go: How to submit your essay to your loved ones

Maclean’s is publishing a monthly series of essays, by Canadians, about the people they love—before it’s too late. Here’s how to submit yours.


(Top left): Simu Liu with his parents. (Bottom left): Teacher Meaghan Thompson (backrow second from right) with her Grade 6 “classroom family” at St. Margaret’s School in Victoria. (right): Gord Downie. (Simu Liu; Photograph by Nick Iwanyshyn)

Too often in our lives, we come face to face with regret—and one of the worst kinds is the one where death suddenly intervenes. There are things that are said, or left unsaid, to the people we loved the most who never had a chance to hear those words, and no second chance to do so. On a day-to-day basis, caught up in our rushed lives, we forget to say “I love you,” or to expand on the broad, beautiful things that undergird that statement.

So—inspired by the last year of Gord Downie’s life in which he told the people he loved the most exactly why he loved them—Maclean’s essay series “Before You Go” aims to give all Canadians an opportunity to share those words before it’s too late.

Thus far, we’ve featured Evan Solomon on his family and the new ways they tell each other they love each other; elementary-school teacher Meaghan Thompson’s paean to the students who have passed through her classroom; and Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu offering hard-earned gratitude to his immigrant parents.

And we want to hear your story, too.

The essays generally range between 700 and 1,000 words, and will be edited and/or condensed by a Maclean’s editor and sent back for approval before publishing. There is no deadline, as we will be accepting these essays indefinitely. They may appear in our print edition or online at This series is open to any and all who wish to submit. And as a general suggestion, whenever possible, focus on sharing specific personal anecdotes: they are what make these essays sing.

If you’d like to contribute your essay or letter to our series, please send it to