Worried mornings have turned into worried days, and into worried nights. A week ago today, the world became a little less talented, replaced by a cold void. The cigarette fueled rasp of Chris Cornell’s voice will never grace another crowd again.
The loss of him is one that I have a hard time processing. His music represented a state of being, a memory and a time in my life. He is without a doubt my favorite musician and I will miss him. If I may, I would like to take a second to talk about why.
In high school, I was not all that popular, music and video games were my friends. I was shy and socially awkward. Of the few friends I did have, there was this one girl that was removed of the materialism that enveloped my school. She was dating my best friend at the time, and I was lucky enough to sit next to her in French class. We would listen to music during class, an activity that led to me nearly failing the course, but I didn’t mind.
She would bring in all kinds of CD’s, from country to boy bands, and we would listen. As for me, I would just listen to the same constantly, Sunshower by Chris Cornell. It is just as beautiful to me now as it was then. While I am sure that she was tired of the same damn song over and over again, but she never showed it.
My second year in high school my good friend, the girl that listened to Sunshower with me on endless repeat, was killed. I couldn’t listen to the song again, it was too much about her and her loss was one one that took me many years to process. The events of December 1998 are ones that my deepest cognition cannot remember, but my heart does not forget. As the years passed, time changed, but didn’t really heal the loss. My emotional state was that of the ending of the song that listed aimlessly to build and recess from a resolution that would not be addressed for many years.
I began to emerge from my socially reclusive state my senior year for I had discovered something that significantly moved me, photography. I would spend all the time I had after school driving around town to photograph everything from sunsets to mountains. It was at this time that the album Euphoria Morning released. Like Sunshower before it, I listened to it on repeat everywhere I went. In some odd way, I felt it inspired me to be an artist, for to me it was unique.
In college, I went on a date with a girl that I really liked. At the end of the date we went to my dorm room and I made her a CD of Chris Cornell’s music to listen to on her drive home. Last Thursday was her’s and my ten year anniversary, and the day Chris was lost.
On forgotten graves we’ll cry. Chris Cornell’s loss was yet another great artist that mental health gifted and haunted. It was a mind that was worshiped by the masses for its ability to speak of dark times. However, there is a caveat to this in that to talk of such depths, one must experience them.
I am not going to end this with a generic closing, and definitely not a conventional one….
If you have had dark thoughts, and by this let me be clear, if you have had thoughts of harming yourself or killing yourself, talk to someone. Talk to a friend, a family member, or a fuckin stranger, I do not care. Silence will kill more creatives than anything else, and I am gutted to think of the loss this world will face if the ability to talk about mental health isn’t made easier. If there is one number that you can remember, here is it is:
This is the phone number for the National Suicide Hotline. I am sick and tired of the stigma around suicide. To many greats have been taken by it, I only hope that we can prevent another.
Hear you laughing, and my soul is saved.
We will miss you Chris.