I sit here this evening like many of you; sad, hurt, confused, and listening to some form of Chris Cornell billowing from my speakers. At present we have Soundgarden’s Superunknown licking at our ears. I also sit here with the same thought as you; Why, Chris? This question may never have an answer, and to be perfectly honest, it is not ours to know. Those answers belong only to his closest friends, and his dearest family. Pause with me for a moment to think about them, and the great loss they have just suffered.
We have lost a music icon, the voice of a generation for most of us, an undeniable talent, and a beautiful soul. We have gained yet another painful reminder of how fragile life is; how fragile we all are. It is so easy to sit back and say, “I would never…”, but the truth is that none of us know how we will be in any situation until we are actually faced with it. The mind is incredibly fantastic, and unbelievably fragile. One can only hope, and pray, that they will have the strength to overcome every hardship and devastation they encounter. Not everyone is so fortunate.
One important thing to remember is that depression, and feeling depressed, are two entirely different things. Now, again, we have no knowledge of what led Chris Cornell to the decision he made last night, but it is clear he found himself in the bottom of that suffocating pit, and was unable to find the light to get back out. We all feel depressed throughout our lives. Sometimes it is because we lose a job, or a friend, or a favorite musician. Maybe it is because our weekly television show that we have watched for years gets cancelled, or maybe our book was rejected by a publisher. These are things that simply just occur in life. So, you get depressed, you feel sad, you may even cry, but ultimately you go on with your life. You make new friends, you get a new job, you find a new show to watch, and you submit your book to a different publisher…you always miss your favorite musician, but you will have their music with you forever. Depression will not let you bounce back so easily. Depression will push you, and shove you until you are face down in the dirt, and then it will stomp on you until there is nothing left. It is a battle of brutality that millions of people fight every single day, and yet, so few people understand it.
It sickens me to no end how some people will sit back in their chair of righteousness, and call someone selfish for taking their life. Let me be perfectly clear here, I do not in any way, shape, or form condone the act of suicide. I am simply stating that another’s actions are not for us to judge. Even if you have battled depression, and won, that does not give you the right to fault another for losing their fight. Congratulations if you made it out alive, but do not act like every day is a cake walk for you now. You know you have to continue to work hard to maintain your strength. You must always be ready for the battle to return.
If we can take anything away from this tragedy today, I hope it is to be kind. We know nothing about each other. We are all just beings wandering around this planet trying to figure it all out. What we see on the outside is almost never what is on the inside. I am a perfect example. Some people look at me and think I must be such a bitch (thanks RBF), but I would probably run into a fire to save your kid. Some people might think I am just super chill, and nothing phases me, but I am frightened to the core and consumed by an anxiety ridden mind. Some people think I must be so strong, and things are easy for me. Well, I am strong, but it is not because it has been easy. I am strong because I have battled, and I am fortunate because I won.
So be kind. Be considerate. Be thoughtful. Do not judge another’s struggle. I know it is all easier said than done, but if you try it will get easier. And remember, if you are faced with the darkness, just keep fighting. I know it feels empty and impossible, but I promise you it is not.
Now there is one last thing I must ask you to do. Go to your CD collection, or YouTube, or Spotify, whatever your preference and find some Chris Cornell. I do not care if it is Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog, or his solo works, just let the man sing! Turn it up until your speakers are shaking, and you can feel his voice move through you!
We love you Chris! Thank you for sharing your gift with us. God bless you, your family, and your friends. Say hello to Heaven, and may you rest in peace.
©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Photo credit to Ken Settle.