Chris Cornell dies at 52 – Suicide by hanging

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I think many of us are still in shock, as we saw on Social Media this morning reports that our dear Chris Cornell left us.  That voice etched into our memory, the soundtrack to many of our lives.

I’m listening to a playlist on Spotify and it’s crazy to be reminded that so many of the musicians that rocked our world and changed the musical landscape have left us, if only in the grunge genre.

Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), Andrew Wood (Mother Love Bone), Layne Staley (Alice in Chains), Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots) all left us too early.

I saw Soundgarden only once, at Lollapalooza in 1992 with fellow grunge pioneers Pearl Jam.  To this day, this concert was a highlight of my concert going career.

Grunge to me was a sound that spoke to my soul, that seemed to understand my place in the world at that time.  Unfortunately, we lost so many of these Grunge pioneers.

Drug addiction & suicide, makes you wonder if the rock star life is all it’s cracked up to be.  The pressures of living up to expectations, to losing your identify as you become larger than life.

Like a fake treasure, stardom can be a bitter pill.  I get to speak to many artists and I’ve been fortunate that to date, they have all been down to earth and gracious.  I know, I will eventually meet an artist that will have an ego that they cannot contain and I will be disappointed with them.

Fame and fortune brings attention but loneliness at the same time.  How do you know who your real friends are?  Who is real and who wants something from you?  In this social media generation, some only want the selfie to up their social status by one by being associated with a rock star.  I confess, I also like to get that shot, but I’m more interested in meeting the individual and getting to know them.  For the most part, we simply don’t have the time.  They pass through our town quickly like a bad burrito.  They often hardly have time to visit or see any of the sights.

While I can’t really relate to being depressed or suicidal, I understand the way it hollows out a person till they feel they are no longer anything.  We can help by reaching out to fill that void with something real.  Depression is no longer taboo, we now know it’s a disease.  You can’t tell someone with Cancer to simply shake it off and get better.  Likewise, depression is a disease that needs treatment.  Mental HELLth.  Sometimes, just listening may help, showing we care.

There was once a man who wanted to end it all.  He said: ”I can’t live with myself anymore.”  The more he thought about it, the more he realized that this sentence involved two people.  I & myself.  Once he realized that this conversation was between two people, he began to notice when this second person was speaking.  He called him “the watcher”.  You see, the watcher would be the one who would say these bad things, but once he knew who was talking, the watcher’s power vanished.  The watcher wants us to believe that it’s truly us that has these dark thoughts, but in reality, he is feeding us lies.  That is why they say WE are OUR worst enemy.  We all have this battle between these two people to some extent, but for some, it’s overwhelming.

I don’t know Chris, I’ve never met him and I don’t know what he was going through, but it obviously was overwhelming.

Those that did know him, loved him and were near to him are suffering the worst.  They are wondering what they could have done to prevent this.  We will never know, and it’s not their fault.

If you are feeling like you want to end it all, please reach out to someone and talk about it.  Can you hang on for 1 more hour?  Yes?  Then hold on.  Can you hang on for another hour?  Take it hour by hour, maybe day by day or week by week as you feel better.  It’s more common than you think and now more than ever, people can listen and not judge.  If you don’t have anyone, call the Quebec National Crisis Line anytime at 1-866-Appelle (277-3553).

Let us remember the legacy of Kurt, Andrew, Layne, Scott and now Chris and as I saw on a post this morning:  Let us bubble wrap Eddie Vedder to make sure we don’t lose him as well!

Written by– Randal Wark is a Professional Speaker and Business coach with a passion for live music.  You can follow him on InstagramTwitter and YouTube.

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