Ever since the morning I heard of Chris Cornell’s untimely passing, I have been in a funk. I still function, and go about my day, but there is this lingering dark cloud always near me. The cloud of sadness, the cloud of mourning. Though we never met, I feel like he has been with me through so many big moments in my life. He was a part of my memories through his music, and this music has such an impact on my heart.
Today was his funeral, and having been to many funerals for those who died too young, I can almost picture the sadness and raw emotion that was in that place. It made me somber throughout my day knowing that there is a wife mourning the loss of her husband, children crying at the loss of their father, and many friends that will never have the chance to make more memories with their dear friend again. I had someone say to me today, “Isn’t it funny how his death has struck you? You never knew him, and yet you mourn him.”
It got me thinking of all of the times I relied on his music to get me by. Like in high school, when I had no clue who the hell I was, and had no idea how to figure it out. I recall listening to Soundgarden in my room and letting the stress of social norms leave me for a while. I recall playing Soundgarden in my car as I started college, and feeling this sense of independence and freedom as I embarked on my new chapter in life. Through the years, I can attach a memory to many Soundgarden songs, and smile as I think back. When I ran my first half marathon, Audioslave filled up my Ipod as I ran, and “Gasoline” was my anthem as I crossed the finish line of my 13.1 mile journey. Audioslave played constantly as we mourned the loss of our good friend Rodney in 2012. “Shadow on the Sun” consumed my mind as I tried to understand why he left so soon. Then “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart” took over as my new ringtone last year, as his solo album captivated my mind. I did get to see him with my son in concert last year, and for that experience I am forever blessed. My son, now 12 years old, is learning songs of his on the guitar now. He is still impacting lives of all ages through his music. Dear Chris Cornell (a post I wrote about the experience at his concert with my son).
So, no, I never met Chris Cornell. But he was with me in high school and college. He was there when my children were born, and was there when friends were lost. He was there for my milestone achievements, and comforted me in darker times. To say that I cannot mourn for him is asinine, as he was a big part of my life through his music.
All of his fans feel this way, I know. His talent and musical genius will never be matched. As fans, we do have the memories in our lives attached to each one of his songs. We have each other, and we will always have the gift of his music that he has left behind.