No One Sings Like You Anymore
How the Death of Chris Cornell Impacted My Life
Yes, yes. I know. I never knew the man. I’d seen him live multiple times over the decades, a true music lover’s testament to what an artist means to their soul. Anyone can see a musician once to be polite because they were invited by someone they liked better than the evening’s act. They could win tickets. They could have nothing better to do. But when you are MORE than fine with tossing close to a week’s paycheck to set in used seats for a couple of hours simply to be in the same room, breathing the same air as, and absorbing their creations into your soul the way they were meant to be ingested, you were on a different level. I was more than a “fangirl.” I was a woman who created the soundtrack of her life, the beautiful moments, the heartbreaking moments, the angry and hopeless moments around this man's music, and when he died, a part of me died with him.
Let me give you a bit of a preface here. This is the third or fourth time to write on this subject. Some themes are in each piece. Some are in one. None of them are the same, and I suppose that almost four years after the death of Chris Cornell, I still have not fully embraced or come to understand my true feelings.
A chronic sufferer of insomnia, it was about 3:00 AM, and I was scrolling on good ole Facebook when I came across an article announcing Cornell’s death. Fake news, I told myself. Then, I realized the article was from CNN to my absolute horror. The English teacher in me told me to go ahead and let the shock hit me and then deal with aftereffects. It didn’t take long.
I ran through my house screaming, “He’s dead! He’s dead!” All inhabitants in my house were rocketed awake, and they NEEDED to know who “he” was. Once I said the words out loud, it was real. No one was mad at me for scaring them. They all understood the depth of my bond with his music, my less than shy opinion of his outer beauty. They surrounded me in the bed as I lay there with huge pools of tears inside each ear, and they told me how sorry they were. My kids were 21 and 10. They understood.
They understood because they instilled in them from their earliest moments how music was an outlet for emotion. Probably one of the only proper, useful outlets for emotion there is. It can run the gambit, but it always harnesses a tinge of beauty regardless of the content or beat. Music was a piece of someone’s soul that had been removed from their body and offered to the world as a way to help society become a little more palatable.