It’s difficult for me to put into words how I feel after the loss of Chris Cornell. I have been listening to Chris’ music for many years, from Soundgarden to Audioslave I have loved it all, but something changed when Chris began to do acoustic. For the first time I realized how enormously talented he truly was. I always loved him, but this was different. It was like he was laying his heart and soul on the table for all of us to feel. And we did feel it. When Chris sang it felt like he ripped a piece of my soul out of me.
Two years ago I learned that Chris was coming to Phoenix, where I lived at the time, to perform an accoustic session for his album Higher Truth. I saw Soundgarden open up for Skid Row in the 80’s but that was before I really knew who Chris was and I was too into hair bands to realize I would regret not keeping that memory alive. So this was my first chance to really see Chris. However, when I tried to buy the tickets it was sold out! I was so disappointed. But I held out hope and decided to keep checking back to see if any came available. A few days before the show two came available, but they were separated, meaning my husband and I would have to sit apart, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see him and I thank God every single day since his passing that I went. I’ve been to hundreds of concerts and that was the absolute best. Forget the flashing lights and fireworks that most artists have to display to keep our attention. This was just Chris and his accoustic guitar and it was phenominal. After that performance I realized that Chris was the most important thing to happen to music in my generation. He could take a song meant for another artist to sing and make it seem like it was always meant for him. I listen to his music on a daily basis, just as I did before his death, and each day it takes me in a little bit deeper. Each day I feel like I know Chris a little bit more. I keep searching the web trying to find songs he made that I haven’t found yet, and sometimes I find one and it feels like Christmas! Yesterday it was a Beatles cover that made my heart sing. There’s no other artist that can make me feel this way.
I remember the morning of his death very vividly. I was asleep when my husband came in to wake me up and share the horrible news. He knew it would be too difficult for me to hear or see what happened. I was in shock and devastation and I actually haven’t gotten over it. I know I’m just a fan, but I truly had a special place in my heart for Chris that I don’t generally feel for other musicians or stars in general. He and his music really meant something to me. I felt like I knew Chris and I felt like this didn’t make any logical sense to me. It still doesn’t. We were supposed to see Soundgarden perform in Denver just 5 days later and my phone calendar was letting me know “5 days til Soundgarden!”. I never got to see them, and that just poured a little more salt into the gaping wound I had about this tragedy. I was so close to seeing him perform at least one last time.
I remember often thinking that Vicky was the luckiest woman in the world because I could tell how much Chris loved her and his children and what a good man he was. Now that he has passed and I have been reading every single thing that his friends have written about him I can see that my inclination was right, he was a wonderful man, husband and father and I want to say to Vicky that you are still the luckiest woman in the world that you got to experience the love of that amazing human being, even for a short while. And I know it seems like it wasn’t long enough, and for that my heart breaks for you. I know he’s still with you and you feel it. ??
To Toni, Christopher and Lily; I lost my father the same way you did, and I was also young and I want you to know I feel your pain. I know it hurts more than words, and it always will. But know that your dad loved you all immensely and he will always be by your side. His legacy will live on through all of you in one way or another. ??
I will never forget Chris, his legacy, or his music and I know I’m not alone. He was one of a kind and he is greatly missed by me and many other fans throughout this world. I can only hope that he’s up in Heaven singing beautiful songs to my father and grandmother and sharing his gift in the world beyond. I know he is.
Love, Cheresa Wynne