My brother Josh was a huge fan of Chris. When Audioslave was formed, he could not contain his excitement. He excitedly made me a CD of their first album. As it turned out, it was the last CD he ever made, as he passed in a car accident not long after. I listened to that CD over and over again. Sometimes when I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I would play it and let the tears fall, as I listened to Chris and his feral, powerful, beautiful, unmatched vocals, and felt like he was speaking directly to me. I felt like he could feel my pain.
Soon after, my mother, not able to handle the death of her son, died by suicide. Once again, Chris was my savior. I listened to Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog, and found an unexpected comfort once again in his voice, his words, his … magic. I felt like he just got it – got life – got ME.
Through the years, there were other times that I found comfort with Chris’s music – the breakup of my marriage, the loss of a job, a deep depression that seemingly wanted to swallow me whole. Sometimes, and I do not say this lightly, his music is one of the only things that got me through. Chris was otherworldly.
I was driving to work when I heard on the radio about the loss of Chris. I cried out in my car, “No!!!” I frantically switched stations, trying to prove that it was not real, that it was some kind of a hoax. I hit play on the CD that was in the player, because I knew what it was. Audioslave. I sat in the parking lot at work and played ‘Like a Stone’, twice, as the tears fell. I went inside and sat at my desk for the entire morning, reading articles online and looking at pictures of Chris. And I cried some more. In fact, I cried for weeks, and even now writing this, the tears are falling.
Chris helped me. He comforted me. He took the most painful times of my life and showed me that someone else out there got it. They understood. I will be forever grateful to him.
I will forever grieve that that beautiful man is no longer with us. But in a way, he still is. He always will be. He made a difference in my life. He saved me.
Thank you for sharing him with us.
With much love,