I grew up in a really rough house where love was known but not exactly seen, heard of, or even spoken, rather anger, tears, resentment, and fear were mostlt present. I frequently felt afraid or as though I had done something wrong when I had not, I was just present. I experienced quite a few events from a very early age that terrify me even more almost to reflect on as an adult who understands them better now. Chris’s voice would heal me starting long before age 10.
I would listen to Hunger Strike then Say Hello To Heaven and try to sing along to let out fear and hurt. I remember his voice being so full of emotion while making the words seem effortless to him and he seemed like an angel on Earth to me from a very young age. Moving to my teen years where all I wanted was to be out of my house and away from the fear and angst and Audioslave and Soundgarden were part of my life. That voice. I remember, with goosebumps, like it was yesterday belting out Burden In My Hand and Cochise with Chris to keep myself grounded. Fast forwarding to my early 30s and I found myself in an emotionally and mentally abusive marriage that was cold and my ex husband chose alcohol over his wife and beautiful son and checked out on us in every way a man could check out on his family. My heart was broken, not only for myself, but for my son. I spent many days and nights listening to Chris in my mix of music that would heal my consistently wounded soul. I’d reflect on times where he helped pull me through and knew he could again.
After Chris dropped his Higher Truth album, I was traveling for business, working 85 hour weeks in an intense environment that would (and did) break most others as I was learning to be not just a mother but a single mother trying to keep the negative impacts away from my beautiful, innocent son. I was going through a divorce and battling with lawyers and had many friends turn their backs on me in the divorce. I just wanted to be with my son who deserved everything his dad didn’t give him, have my friends to be there and also be there foe them, and to be peaceful. It was a battle I didn’t know if I would win but fought every single day with everything I had in me. Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart and Worried Moon were played a million times over through tears and sleepless nights along with Scream (very appropriate,) the ones mentioned above, and many others. The lyrics of his songs and his voice helped me link my life together and my choices and things I settled for thinking it was all I deserved. I came out of it all stronger and more self-aware.
Over two decades later and Chris’s voice still saves me and I remember how much hope it would give me starting from a time I was young and vulnerable and just hoped someone would stand up for me and where nobody did, somehow Chris did. He made me feel less helpless and there are nights where I don’t know if I would have lasted through them if it had not been for his lyrics and voice of salvation. I have tears as I write this because I wish I could have done something, anything to help him like he helped me and so many others in his beautiful existence.
I saw his personal impact to me and the way his passing brought together so many others that may have never come together without it. He is a classic depiction of a Christ figure and I always admired his love for his family and the immense amount of love he gave on this Earth. He truly was bearing loads that I think he always knew and felt as an empath. There’s so much beauty yet so much pain in this world and Chris truly contributed so much beauty to so many lives I’m glad I existed on this Earth at the same time. He and his family are proof good people still exist and that’s what we need in this life.
Thank you, Chris, from the bottom of my heart.