Chris, you held many roles in your life. You were a devoted, loving husband and father, a family man, and a musician. Most people were preoccupied with the musician status and all that came with that role. You loved music and while your music was part of your life and spirit, it was also an expression of your insightfulness and compassion for people and their lives. Being a musician was only a result of your internal life and the beauty that resonated with others which made them feel so close to you.
The love and respect you had for and from your fans drove your humanitarian and philanthropic efforts. Although your benevolence was diverse, your most powerful devotion was to children. You always wanted to help mitigate the pain and suffering of others; I will always remember you as the loving and devoted man that you were and for the love, devotion and pride you had for others in need. I recall the time I was at your house and you left to get on a call. It was then I learned about Rory De LaRosa who lost his baby girl, Ainslee to brain cancer and was now suffering the same fate himself in a hospice. No one made you be there for him, but that’s who you were, you wanted to help him any way you could and give him hope.
You were moved by the words from the poem that Rory wrote about his daughter’s tragedy and turned it into a song. When I hear the song I Promise it’s Not Goodbye it still tears my heart. It is a song about love, loss and hope which I’d urge everyone to listen to . How many rock stars would take that time to get so personal? And then to continue to be there for Rory’s son, Xavier who also recently lost his battle with brain cancer.
When my mom suffered a stroke, you made every effort to come to visit her in the hospital several times, and again when she went to rehab. The nurses were surprised to see how long you stayed and how you made sure she was comfortable. You made her laugh told her stories about Vicky, Toni and Christopher and your mother in law. This is the Chris Cornell my family knew and will always remember – full of kindness, respect and love.
I was privileged to witness and experience all of your roles. The common thread was the love that you felt for my cousin and your children. Your love for Vicky, Toni, Christopher and Lily was evident in all that you did with them and for them. You treated all of us with kindness; you were always Uncle Chris to my children, with whom you had a great bond that they will always cherish. I’m certain that your humanitarian and philanthropic efforts will continue on with your wife and children; not only to keep your memory alive but to perpetuate the goodness and kindness that you believed we all possess. Chris, our family vows to keep the promise to love and support Vicky and your children; we will never leave their side.