{60}Say Hello 2 Heaven

CW: suicide, loss, depression

I’ve been back and forth today, wondering if I should write about Chris Cornell’s passing. I saw the story early this morning briefly, when I woke up still groggy from the Advil PM, and because my phone is the devil, the story disappeared as soon as I looked at it. I decided I must’ve misread, and went back too sleep.

But I hadn’t misread. And I’ve gone through the day with the nagging feeling that the world’s just not quite right.

There’s a certain feeling I get when a musician dies, and in the past year I’ve had it quite a lot. It’s as though there’s a film, a smudged quality to the air. Everything is the same, but somehow off.

Most of the deaths in the past year were natural or accidental: tragic, sad, but understandable. This, though…this was a person whose voice had seen me through some of the worst days of my adolescence, and accepting that he had succumbed to the very kinds of thoughts his music helped me survive made this loss somehow much more personal.

I keep typing and deleting emotions. I feel…betrayed and disappointed, which just feels selfish. And I feel very, very sad — for him, for his family, his bandmates. And mostly, I think, I feel angry, because I don’t think anyone saw this coming, which means he was going through it alone. And if someone who has been admired and respected and adored by so many for the past few decades can suffer in silence to the point where, at 52 years old, the option to end it all in a hotel room becomes the only option…we are doing something very, very wrong. And so many more people are in the same internal hell, only without the decades of fame and fortune.

It’s not right, and there’s no reason why it should be. We know enough, and there are enough resources that no one should have to suffer in silence. And yet the stigma of mental illness remains, and far too many find themselves faced with opting out as the only option.

I can’t bring myself to listen to his voice quite yet. (It took me about a month to be able to listen to Bowie after he died.) But this song has been in my head all day, so I’ll leave it here as tribute.

Words never listen
And teachers never learn
Now I’m warm from the candle
But I feel too cold to burn

He came from an island
And he died from the street
He hurt so bad like a soul breaking
But he never said nothing to me

So say hello to heaven

If you feel like you are out of options, please, please talk to someone. There are hotlines, clinics, and forums. There are people who understand. There are so many people who care. Stay safe. ❤