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Crawl Like Ivy Up My Spine

Chris Cornell ended his life in Detroit Wednesday night, close to where I live. Farewell to another voice of my youth.

Here he is performing just last year in Michigan.



At times like this, it's easy to fall back on "Black Days" and all the other lyrics and quotes that seem to portend the suicide of the artist. It's easy to grieve that way. And I suppose it isn't wrong either. Our demigods of grunge were able to vocalize human pain so poignantly because they called out from a deep pit of mental illness and addiction. These weren't people who ever enjoyed the expectations of bright futures or lingering happy ever afters.

Yes, this loss is tragic and heartbreaking, and the inevitability of it feels hopeless. But there's another way to look at suicide after 50 by an artist working through intense, lifelong suffering. I guess it's a life expectancy half-fulfilled vs. half-achieved philosophy. With some struggles, every day of survival is a triumph. In some souls, the fire burns brighter when it knows every hour is on borrowed time.

Another way to grieve is with gratitude and admiration that such a star held out for us so long.


Chris Cornell's pain didn't simply cause his death at a relatively young age. It fueled a healing, inspiring, and profoundly hopeful body of work that lives on, deep rooted in the psyches of the world's largest generations.

The Atlantic has written a beautiful piece in remembrance of Chris Cornell's gifts of hope and guiding light over the course of an iconic music career spanning over three decades.

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