Yesterday, I attended the annual MMRBQ Hard Rock music festival in Camden, NJ at the BB&T Pavilion. It was an amazing night as I hopped the barricade into the pit, which I knew would be at my own risk considering the music acts that they had lined up.
Safe to say that it was insane.
Throughout the night, there were many tributes and salutes to Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell, who was found dead this past Wednesday night after a show in Detroit. The death was later ruled a suicide. The Pretty Reckless’ lead singer closed her set with a beautiful rendition of Audioslave’s “Like A Stone”, Bush mixed in the chorus from Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” near the end of their show, and LIVE performed “I Am the Highway” as part of their encore performance.
There was woman who was near me in the pit who was sick and tired of hearing all the tributes and salutes we were giving Chris Cornell. She asked, “Why are giving a man who took his own life credit?” This, of course, threw me off. I replied to her question with, “My dad took his own life. What are your thoughts about that?” She said that she wasn’t trying to be mean and I openly told her that she has an ignorant viewpoint on people who try to battle the inner demons and are not able to cope.
Whether the woman was drunk or not, there’s obviously a certain stigma that people have given mental illness and suicide over the years. It’s especially upsetting since I’ve been surrounded by people in my life who are battling and those who have let it overcome them, including my father.
Some people face some things that others cannot understand. They are personal battles that only they can understand. I just hope that anybody who faces these struggles that there’s always a reason to live. It truly does get better, and whatever you’re going through, I understand, is a trial. But what there is to remember is that suicide is permanent solution to a temporary problem, and there’s always somebody who cares, who will listen, and only wants to help you.
I would give every last breath of my life to help someone in need from taking their own. Because I’ve been there before and I’ve seen what it does to a family and friends. There are many people around you that want to help, whether it be a close, personal friend or a hotline.
Chris Cornell was a family man and loved the people around him. His death was surely tragic and big loss for the world of music. He was an extraordinary talent that touched many musicians lives and he will be missed immensely.