The older brother of late Soundgarden rocker Chris Cornell shared an emotional letter to Facebook outlining his ongoing grieving process, and thanked the many fans keeping Chris’s memory alive.
Peter Cornell took himself off social media following Chris’s death, but returned Monday with a special shout-out to the fans working to spread the message of suicide prevention.
“What a devastating way to have my eyes opened to how many lives around me, and all of us, have been touched by such tragedy,” he wrote. “Removing the stigma that discussing suicide is like speaking about a dirty little secret. If only … what I’d give to have had the tiniest shred of this awareness in early May.”
Chris hanged himself in a Detroit hotel room in May, leaving behind family including Peter, his wife Vicky and his three children.
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Peter continued his letter by openly addressing his grief for his younger brother, and explained how he’s still learning to accept the loss.
“I cannot deny the pain of this loss. In some ways I cling to it,” he wrote. “Refusing to let it go because I want to keep my little Brother close, even if all that’s left are memories. At least we are rich with memories. I replay them all to (sic) often, starting with our childhood and reliving the glory that was Seattle in the ‘90s.”
He also thanked those who have dealt with similar tragedy for sharing their compassion and making the grieving process just a bit easier.
“Compassion is a new word to me these days. This horror has connected me to family I have not known for many, many years. It’s a bittersweet connection that is equal parts reliving the devastation and lovingly tearing down the fences that have separated us for so very long … In some ways my family lost their brother twice. That is a burden I don’t share with them. I’ve grown new ears and hopefully a bigger heart,” he wrote.
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Cornell revealed that he removed himself from social media as a way to keep from “continually picking at the wound.”
He also noted that while social media has at times helped his healing, he’s also seen the dark underbelly in the wake of his brother’s death thanks to conspiracy theorists who “continually attempt to blur the facts.”
“When is enough enough? Hasn’t the time come for my Brother to be allowed to rest in peace? Haven’t the children endured more than a child ever, ever, ever should?” he pleaded.
Cornell closed the note with a goodbye to both his brother and Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, a close friend of Chris’s who committed suicide on what would have been Chris’s 50th birthday.
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