Chris Cornell's Brother Pens Emotional Letter: "I Cannot Deny the Pain of This Loss"
"In some ways I cling to it," Peter Cornell writes. "Refusing to let go because I want to keep my little Brother close, even if all that’s left are memories."
Peter Cornell, older brother to Chris Cornell, has returned to social media with a poignant letter of remembrance in light of the Soundgarden and Audioslave singer's death in May.
In his letter, posted on Facebook on Monday, Peter Cornell showed gratitude to all the people who have paid respect to his late brother, especially those who have made an effort to spread a message of suicide prevention. Chris Cornell was found dead after hanging himself in a Detroit hotel room.
He also candidly wrote of the pain of losing his little brother and his family's grief.
"Again you humble me with your kindness, empathy, love and support," he wrote. "Although I pulled myself off Social Media, I’ve been able to glimpse bits and pieces of the selfless way so many people around the world continue to honor and pay tribute to my Brother."
"I truly couldn’t believe the way you picked up and carried the message of doing push-ups for suicide prevention. Please don’t stop. 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. Going forward I hope prevention is a conversation we can have more freely. 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," he said.
Cornell continued: "I cannot deny the pain of this loss. In some ways I cling to it. Refusing to let 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 [too] often, starting with our childhood and reliving the glory that was Seattle in the 90's."
"This process of grief has connected me to so many other grieving hearts and souls," he said. "As I said previously, my Brother belonged to the world and so many have been crushed by the weight of this passing. I revived this FB page to return the compassion you have shown to me from the very moments after this tragedy … THANK YOU and THANK YOU AGAIN!!! If it’s possible for this path to walk a little softer, it’s only because I haven’t had to walk it alone."
"Compassion is like 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. Compassion arms me with the ability to feel for their loss as you and I have felt for each other. In some ways my family lost my Brother twice. That is a burden I don’t share with them. I’ve grown new ears and hopefully a bigger heart," the letter went on.
"I miss my interaction with YOU but a hiatus from social media helps me from continually picking at the wound. It’s unfortunate the social media platform that allows us to share each other’s heartbreak and healing also becomes a forum for conspiracy theories and absurd conjecture that defy decency and continually attempt to blur the facts. The entities that fuel these avenues of chaos are self-serving at best. 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 added.
He signed his note with love to all and said goodnight to both his brother and the late Chester Bennington, who also died by suicide.
See Peter Cornell's message in full below.
This article first appeared on Billboard.com.