It has been five years since the late Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell passed away, and in a recent conversation with SiriusXM’s Gayle King in the House, Cornell’s widow, Vicky Cornell, opened up about her grief and Chris’ suicide.
Chris Cornell took his life by hanging back on May 18th, 2017. While Chris did struggle with depression, Vicky says that he did not suffer with suicidal ideations, and that the tragedy of her husband taking his life was an extreme shock.
“Chris did not suffer suicidal ideations and Chris was not even depressed. Chris was in recovery, and he had been on a benzo. But again, even looking back, nothing even at that very moment felt like — it’s impossible. It came from nowhere, and so it’s a very traumatic kind of loss.”
A toxicology report associated with Cornell found several prescription drugs in his system, but the report shared that the levels pertaining to these drugs were deemed not “high enough” to have contributed to his death. However, Vicky Cornell seems to believe that these drugs did in fact play a role in Chris’ suicide.
“I do know the cause because I was on the phone with Chris and he was in some sort of delirium the same night. He called me after the show and I could just hear he wasn’t right. He sounded like he was high, and he was confused, his speech was slurred and there was just something that was extremely off and evidently off. And then just, I don’t know, thirty minutes later that was it.”
Vicky also adds that having some context and understanding regarding a loved one’s death helps with the grieving process, and that talking about matters such as suicide can help people work through grief.
“I think that our loved ones, especially when it comes to suicide, it can’t just be ‘Oh, they died by suicide. They took their own life.’ Okay, but why? What happened? How can we prevent? And I believe that’s a really big part of prevention, and helping us heal.”
We send all our love to Vicky and the rest of the Cornell family. We hope that you are at peace Chris <3 You can listen to the full conversation involving Chris Cornell’s widow below. A few days after news of Chris’ death came out, the late Chester Bennington paid a special live tribute to his dear friend.