The pain of losing a parent is unimaginable, and it’s only amplified when that parent is lost to suicide. It’s a deep and complex grief that rocker Chris Cornell’s children know all too well; they lost their dad to suicide in 2017, and this week they accepted his posthumous Grammy award. How did they feel getting up onstage on behalf of their beloved late dad? The kids admitted that accepting Chris Cornell’s Grammy was tough.
“It was very difficult,” Toni Cornell told reporters after the award show. “We miss him so much and we saw him work on this so hard — he was always working on it music [because] it was his passion. It was really sad in a way to feel like he couldn’t be there himself to accept it for something that he was so proud of and worked so hard on.”
“We’re so proud of him,” she added. “It was amazing.”
Cornell won the Grammy for a previously-unreleased track, “When Bad Does Good,” and while this was the rocker’s third time being honored by the Recording Academy, it was the first since his death in 2017.
“I never thought we would be standing here without my dad,” Christopher Cornell said upon taking the stage. “I’m sure he would be proud and honored. He was a rock icon, the Godfather of grunge and a creator of a movement. While he touched the hearts of millions, the most important thing he is known for us is for being the greatest father and our hero.” Toni added, “His voice was his vision and his music was his peace… thank you to our mom — his love, his muse and his savior who continues to carry out our father’s legacy… this is for you, Daddy.”
Toni also noted that she and Christopher were moved by the Chris Cornell tribute concert earlier this year. “I mean, it was amazing. I loved every single person who performed. It just really showed who he was and I love that.”
As for Cornell’s family, his children and late wife continue to be advocates for mental health and addiction treatment. “He didn’t want to die,” Vicky Cornell told People of Chris, who was prescribed Ativan but doubled his dose the night of his death. “If he was of sound mind, I know he wouldn’t have done this… addiction is a disease. That disease can take over you and has full power.”
If you’re considering suicide or fear you may become suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you’re worried about someone you love, visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline and/or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and to learn more about the warning signs of suicide, check out the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.