Chris died by suicide shortly after playing a show at the Fox Theatre in Detroit on 17 May 2017. He was 52.
On Tuesday (17 May), his wife Vicky thanked Chris’s fans for “loving him so much that through that love for Chris you have loved us too” and “helping keep Chris’s memory and spirit alive” since the grunge singer’s death, in an emotional statement.
Vicky’s Instagram caption, alongside a picture of Chris on stage, read: “Five years ago today would be the worst day of our lives. It would be the last time Chris would hug and kiss us, the last time he’d walk out our front door. The last time he’d wave goodbye to us from the car. The last time we’d ever see him.”
She also reflected on the quote: “You never know when the last time will be the last time,” adding that it “rings ways too true” in the years since Chris’s death.
“Chris lived in the moment and took nothing for granted,” Vicky’s statement continued, as she asked implored fans to “never miss an opportunity to tell somebody you love them.”
“Chris told us every single day,” she added.
Addressing his fans, she said: “Please know he loved you as much as you love him. He was so grateful to be able to make music, perform all over the world, have his music and lyrics touch your heart and impact your lives. He loved receiving love from all of you.”
“Thank you for loving him so much that through that love for Chris you have loved us too,” she wrote, expressing gratitude for the support her family has received in the wake of Chris’s death.
“Thank you for stepping up in the darkest of times and for helping keep Chris’s memory and spirit alive – so keep playing it loud!” the statement ended, with the hashtags #CornellForever and #NoOneSingsLikeYouAnymore.
The vocalist’s fellow Soundgarden bandmates Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd, Matt Cameron, and Scott Sundquist also honoured Chris’s memory on Tuesday in a Facebook post.
“You have love. You have peace. You have eternity,” they wrote, celebrating his musical legacy.
If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, The Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.
If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.