SEATTLE — Suicide is a difficult topic that, for many, is hard to understand and hard to talk about. But experts say the most important thing we can do is talk about it.
And there are people and resources who can help.
At KEXP radio, fans gathered Thursday to mourn the man famous for the incomparable lyrics and the inconsolable vocals. And on the outskirts of the crowd, a mother stops to explain to her 10-year-old daughter how Chris Cornell died — and why.
“I asked her what happened and she told me that sometimes you can be so famous, and have so much money, and have so many people like you, but that doesn’t really affect what you feel like inside,” says 10-year-old Xana.
“We were just talking about when somebody’s heart hurts so much, that they don’t think they can go on. And what other solutions might be available and what that’s about,” says her mother, Anthippy.
While mom and daughter take the opportunity to have a heart-to-heart, employees inside KEXP discuss lessons in the lyrics.
“I never read into the suicide in his songs. We’ve been playing his songs all day and I swear I’ve heard them all differently. And we were trying to not play so many songs that dealt with suicide, especially when we were talking about it on the air, and a lot of them do. It’s really hard to hear some of these lyrics right now, it really is,” says John Richards, a morning show host.
Stephen Paul Miller from Forefront, a suicide prevention center, says the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will see an increase in calls to after a celebrity takes their own life.
“Robin Williams, Chris Cornell, etc., it’s a very, very tragic event and also, you know, he touched so many lives and people have so many questions and it maybe does connect with the despair that they’re feeling and they do reach out,” says Miller.
He said the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has resources available 24/7, online and by phone, if you need help or know someone who does.
"This is a tough day, there’s already enough in the world right now making people very anxious and very depressed and now their hero decides he’s leaving this earth, so really, we have to think about those who need to hear from us,” says Richards.
The people at Forefront say this is an opportunity to connect with the people around us. And if you do need help, there are people ready to listen. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1-800-273-8255. To find out more information about Forefront, visit: http://www.intheforefront.org/