He was my first born and like most first time mothers, the thought of someone else holding your newborn baby can be a little unnerving. You took him and cradled him in your arms, enveloping him with your warmth and kind spirit. I watched you, and you put me at ease, as you held my baby as if he were yours. The way you held your Godson for the first time is an image that will be forever ingrained in my memory.
It’s an amazing talent to create, write, and sing as you do, but for me you were a family man…a devoted husband, doting father of three, loving Godfather, and trusted friend. You were a husband who adored and loved your wife beyond imagine. The way you sat back and watched her intently, as we recounted funny stories from our childhood, or the way you smiled when she laughed, waiting for your eyes to finally meet. And when they did, there was a sparkle. And for Vicky, you are the love of her life; her adoration for you is unparalleled. And though touring and your craft may have pulled you away from the home at times, you were alway present and available. You not only had an immeasurable love for your children, but a patience and calmness, whether it was guiding C with his instruments, singing and collaborating with Toni, or playing the guitar in my den, with C, Toni, and my son gathered around you. You were the father at the birthday parties and school concerts. You were the husband that treasured his wife and invited us over for family dinners. You were the friend that always checked in, despite being thousands of miles away. And you were the Godfather that, regardless of how long it was since you last saw my son, always carved out a little alone time to have a conversation with a 4 year old. These are the moments that I will always remember….not the backstage concerts, not the musician Chris Cornell, but the man who cherished his family and the Uncle Chris we loved and respected.
You touched everyone….with your songs, your words, and your music. But for me, it was the love for your wife and children that made that connection for me. You were taken from all of us before you were ready because this is not a life you would leave willingly. There were so many adventures ahead of you, and some you were already in the midst of planning. Your spirit and legacy will continue through C, Lily, and Toni and your wife’s love. Your Godson will know you and always be reminded of you. Our family will ALWAYS be here for yours, and we will give them the truest love and support they deserve. We will stand by them and protect them as they painstakingly move forward and try to figure out this life without you. Rest assured Chris, we will be by their side and they will persevere and thrive.