I have always been a music fan. Since I was able to talk I would sing admittedly not well lol. My most formative music years led me to the bands from Seattle when I was definitely their target audience. I was young, confused about who I was and struggling to find light in a world I found wrought with darkness. My struggles with depression were always kept inside with nobody I felt I could talk to. I found comfort in music. I found love in music. I found inspiration and something that really grounded me and brought balance to my life. There was always a song that fit how I was feeling and said things I never knew how to express. Then I found bands like Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Alice in Chains et al. I found in this music men and women who were just like me. They didn’t have it figured out and they didn’t know the right thing to do and they didn’t know how to reconcile the outside world with what they were feeling inside. Chris always made me feel better. He had range, style, panache and more than anything humility. He was a rockstar’s rockstar yet still someone I could relate too. I often wondered what we would talk about over a beer. As fans we may not have physically known Chris but he was IN HIS MUSIC. We knew him better than we thought I bet and that is something I have never forgotten. And to know about his struggle with mental illness, the same struggles I have every day…. it brings a cold comfort to know that it can be anyone. Sometimes, even surrounded by people who I know love and support me, I feel alone. But I march on, I keep going and I endure. When confronted by the loss of a humanitarian, philanthropist, musical genius and not least of all, father and husband…. I try not to focus on the loss and rather focus on the lightning bolt of talent and the wonder it was ever here in the first place. A piece of my soul is gone and I never thought I’d feel like I do as this hit me hard…. but I put on the music, turn it up and refuse to be OUTSHINED. I hope my brother has found peace…. he’s helping me every day to find mine.
– Brian Dean