Many of you may have never heard of Chris Cornell, but the announcement of his death yesterday was a quick reminder that suicide affects every age, gender, economic status, and race.

Chris Cornell was known for his incredible vocals with the bands, Soundgarden, AudioSlave, and Temple of the Dog.  If you’re a fan of Zac Brown Band, you may remember him on a song called “Heavy Is The Head” from their Jekyyl & Hyde album.

Yesterday it was announced that he had taken his own life.

I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day.  Why would this happen?  What could have been so bad that a guy who was revered by so many people would want to end it all.  This was a guy who had seen success with multiple bands, in different genres, and was very respected in his field.  Why would he do it?

These are the questions that seem to hang in the air forever – never being answered because of suicide.

I’ve spoken in the past about dealing with my best friend’s suicide and how it’s really never left me the same person.  It never leaves me alone.  It’s never left me.

The anniversary of his death just passed last weekend and I was talking to my wife about it.  The logical part of me says, “there’s nothing you could have done.”  That’s probably true.  But suicide is like a book that never got finished being written.  How does it end?

The optimistic part of me says, “If I would have answered the phone that night, would things be different?  Would I have been able to change not only his life, but my own in the process?”

We don’t know.  We never will.

My point in all of this is that suicide can unfortunately happen to anyone at anytime.  The real victims are the survivors.  The parents that have to bury their children, and the friends who have to relive the last moments wondering what they could have done to stop something like this that cannot be undone from happening are the ones who suffer.

I’ve always thought the only way to end it is to talk about it.  It’s been considered taboo for so long.  But not talking about it isn’t going to make it go away.

Know the signs of suicide.  If you see someone who is suffering, say something.  Lend a hand.  I promise it’s much easier to do something now, than it is to live a lifetime with questions that will never be answered.

I hope that I never understand suicide.  I also wish no one else would ever feel that it's the best way out.  It's not.  My thoughts and prayers go out to Chris Cornell's family and friends, the real victims of his suicide.

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