May 18 marked the fifth anniversary of Chris Cornell's death. His family honors him every chance they get, but grief is not something that just simply disappears. In a new interview, Chris's widow Vicky Cornell spoke about the "tsunami" that was his death and the "extremely off" last conversation she had with him after Soundgarden's show on the night he died.
"This was like a tsunami. This was nothing. This was not on the radar," Vicky said of her husband's passing. "Chris did not suffer suicidal ideation, and Chris was not even depressed. Chris was in recovery, and he had been on benzos. But again, looking back...it was impossible. It came from nowhere."
A medical investigation concluded that drugs didn't play a part in Chris's death, but Vicky is not convinced. "When it comes to suicide, it can't just be, 'They died by suicide. They look their own life,'" she said. "Okay, but why? What happened? How can we prevent it? And I believe that's a really big part of prevention and helping us heal."
"With us, I do know the cause because I was on the phone with Chris, and he was in some sort of delirium," she recalled. "He called me after the show, and I could just hear he wasn't right. ... He sounded like he was high, and he was confused. His speech was slurred. And there was just something that was extremely off...and then just, I don't know, 30 minutes later, that was it."
Vicky also spoke about how she's coped with his death, mentioning that some people think "by now you should be over it."
"I even have friends who can't believe that Chris' clothing and everything is exactly as he left it, right in his closet," she confessed. "And that's another thing where they feel like there are things that you have to do in order to move on. And so I just want to say, to people who are grieving...that there really are no rules."
"Time does a few things, sure. It can help," she added. "It's not that horrible everyday feeling that you had the first few days, weeks or months. But there's a different pain that comes with it...and that's understanding that this is forever; this isn't gonna change. I think that's something...we don't really embrace or understand."
"I think it's really important to allow us to talk about our loved ones – allow us to talk about them every day," Vicky continued. "And for me and my children, the most important thing has been to keep Chris alive in our home. So he is spoken about every single day. I love when people talk to me about Chris."