Chris Cornell’s widow has vowed to raise awareness about the dangers of addiction after overlooking the warning signs which led to the tragic rocker’s death.
The Soundgarden star committed suicide by hanging in a Detroit, Michigan hotel room on 17 May (17), but the coroner’s toxicology report also revealed seven different drugs were found in Cornell’s system, including a heavy dose of anti-anxiety medication Lorazepam, aka Ativan.
Although drugs were not officially deemed to be a contributing cause of his death, the singer’s wife Vicky maintains the recovering addict would never have decided to end his life had he not taken a double dose of the Ativan in the hours leading up to his passing.
She believes the drug “altered his state of mind”, and is now planning to spend her spare time helping others pick up on key signs which could prevent similar tragedies.
“Addiction is a disease,” she told People magazine. “That disease can take over you and has full power.”
Noting how devastating the loss has been for the couple’s two kids, 12-year-old daughter Toni and 11-year-old son Christopher, Vicky Cornell added, “I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure other children don’t have to cry like mine have cried.”
In the new interview, Vicky, who wed the rocker in 2004, admits she “missed” the signs indicating Chris was struggling with his sobriety.
“My Chris was happy, loving, caring and warm,” she shared. “(He) was humble, sweet, kind and good, with the patience of saint… This was not a depressed man – it wasn’t like I missed that. What I missed were the signs of addiction.”
Looking back, she remembers the musician was often restless and sleep-deprived, despite taking the Ativan he had been prescribed to help him sleep, but she only spotted the issue when it was already too late: “That was a sign something was off,” Vicky said.