After a years-long battle with addiction, the Soundgarden rocker was found dead at 52 years old in a Detroit hotel room in May 2017.
His shocking death was ruled suicide by hanging, and a toxicology report later revealed Cornell had several drugs in his system at the time of his death, including butalbital (a sedative), Ativan (lorazepam), pseudoephedrine (a decongestant) and barbiturates in his system at the time of death.
“I don’t think that he could make any decisions because of the level of impairment,” his widow said in an upcoming Good Morning America interview with Robin Roberts airing Wednesday. “I know that people say you can’t blame yourself. I’m trying not to. But there were signs.”
Vicky ultimately blames addiction for her husband’s death.
“People don’t recognize it as a disease. I was, I feel, guilty of the same thing. You think addiction is a choice. And it’s not,” she said.
Cornell is survived by Vicky; their kids Toni, 13, and Christopher, 12; as well as his daughter Lily, 17, from his previous marriage.
Vicky says the Audioslave frontman would never do anything to hurt his children.
“My husband was the furthest thing from a rock star junkie. He just wasn’t,” she says in the interview. “He was the best husband, the greatest father; I lost my soul mate and the love of my life. He wanted to be there for his family, for his children. He loved his life. He would never have ever left this world.”
RELATED VIDEO: Chris Cornell’s Widow Vicky Meets with Detroit Medical Examiner Four Months After Rocker’s Death
Vicky’s sit-down with GMA is her first broadcast interview since her husband’s death. Last June, she opened up to PEOPLE exclusively about her husband’s death.
“My focus is my children,” she told PEOPLE at the time. “I’m trying to keep their little hearts as happy as I can and being there for them … It’s really hard. But they know he never would have left them like that. Not in a million years. Knowing Daddy loved them — that’s what keeps them as strong as they are.”