Chris Cornell's Wife and Daughters Write Touching Letters to Him for Father's Day: 'I Know You Are Still Here'
"No matter how tired you were, how many time zones you traveled, you were there for us," Toni writes in a letter to dad Chris Cornell, who died in May
Chris Cornell‘s legacy is living on in his children.
On Monday, the late Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman’s Facebook page shared letters written to Cornell from daughters Toni, 12, and Lillian Jean, 17 this month, plus wife Vicky, in observance of Father’s Day — a month after the singer’s death by suicide at age 52.
“Let me start by saying how much I love you and how much you mean to me,” begins Toni’s letter, accompanied by a photo collage of herself with Cornell through the years. “You are my idol, someone I’ve always looked up to. You were always there for me. You pushed me forward every day, and you still do.”
“Whenever I cry or feel like there’s no way I can go on, I hear your voice, ‘Don’t sit worrying peanut. Worry is a waste of time, I’m ok,’ ” she continues. “I always took what you said to heart. Probably because everything you said was so smart.”
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Toni’s tribute lists many of the things her dad did for her, like taking care of her when she was sick and teaching her the ins and outs about music appreciation. In fact, one of her favorite memories was when she was jet-lagged and her dad suggested some new viewing material.
” ‘How about Purple Rain?’ you said. I always trusted your judgement. I put it on and immediately fell in love! We then got to your favorite song, ‘The Beautiful Ones,’ ” Toni writes. ” ‘This song is so special it doesn’t even belong in a genre. When I was in my twenties, I saw this in the theatre and some guy started cracking up laughing at this scene and song. It got me really mad,’ you said.”
“I fell in love with the song too and listened to it on repeat. Our special connection was always the arts. Poems, books, music, writing. We both have a unconditional love for it,” she continues. “Who’s going to introduce me to movies like Purple Rain and songs like ‘The Beautiful Ones’ now? I’m hoping I will find some because you trained me so well.”
RELATED VIDEO: Chris Cornell’s Family Says He Wouldn’t Intentionally Take His Own Life and Had Taken “An Extra Ativan or Two” Before His Death
“I know you are still here, and the warmth I feel beneath the cold, is you,” Toni adds. “YOU ARE THE BEST FATHER IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD. And I know, that if this wasn’t an accident, you’d still be cuddling with me watching Purple Rain.”
“I love you and miss you so, Daddy. You deserve your own day to be celebrated because you are the best dad anyone could ever have. Happy Father’s Day!”
Adds sister Lillian in her post, “You always had such firm confidence and pride in what I did, and your warmth and love inspired me to do my best. Now more than ever, I want to live my life to help others as you did. I want to continue to make you proud.”
Wife Vicky’s sweet words told the singer he was “missed very much” and that his absence might “not be so excruciatingly hard” if he wasn’t such an amazing father. “You gave with all your heart and it makes the void so much more painful,” she writes. “We don’t know how to be without you.”
Cornell was also father to 11-year-old son Christopher Nicholas, whom she shared with Vicky alongside Toni (Lillian is from a previous marriage). The legendary rocker died on May 17 from suicide by hanging following a Detroit Soundgarden show.
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A completed toxicology report for Cornell released earlier this month and obtained by TMZ confirmed that the musician had several drugs in his system at the time of death, including Naloxone (Narcan), Butalbital (a sedative), Lorazepam (Ativan), Pseudoephedrine (a decongestant) and barbiturates.
“Chris was so adamant about getting his TV to work he called for backup assistance when security was unable to fix it. Someone so persistent about fixing a TV so they can watch their favorite show, focusing on something so mundane, is not a sign of someone planning to take their life,” an insider recently told PEOPLE about the family’s opinion on Cornell not being suicidal in the time leading up to his death.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).