Nirvana - Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For a Sunbeam
Has it really been seventeen years?
I know where I was when the news broke. It wasn’t something that impacted me directly, it wasn’t anywhere near a momentous moment in my life but I remember it because it was momentous to so many others. Whether you love or hate Nirvana or even if you are indifferent to them or Kurt Cobain, it’s hard not to admit they were a major, major influence in the music world.
It was a couple of days after Easter. I was driving, listening to the radio, maybe it was Q104 at the time. Hempstead Turnpike, headed east. The DJ said something about breaking news and I knew. Everyone who was listening knew before he said it because it was coming. Given everything that had transpired in the previous weeks, it was coming.
The DJ made the announcement then played a Nirvana song and I thought this was both the beginning and the end of things. I felt bad for the thousands of kids who looked up to him and I felt some pity toward Cobain. Maybe he never wanted to be anyone’s hero, he never wanted to be idolized, but he was. And he didn’t know what to do with that.
People commit suicide every day. Most of them aren’t famous. Most of them will never get their death notice announced on the radio by a somber DJ and have vigils in their name. When someone this famous takes their own life, it puts a face on suicide. There are so many people out there suffering, drowning, not being heard. Being famous, being talented, being someone’s idol doesn’t ease any of that. People say, he had everything, what did he kill himself for? People who say that don’t understand depression. They are the same people who will tell a friend suffering from depression “Get over it. You have nothing to be sad about.” Putting pressure on someone to “move on” or “get on with it” or “cheer up” doesn’t help. If you have a friend that suffers from depression, the best thing you can do is arm yourself with as much information as you can about this illness so you understand them and understand the way their brain works. Be empathetic. Be a comfort. Be a friend. Don’t tell them to turn their frown upside down.
Depressed is not sad. Please remember that. Depressed is not sad.
I guess I got off topic with this. Sorry about that.