Chris Cornell's brother, Peter Cornell, issued a poignant statement reflecting on the late Soundgarden frontman. "Chris protected us when we needed him to," he wrote on Facebook. "His one of a kind-ness surrounded us like a suit of armor. He was a warrior and a wizard. A howling wolf and a trusted mentor." The note includes two pictures of the brothers – one in childhood, one as adults – which he called "the first time and the last time we were together."
Peter Cornell opened by expressing that his "heart is broken," reflecting on the deep bond and friendship he shared with the singer, who died by suicide earlier this month at age 52. "Chris was always just my brother," he wrote. "We just 'were.' No pretense. No dog and pony show. We didn't have to get deep all the time. Sometimes we only needed to just be in the same room and just be present. That was enough."
Peter added that this past week, he began to understand "how [Chris] belonged to the world" – and how much his loss has radiated throughout pop culture. "He is an icon and a legend," he wrote. "That being said, I am so sorry to YOU for your loss. Artists, actors, musicians. We rely on these people to lift us up. To inspire us and distract us in times of trouble."
The surviving Cornell praised Chris' general authenticity and the underlying "power and anger and passion" of his music. "He was the powerful, sensitive, fragile, angry, mystical creature that will exist forever in his body of work," he wrote. "And he did it for ALL of us. Giving it away. Leaving all on the stage or in the recordings that will keep him immortal. ... I will never wrap my head around his passing. I've been in shock since I heard the news. I can't and won't let him go."
Since Cornell's death, written and musical tributes have flooded in from the musician's friends and admirers. On Saturday, Seattle grunge peer/Temple of the Dog collaborator Eddie Vedder seemingly alluded to the Soundgarden singer during a cathartic solo concert in Amsterdam. "I'm thinking of a lot of people tonight," he told the crowd. "And some in particular and their families. And I just know that healing takes time."
On Tuesday, Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, Cornell's one-time bandmate in Temple of the Dog, called Cornell the "greatest songwriter to ever come out of Seattle."