Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My Father's Suicide: On Courtney Love's Instagram Photo

I'm not sure how I happened upon Courtney Love's Instagram account, but I came across this touching photo of Love with Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain and their daughter Frances Bean. The photo is accompanied by this caption...

Makes me feel so sad. Our baby is all grown up now. Jesus Kurt look at her face, what on earth were you thinking..⁉⁉ God I miss you, we all miss you #family #memories #turnbacktime #lovehim

I just had to stop and do a double-take when I saw that picture. I had to look at it for a minute, really look at it. I couldn't help it. Have you ever looked at a photo and just felt it in your bones? It's sort of hard to explain, but it was almost as if I could feel the story coming through the photo, if that makes sense.

I mean, just look at that photo. Two proud, loving parents. A happy family with seemingly no indication of the tragedy about to befall them. But, oh, what a tragedy it is. It's this striking disconnect -- looking at a photo of a happy family and knowing that someday soon their sense of happiness is going to change -- that really struck a chord with me. Because I've lived that photo. Even now, 12 years later, I'm living that photo. And I know I'll continue to live that photo, probably for the rest of my life.

And Love's caption? Oh, don't even get me started on that! It. Is. All. Too. True. I look at my mom and Janelle sometimes and think, "What in the hell were you thinking, Father?" You had it all -- everything! -- and you just threw it all away? How could you turn your back on your family, the three people who loved you more than anything in the world, the people who would have stopped at nothing to move mountains for you if only you'd let them.

What wasn't enough?

I've never really been a fan of Nirvana or even followed Courtney Love's antics for that matter, but that's the thing about suicide. It doesn't matter who you are and it doesn't matter where you come from. When you've been touched by suicide, you're forever in "The Club." You're forever linked to every other person in the world whose life has also been upended by the ravages of suicide. It's both a blessing and a curse.

It's something you live with forever, whether you want to or not.


  1. such a haunting caption. i've watched documentaries on them and was fascinated. i didn't know that about your life and am sorry to hear that melissa. having lost my father 6 months ago (cancer) my heart goes out to you.

  2. Oh, Elle, I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family is in my thoughts. *hugs*


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