There are deep things in each one of us, powerful things that words can barely express. Music has been a medium that has been able to tap into the deep emotional struggle that people experience. Too often, however, the artists who write and sing these words to the masses are just as trapped as their listeners. This was obviously the case with one of the 1990s’ most famous and influential musicians, Kurt Cobain.1 This was the last thing he ever wrote:
I haven’t felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music along with reading and writing for too many years now. I feel guilty beyond words about these things. For example when we’re back stage and the lights go out and the manic roar of the crowds begins… The fact is, I can’t fool you, any one of you. It simply isn’t fair to you or me. The worst crime I can think of would be to rip people off by faking it and pretending as if I’m having 100% fun. Sometimes I feel as if I should have a punch-in time clock before I walk out on stage. I’ve tried everything within my power to appreciate it (and I do, God, believe me I do, but it’s not enough)… It must be one of those narcissists who only appreciate things when they’re gone. I’m too sensitive. I need to be slightly numb in order to regain the enthusiasms I once had as a child… I have a goddess of a wife who sweats ambition and empathy and a daughter who reminds me too much of what I used to be, full of love and joy, kissing every person she meets because everyone is good and will do her no harm. And that terrifies me to the point to where I can barely function. I can’t stand the thought of Frances [his daughter] becoming the miserable, self-destructive, death rocker that I’ve become. Thank you all from the pit of my burning, nauseous stomach for your letters and concern during the past years. I’m too much of an erratic, moody baby! I don’t have the passion anymore, and so remember, it’s better to burn out than to fade away.”2
Though looked to as a modern-day prophet by many, able to express the deep emotional frustration that “Generation X” felt inside, he himself was caught in a machine that used the individual for everything he was worth, then spat him out. Sadly, he saw no way out except to end his own life, leaving thousands of fans with no answers, and a young daughter to try and figure out life’s questions on her own. But is life just one big trip? If so, then why couldn’t Kurt or so many countless others not finish the ride? The torment of their own consciences drove them to the breaking point. They wanted out, but felt that they had no way of escape.
The truth is that there are eternal consequences of our actions here on earth. We don’t burn out or fade away, but our soul lives on for eternity. The agony that many feel while on earth doesn’t stop in death, but continues on until each person has paid the full wages of their sin in death — if they can. If they do not have the heart to feel sincerely, even profoundly sorry over the sins and wrongs they have done in this life this means they have lost all human worth. And it means their suffering will never end.”
Though some willfully end their life in hopes of finding relief, the opposite is true. In the place called death there are no distractions, no music, no drugs to ease the pain. Only the mind-bending torment of your conscience as it is unleashed by your self-inquisition in the blackest darkness. It is there that you must face the truth about yourself: how you hurt others and suppressed your conscience. Some will weep in remorse while others will gnash their teeth and resist the truth about themselves. Either way, death is not the end — it is the gateway to eternity.