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Dear Kurt,

April 5, 2011

You died 17 years ago today. I remember when I found out about it. I was in my dorm room in the middle of Pennsylvania, my freshman year of college and I was so pissed off at you, at your weakness and selfishness, for taking your life and music and future away from your family and from the world, that I played your nemesis Pearl Jam really loud and sat on my bed with a beer, cursing the spirit of Teen Spirit.

Of course I’m still mad that you took your life, I was a huge Nirvana fan, but now I know a little more about depression and suicide and understand that it’s less of a decision you made and more of a real and significant disease beyond your control.

So Kurt – not that it matters, but I’m sorry man. I’m sorry that on your worst day, I was like the millions of others who thought you took the easy way out of your fame, your pain. And maybe you did, but I’m sorry for thinking so shallowly about things I didn’t know about and will never fully understand. You were a rock star making kick-ass music and I was just a New England kid dreaming of being a rock star and a writer. And I never said thank you.

And in your life, you did at least one thing right  – you made the music and wrote the songs you were meant to create.  I can’t imagine a world without Nirvana. You didn’t stand around waiting for things to happen to you, for opportunities to fall into your lap. You made your choices and lived your life and with your art, you changed and inspired the teenaged kids of the world who needed inspiration the most right then. Not many of us can say the same thing. Cheers to you for that.

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