It's important to remember when considering what I have written on the subject of Kurt's suicide, it would be next to impossible to lay the blame on just one factor.
Kurt's Childhood trauma
On Feb 1976 a week after Kurt's birthday 9th Kurt's mom announced she wanted a Divorce (1). The divorce wasn't friendly; it was a "blood feud" and an emotional holocaust for Kurt. His Aunt Mari said, "He thought is was his fault and he shouldered much of the blame." Mari continued "It was traumatic for Kurt, as he saw everything he trusted in-his security, family, and his own maintenance-unravel before his eyes". Soon after the divorce Kurt's mom Wendy became involved with a violent longshoreman who's name was Frank Franich. (2)
During the Christmas of 1978, Frank Franich broke Kurt's mom's arm during a domestic assault. Kurt's mom reaction to this and other domestic violence she experienced was to drink heavily. (3) Kurt's Mom didn't leave despite the violence and Kurt went from a normal student to a troubled student. (4)
Another one of Kurt's mom boyfriends was Pat O'Connor. Pat belittled Kurt's songs and drawings. (5) Pat called Kurt a fagot because he didn't live up to Pats standards and didn't have a lot of Girlfriends. (6)
Maybe because of this, Kurt got caught in a "compromising situation" with a girl, in his room at his mom's house. Kurt's mom told him what a total fucking loser he was, and Kurt was thrown out of his mother's house. He was seventeen and homeless.(7)
Can family dysfunction affect suicide? One researcher said;
"Findings support a life course model of the aetiology of suicidal behaviour in which risk of developing suicidal behaviour depends on accumulative exposure to a series of social, family, personality and mental health factors." (8)
And another came up with the same findings.
"Important proximal occurrences for serious suicide attempts among young people include a series of life events associated principally with interpersonal conflicts, relationship difficulties, and legal problems."(9)
Drugs and the suicide link
Kurt battled with drug dependency, and depression all his adult life.
Addiction brings impaired judgment, and often depression, hopelessness, and desperation. These effects, coupled with the realization of how much one's life has deteriorated, can lead to suicide. More than 10 percent of alcohol addicts commit suicide. A common means of suicide involves an overdose of a combination of alcohol, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines. Opiate addicts commit suicide to escape the dysphoria of withdrawal. (10)
Another researcher noted "The horror of withdrawal is often seen as a barrier to life without addiction, and incomplete substance abuse programs offer no solution,". (11)
Yet another researcher said, "Self-reported suicidal behavior and ideation among drug addicts is highly prevalent and more so with increasing number of areas of childhood adversities." ie childhood divorce, bulling etc.(12)
Towards the end of Kurt's life his self-destructive nature was getting stronger. In 1993 Kurt had as many as a dozen near death or OD experiences (13)
Prior to Kurt's suicide, he suffered an "overdose" in Rome that put him in a coma. Researchers found when investigating suicides, "Previous self-harm had occurred in 44.8%, nearly half of these having carried out multiple episodes and 80% having self-harmed within the previous year.",(14)
The Depression factor
Depression is involved in more than half all attempted suicides.
A partial quote from Kurt's journal in 1993 "God damn, Jesus fucking Christ almighty, love me, me me, we could go on a trial basis, please I don't care if it's the out-of-the-in-crowd, a gang, a reason to smile, I won't smother you, ah shit, shit, please, isn't there somebody out there? Somebody, anybody, God help, help me please. I want to be accepted. I have to be accepted. I'll wear any kind of cloths you want! I'm so tired of crying and dreaming, I'm soo alone. Isn't there anyone out there? Please help me. HELP ME. "(15)
Kurt told Cali (Dewit) and his Girl Friend Jennifer "You guys are my only friends". When Jennifer scolded Kurt for using too much heroin. Jennifer said, Kurt said "half jokingly" he wouldn't die from an overdose, Kurt told Jennifer he would shoot himself in the head, 'that's how I'm going to die' Kurt replied. (16)
A Friend from this teen-age year, Ryan Aigner, once heard Kurt talk about suicide. He told Ryan that he didn't plan on living past thirty. Ryan said "He was the shape of suicide. He looked like suicide, walked like suicide, and he talked like suicide." (17)
When Kurt was fourteen he told his friend John Fields "I'm going to be a superstar musician, and kill myself, and go out in a flame of glory, " John said that was the Stupidest thing he had ever heard, told him not to talk that way. Kurt insisted and said, "No, I want to be rich and famous and kill myself Jimi Hendrix".(18)
Suicidal tendencies may have a genetic links; several of Kurt's relatives had committed suicide. Kurt uncle Kenneth Cobain shot himself in the forehead, because he was despondent over the death of his wife. This meant was the last of Kurt uncles to die two by suicide another by alcohol (19)
The plane ride home
After leaving Exodus, Kurt sat next to Guns and Rose's band member Duff McKagan on the plane trip to Seattle. Duff , counters what murder theorist claim about Kurt's appearance in his final days he said "I knew from all my instincts something was wrong." Duff also said that Kurt sounded like he hadn't been home in years. Did he ask Duff to hide him?? No when they arrived at the Seattle airport Kurt simply vanished.(20)
People have wondered why Kurt allegedly chose several different actions to end his life when one would have been more than enough. Using multiple methods to end your life isn't strange. It could just show determination.
On March 11 1987 four teenagers (2 males 2 females) from New Jersey committed suicide. The methods for the males were carbon monoxide poisoning, cocaine, and alcohol. The female's methods were carbon monoxide and cocaine. The males had evidence of non-fatal cuts to their wrists.(21) Alcohol in combination with another substance the most common methods of suicide or suicide attempt.(22)
No one knows what Kurt was thinking in his final moments. But one answer could be, to assure death and not end up a severely brain damaged.
To my cites
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