For many of those who are old enough to remember a time when music was purchased in brick and mortar stores and MTV played videos, it’s difficult to believe that it’s been nearly 23 years since Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain took his own life.
Though only 27 at the time of his death, Cobain’s influence on the music world was so profound that one seldom hears a conversation about the cultural climate of the ’90s in which his name isn’t mentioned.
Sadly, Cobain’s daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, has few memories of her father, as she was four months shy of her second birthday when he died.
There’s a tragic irony in the fact that the most potent living reminder of Cobain’s inimitable style, droll humor, and artistic temperament doesn’t remember the man herself, but Frances is clearly acutely aware of the ways in which she’s been influenced by her iconic father.
Today would have been Cobain’s 50th birthday.
The occasion has prompted outpourings of grief and nostalgia from family, friends, and fans, but perhaps no tribute is as moving as the one paid by Frances early this morning.
The 24-year-old posted the following image of a handwritten note to her Instagram page:
"Today would have been your 50th birthday. You are loved and you are missed," the message reads.
"Thank you for giving me the gift of life. Forever your daughter, Frances Bean Cobain."
In the past, Frances has spoken with surprising candor about her troubled father’s short life and death.
"The world demanded it of him," Frances said of her father’s suicide in an interview last year.
"I think that was one of the main triggers as to why he felt he didn’t want to be here and everyone would be happier without him."
"In reality, if he had lived,…I would have had a dad. And that would have been an incredible experience."
Early in life, Frances faced challenges few young people encounter (she was estranged from her mother, Courtney Love), throughout much of her life, she seems to have developed into a surprisingly stable and grounded adult.
She’s mended fences with Love, endured a high-profile divorce with dignity, and built a career for herself as a a visual artist.
Nothing can make up for the absence of a parent in a child’s life, but we hope Frances finds some comfort in knowing how proud she would’ve made her father.