Musician Chris Daughtry went on the Kelly Clarkson Show yesterday (June 23) and shared how he was feeling now after a traumatic week not too long ago in which he lost both his mother and stepdaughter. He told Clarkson, “The guilt is the hardest because you can’t do anything about it.”
*Content warning: This story deals with suicide and may be triggering for some readers. Please read with caution.*
The former American Idol competitor and Daughtry frontman performed his new song “Changes Are Coming” from the band’s new album Dearly Beloved. He also sat down with Clarkson and told her about the week in November of 2021. First, his mother passed on Nov. 5, after a lengthy battle with cancer. Then, his stepdaughter Hannah, 25, was found in her Tennessee home after having taken her own life, exactly seven days later.
Clarkson asked Daughtry how he was processing the experience. Daughtry says that although he dealt both losses very differently, “The common denominator in both is the guilt: the, ‘I wish I would have said this,’ ‘I wish I would have done this,’ ‘I wish I would have called more…’ The guilt is the hardest because you can’t do anything about it, and there’s always going to be reminders of what you could have done… I tend to beat myself up a lot over it.”
Despite the losses, Daughtry says that “it’s been a healing time” for his family. “Our kids were part of the burial (for Hannah). We did a natural burial, that’s what she wanted… It’s a basket, so to speak. It’s a place in Tennessee that does natural burials, and we all had shovels and we all got to cover the basket.
“Seeing my kids do that, and seeing them process (what happened), it was a very heavy, magical… It’s hard to explain, but seeing them process that and being a part of it… It’s incredible, and it was very healing to be a part of that and see them be a part of that, and have everyone there be a part of it. It’s not just sitting on the outside – everyone was involved and it was very healing.”
Daughtry’s appearance on the show came in support of his upcoming North American tour, which starts this week, after initially being postponed due to the two deaths.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website. Resource information is provided for free as well as a chat message service. To speak directly to a professional, call 1-800-273-8255. You are not alone and help is available. Every life is important.
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