An expert in our treatment of death and mourning, Dr Margaret Gibson, senior lecturer in the school of humanities at Griffith University and author of Objects of the Dead, believes someone such as Cobain ”embodies a relic of a preserved youth” for those who went on, who grew older while he didn’t. Inevitably that relic, someone ”who was a figure in the construction of your own memory of youth”, becomes idealised.
”The fact that you are no longer leading a parallel life with that person, that kind of disjuncture between who you are now, growing older, in middle age, and this person who is part of your life who is somewhere in your history that you cannot recover, reminds us of what we can’t get back,” Dr Gibson says.
”When people die young it’s a double reminder that not only do they not come back but youth never really comes back. And those two things get fused together, death and youth.”