Kurt Cobain's Aunt Speaks

Mari Earl, Kurt Cobain's aunt on his mother's side, relates her mixed emotions when she first saw her favorite nephew on MTV in 1991: "I felt happy for him, I felt afraid for him," she says. "'Cause I knew that he wasn't the most stable person in the world." Two and a half years later, Cobain chose to end his life, and Earl again felt a mix of emotions. But this time, she decided to translate her feelings into actions. "As I grieved, I began to think about the kids that were Kurt's followers," she says. "I was worried. I thought there would be more suicides because of his suicide. I have a lot of faith in God, so I cried out, 'If there's anything I can do to help these young people, please let me do it. I can't do anything for Kurt now. Let me help others.'"

The result is a talk, "Life: It's Worth It," that Earl delivers for school groups, and which she most recently presented at the Burien Library in Burien, Washington (a suburb of Seattle) on Nov. 15, as part of the library's "Escape!" program for teens. Earl began by showing photographs of young Cobain, related anecdotes (Cobain recorded his first demo tape, "Fecal Matter," in Earl's home studio), and emphasized the importance of making careful choices in one's life. She also performed an original song, "It's Worth It." Friday night's presentation drew a crowd of around 60, ranging in age from 10 to 50. Earl also answered questions and urged kids to write her if they need someone to talk to, which she says is a way to both work through her own grief and help others. "There are still times when little twinges of guilt come along, but I've gotten past most of that," she says. "I just go out and try to help others now with the message that I have."

Mari Earl can be contacted at PO Box 66371, Seattle, WA 98166.

Special Thanks to Curt at:
Invasion Of Our Piracy
and Northwest Interactive, for contributing this article.

Kurt's Uncle Remembers