I first added Nirvana's music onto the private soundtrack of my life when I entered middle school in 1995 (just months after Kurt had died). Kurt Cobain's voice quickly became my companion during evenings sitting on my bunk bed, writing in my journal and struggling to find words for feelings I couldn't yet name. He was with me when I needed to cry myself to sleep, and when I wanted to feel brave. His voice played in my head as I navigated those new and foreign hallways that would eventually lead into adulthood. And since then, he has sung me through so much, past my teen years and into my grown-up life. It's hard to believe that it has been more than 20 years since Kurt Cobain left this world, as his spirit and music still feel so very present. One doesn't need an occasion to listen to Nirvana, but their songs provide a perfect accompaniment to many of our moments.
Ava Dellaira is the author of the new book Love Letters to the Dead.