I know this is a book review blog, but today something happened that I want to write about. Today Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, killed himself. Linkin Park has held a special place in my life and in my heart since I first heard Numb at the age of 14. I even remember sitting in my parent’s basement on my computer watching the music video. My friend had sent it to me. At that time I had begun self-harming, something it took me another 12 years to stop. Since that night when I first heard them, I have loved their music. While they moved away from the teenage-angst as they got older, I found that I continued to mature as their music matured. I can still relate to their early songs, but their newer ones also speak to me. I’ve gone 6 months straight at one point listening to nothing but their music. They kept me alive during the darkest parts of my life and now they will never be the same. While I love Mike, Brad, Joe, Dave, and Rob, Chester was always my favorite. He had a dark past and he talked about it. And I loved that. I could relate to that. My life wasn’t as bad as his, but it was bad enough for me to consider suicide on more than one occasion. Knowing that someone else out there had survived worse kept me going. Yelling along with their songs kept me going. And now, even if the band continues, they will never be the same. I hope that they do release at least one more song. Something dedicated to Chester. He lost the battle so many fight every day. The battle against depression. It has taken too many good people over the years. Robin Williams is the first that comes to mind. Many of us fight depression and cannot tell anyone because we are too scared or ashamed. Linkin Park gave so many people the comfort they could not ask for but so desperately needed. Like any band they had their haters, but they had their loyal fans as well. I count myself as one of the loyals. Chester Bennington and Linkin Park are now trending on Twitter less than 12 hours after he was found dead. Their fan base is huge and extends beyond the US and around the world. And I fear for those who are not stable enough or don’t have the support group to get them through their mourning. Even in groups on Facebook not related to music I’ve seen posts about his death. I never thought about how one person can affect so many people. I wish he had sought help. I wish he had reached out. I wish someone could have stopped him. But we cannot live in the past. We must move forward. I will miss Chester and I will remember this day for the rest of my life, but we cannot wallow in the past.
I don’t know if any of my readers will need this, but just in case: The National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255. If you need to use it, please use it. It does not make you weak, it makes you human.