~3 Minute 30 Second Read
I am so devastated to hear about the passing of Chester Bennington. Linkin Park was the soundtrack of my middle school days and is still played on repeat this long after. The brilliance in their music is a unique sound and the emotion behind the lyrics. That’s one thing that really gets me and why I love pop punk/punk rock is because when you sing the songs you feel the depth of what they’re about or how the artists are feeling at the time. When you go to their concerts, you get to experience it and match their vocal reach and passion with everything you’ve got.
When I first heard the news that Chester had passed away, I felt a cloud of sadness hover over me. It was so unexpected and I never really considered could happen. It was unusual to feel the impact of the death of someone that I never actually knew. But I really felt it. A huge part of listening to music is relating to it or using it in ways that will help you. Linkin Park is one of those bands I would listen to when I needed a vote of confidence. I know that sounds weird because a lot of their songs are about insecurity and feeling out of place. But that’s exactly what would remind me that I’m not the only person that has these feelings – and it felt good to belt it out when I needed to.
Some lines that stand out to me are:
Somewhere I Belong
“I will never be anything ‘til I break away from me”
“Without a sense of confidence, I’m convinced that there’s just too much pressure to take. I’ve felt this way before, so insecure.”
In The End
“I tried so hard and got so far but in the end it doesn’t even matter.”
Breaking the Habit
“I don’t know what’s worth fighting for… I don’t know why I instigate and say what I don’t mean.”
“Remember all the sadness and frustration – and let it go. Let it go.”
“I am a little bit insecure, a little unconfident. ‘Cause you don’t understand I do what I can but sometimes I don’t make sense.”
“All I want to do is be more like me and be less like you.”
These are all songs I would sing in a time that I have felt overwhelmed, unworthy of something (a job, a friendship, etc.), and that everything is pointless and ends so why bother. You never know when these thoughts can plague your head and a lot of the time they can be hard to overcome. With the help of Chester Bennington and the songs of Linkin Park, I would push back to get out of my funks.
Even songs that don’t necessarily describe the way I’m feeling can be therapeutic in the way they are sang. For example, One Step Closer is one of those songs that I would listen to if I were angry with someone. I don’t like confrontation and I tend to bottle things up. So when I decide that it’s time to actually get mad at someone, (or something), I often cry which makes me feel weaker. But when I listen to songs like this, it makes me feel stronger and that I have the power to stand up for myself.
It’s weird to think how big of an impact he has made on my life without ever even having met him. I felt real sadness when I heard, like it was someone I knew personally. Then of course in any case of suicide you start to think, “why” and blame yourself. With their new album coming out, there has been a lot of hate on them changing their sound and I end up thinking, “if people just kept their mouths shut maybe it wouldn’t have happened”. But that’s a naïve and unrelated thought. There is so much pain that we don’t know (and a lot of pain that we do as he was in the media) and his decision goes way deeper than that. It just hurts to think he was struggling so much that he had to take his own life.
I really want to urge anyone who has a disorder such as depression, anxiety, or anything related – to talk to someone. I know you hear this all the time and a lot of people might say, “I don’t have anyone to talk to” or “I’m uncomfortable calling a helpline”. But it’s worth it to remain living and to hopefully feel stronger and happier as time goes on. There will always be dips but there is so much to live for. Don’t think reaching out to someone will burden him or her. Everyone goes through shit in their lives and some people are wired to feel defeated and useless. Others are lucky enough to feel the strength to fight back. Some people don’t have as much to surmount while others can be tested with all kinds of obstacles in life.
You never know what people are going through. Please just be nice to others. Listen to what they have to say. If you’re going through a tough time – reach out. I have a friend who also committed suicide and even though at the time we weren’t as close, I would in an instant have sat down and listened to him. No one deserves to feel so isolated or troublesome that they can’t stand to be here anymore.
And for the things you can’t control, like if something happened to you in the past, that’s not your fault. You survived it. It can be detrimental to have past memories that haunt you but you have to realize that no matter what it was, you’re still here. And you’re meant to be. You have to try to jump head first into creating new memories and over time, the old ones will feel like a past life. You are so important and if not to yourself, to others. Chester had kids; a wife, band mates, friends, fans… and all of them are heart broken. He meant so much to so many people and made a big impact on the world.
We love you Chester. I want to thank you for all you’ve done. I hope your wounds are healed and you’re at peace. For as long as I live, your voice will still be heard.