Like most days, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed. Inside the trending box, it read ‘Chester Bennington’. For the few that don’t know, Chester Bennington is the lead singer for rock band Linkin Park. Whenever I see a celebrity’s name on that list, I get a bit nervous as to why so many people are talking about them. For Chester though, I didn’t get that same feeling. Maybe it’s due to his age or some other reason, but I thought, “Everything’s fine.” And then my Twitter feed refreshed, and the hashtags started.
And my breath caught for a second.
I just stared at the screen for about a minute, trying to wrap my head around it. I couldn’t believe that Chester was dead, and that he had killed himself. I mentioned earlier the amount of celebrity deaths we’ve endured, but this one hit me harder than any other. And it took me a while to figure out why. For a large portion of my life, music didn’t mean much to me. I listened to some stuff in the car that my parents listened to, but that was about it. But when I went to college, my friend Alex introduced me to Linkin Park. And from there, my music taste expanded to what it is today. Linkin Park helped me to find a huge part of my life,which I am indebted to Chester for. There have been other celebrity deaths that have shaken me, from actor Robin Williams to comic artist Steve Dillon, because both of their industries are something that I am deeply invested in. But Chester and Linkin Park threw me into rock music. If it weren’t for them or Alex, then a lot of what I’ve discovered about myself might still be hidden.
I’m sorry, Chester. I’m sorry that you felt like the only way to take away your unimaginable pain was to end your life. But know that there are millions of people who were affected by your work. Your voice was unreal, and sends shivers down my spine every time I listen to it. There are people who were brought away from the edge by your music. There are people whose lives were saved by your music. I don’t think there’s a higher accomplishment.
There’s a Wonder Years lyric which reads “I’m sure there ain’t a Heaven, but that don’t mean I don’t like to picture you there.” And at moments like these, they stick with me. I’m an Atheist, so I don’t believe in any religion. If I did, I think there would be a space for Chester in Valhalla.
“And the Sun will set for you”. – “Shadow of the Day”, Linkin Park