My best friend introduced me to Linkin Park when we were just girls, so already the music has a lot of importance to me. I can remember wading through halogen-lit store aisles for CDs-there weren't usually long lines since we were bright and early for release day.
But that was what I listened to when the pain got too bad. It was angry, but it's the kind of angry that comes from having been ground into the dirt and climbing back up. It was inspirational. It was calming to feel less alone because, clearly, someone else got it.
Chester Bennington did all of that perfectly. Because he'd fucking been there. He lived through unimaginable forms of abuse. And he took all of that and created music that was popular because it really connected with people, and paired with the other incredibly talented individuals that made up the band, they were unstoppable.
Mr. Bennington leaving us is a hard blow. He was a champion among those who survived abuse. And we'd think he did it, he's doing it, so we can do it. We can get up, we can keep fighting.
It's a reminder those demons planted there never leave us.
Anyone who thinks of suicide as weak couldn't possibly understand what doing battle in your own head feels like as-even as the years pass-you might have to relive the hell you escaped. You might have to do it every day.
And if you're in the middle of fighting it, keep reaching out. You don't ever have to do it by yourself. On the day you feel like dropping your metaphorical sword to the ground, reach out first. A hand will be waiting there, somewhere. You'll find rest there and you can gather the strength to face tomorrow, and the next day and the next.
Linkin Park has an online memorial with the information for a suicide hotline along with touching remembrances of the lead singer that helped change popular culture forever here
You can also visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ and call them at 1-800-273-8255.
Goodbye, Mr. Bennington. You will be terribly missed, and dearly, fiercely remembered. Your work changed the world for the better and I believe it will continue doing that for years and years and years.