Friday, July 21, 2017

Farewell, Chester - Your Light Will Forever Shine In The Darkness

Music is something that I don't normally post about on my site, but as Chester Bennington and Linkin Park have been a major part of my life for many years, shaping who I am today, I decided to write my thoughts down and get them out in the open.

Linkin Park.  To some people, they’re just a band.  But to others, like myself, they were an integral part of our lives.  I remember falling in love with this band after the very first time I heard them.  I was entranced.  Their music was so powerful, so emotional, and I connected to it in a deep way.  Their music molded my young adult life.  Needless to say, they became a major part of who I am today.  This is why the death of Chester Bennington hit me so hard.  It was almost like a part of me died with him.

Now, I understand that I had never met Chester, and, to some, it may seem strange to get so emotional over someone you never even met, but it’s not about knowing someone on a personal level.  It’s about the connections made.  When you love something so passionately, and that thing becomes a part of what makes you you, losing that thing can be devastating.

When I heard about Chester’s death, I cried.  I’m not ashamed to admit that.  I sobbed on my couch in front of my 2 ½ year old daughter (who, by the way, could tell I was upset and came over and gave me a big hug).  I was absolutely heartbroken, as if a member of my own family had died.  I honestly don’t remember the last time a celebrity death hit me this hard.  I’ve been sad before, but this was something else…something deeper.

Like I said, Linkin Park is a major part of who I am today.  So much so that I have a tattoo of their logo on my forearm.  I even got flame half-sleeves because of Chester.  It was a symbol of me breaking out of my shell, becoming the person I knew I could be, and wished I was throughout high school.  And it is something I look at every single day of my life to remind myself of that.  Linkin Park even allowed me to build a deeper bond with my best friend, John.  There’s so much I owe to Linkin Park, and to Chester in particular.

Mental illness is something that needs to be taken seriously, and people need to realize that even those who bring joy to others can be suffering deep down inside themselves.  So please, talk to someone, find a way to keep going on.  No one should ever have to suffer alone.  

RIP Chester.  You will live on forever in my heart, and the hearts of millions of other people around the world.  I wish you could know just how much you meant to us, but now, hopefully, you’re at peace, and you will never be forgotten.  We love you. 

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