RIP Chester Bennington

Linkin Park’s lead singer, Chester Bennington, committed suicide on 20 July 2017. The news shocked me as like so many kids born in the 80’s, the band’s music – which Bennington wrote – was a big part of my teenage years and beyond.

Bennington left behind a wife and six children. Some may cry ‘how selfish’, but if you can’t live with your wife and children if you can’t live with yourself.

“I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter”

Bennington did not have the easiest childhood. He was molested by an older man claiming to be his friend and turned to hard drugs to cope with depression. These issues spilled into his later years, perhaps a lesson that if you don’t deal with those demons, they could come back to haunt you.

I am not trying to explain away his life ending choice, but you can’t talk about it without mentioning Chris Cornell. Bennington was really close to the alternative musician and clearly took his suicide in May 2017 to heart. Bennington killed himself on what would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday. Both men hung themselves.

“Crawling in my skin
These wounds they will not heal
Fear is how I fall
Confusing what is real”

These are the kind of lyrics that hit home. Here we thought it was a show, tapping into teenage angst and rebellion, a mere marketing ploy to some. But after Bennington’s death, perhaps there was more to lines such as these.

Bennington seemed to have kicked his depression in the last few years, often attributing that success to his new wife. He even gave inspiring talks on how he had turned his life around. On the surface, all was calm, but we can never really know the private battles people face. Those heavy moments behind the scenes where you feel utterly alone.

“Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We’re quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do…”

RIP Chester Bennington. Your light went out too soon.