While at Cape May on Thursday afternoon, I received a text from my mom that said, "Linkin Park's singer committed suicide.." and I didn't really know how to take it. The friend I was with was shocked, too, and we looked it up to make sure it was all true. Unfortunately, it was. We had both gotten tickets to see Linkin Park in August and now it won't be the same without the lead singer, Chester Bennington, even if they do still decide to hold the concert, which I don't think they will for any of the dates. Hearing this news shocks me because I have been a fan of Linkin Park since I was twelve years old. Listening to "Numb" made me feel some sort of... empowerment. It made me feel like someone was resonating with me, especially as I listened to Linkin Park at an older age, when I was going through being bullied and depression. The news makes my heart heavy, but we need to take this tragic moment in music history and turn it into a learning experience.
Not even two months ago, the lead singer of Soundgarden, Chris Cornell, died by suicide, but this was a drug overdose. Not that the two are any better in any way, but the two deaths have some sort of connection. The day Bennington died, it was Cornell's birthday and the two were pretty great friends - Chester sang at his funeral. Two lead singers in such close relation, both committing suicide. If their friends, family and bandmates both knew any signs of suicide, this could have been preventable, maybe, but we need to keep spreading awareness for suicide prevention before even more precious lives are taken by these mental illnesses.
And this isn't even a "new" thing - Kurt Cobain shot himself in the head, despite being in a successful band. All of these tragic deaths show how not even money or fame can prevent someone from feeling suicidal. We need to promote the education of mental illness, so that there will be less of a stigma surrounding it.
While Chester and Linkin Park's music was on the edge of depressing with a lot of feeling that helped many people get through tough times, we didn't realize that the things that he sang in the music were actually, somewhat pertaining to what he was feeling. He had been dealing with drug and alcohol issues as well as depression for the past few years, which contributed to the song lyrics he made.
But why do these problems go unnoticed for celebrities, even though they have so much attention on them at pretty much all times? Is it because their issues are too sensitive for the media? So in result to that, they are pushed under the rug? If that's the case, we need to start being more open about the topics of mental health so that things like this don't happen, in celebrities and average people of the world. Suicidal thoughts, depression, and any other sort of mental illness should not be gone through alone. It is the worst thing when you have to walk through something like this by yourself.
Rest easy, Chester Bennington. I know you and Chris Cornell will be singing up there for all of the angels to hear. All of your fans miss you both so dearly and will continue to cherish your lyrics and inspiring image forever.