There's no blood, there's no alibi 'Cause I've drawn regret From the truth of a thousand lies So let mercy come and wash away
What I've done..."
Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park took away his own life due to complications of being an artist wrestling with depression, shattering the hearts of millions of fans. His body was found on Thursday morning. He was 41 and leaves behind six children and a legacy of rock music, untouched by the passing of time.
It takes a brave man who grappled with drug problems and abuse in his childhood and boyhood years to talk about them.
But he took it a thousand steps further. He built a legacy, teenagers would grow up on and carry into their adulthood.
For Chester, through his music was there for us, all throughout our school, till our University days and henceforth.
Teen love was easier with Chester on our side. There were plenty of breakup songs, but no one empathized with the numbness we felt after a heartbreak like he did. The elder sibling that many of us didn't have, seemed to speak through him, prodding us in the right direction - "All I want to do, is be more like me and be less like you." We chanted it like a prayer until we cured ourselves of heartache. At that moment we were all Chester.
Oh, Chester, that is light in the dark times, and yet...
For those of us who faced abuse in our childhood, we know how that fear is overpowering. Lurking inside our skins. Crawling. With social stigma and fear of reprisal, it would have been an endless abyss of trauma. But we could finally scream out, albeit in the guise of a song. No one would know. But it was a release to know we weren't alone. Chester, you didn't cure us, you were no doctor. But you were there empathizing with us. You lent us a voice in dark times, during the shadow of the day. We were not alone. At that moment we were all Chester.
Oh, Chester, that is solace in dark times and yet...
You were the perfect rebel. You fought abuse. You made music that will be heard for generations to come. Despite the battles you fought, you won our hearts. Perhaps we, as a species didn't do enough to convey to you how deeply you touched our lives. We have all been Chester at least once in our lives. Perhaps consumed in our own world, we never fully empathized the artist who went through all the pain and trauma and in return gave us beautiful music. You were like the flower whose fragrance filled the room when crushed. Perhaps I should have written this letter earlier so that it reached you in time. Perhaps thousands of us should have written such letters instead of begging for autographs. Perhaps we mistook the power in your vocal chords into deceiving ourselves that you were somehow superhuman and immune. There were battles yet to be won, so much more music, yet to be written. We let our hero fall.
I try to imagine how you'd bid farewell.
Would you smile and say -
"I had to fall and lose it all
But in the end, it doesn't even matter..."
Or would you cry and sing -
"Sometimes solutions aren't so simple
Sometimes goodbye's the only way."
In our world where you still live, years will go by and we will ponder over these questions. But today, the tragedy behind your music feels real. Like a tragic poem, you have become the protagonist of your own music and truly numbed us.
In loving memory of Chester Bennington,
Fighter, Rebel, Artist, and The Most Influential Rock Musician of my Era.
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