Well I do.
It’s taken my mind a while to process the loss of someone who meant the world to me without ever meeting them. I don’t normally feel a connection to a “celebrity” to get upset or hurt by their passing but Chester Bennington evidently is the exception to that rule.
Social media is bombarded with heartfelt posts and I don’t usually feel its my place to add more to those feelings. Despite this I felt now is the time to express something that has been swimming in my head for a few days now.
As a young teen I didn’t have a care for music, in fact I didn’t see the point in it. In 2007 the Transformers film was released and the timeless jewel that is “What I’ve Done” was the main track that to this day I relate to that time in my life. My brother bought the soundtrack album and I fell down a rabbit hole of discovery. The first album I ever bought was Minutes to Midnight although back then I didn’t appreciate it for the creative piece it was (Probably because it wasn’t “heavy” enough) and it got me thinking.
Linkin Park introduced me to the music I know and love today. Not only this but I can link back my entire creative life back to the time I bought that album. The soundtrack What I’ve Done was on had another song by a band “The Used” who had an iconic album cover by the artist Alex Pardee.
Alex Pardee is a key reason I pursued what I did in life and its a strange thing that I came across him due to a song. A song that captured the mind of a kid who didn’t have a single care for music. Chester Bennington was a man who put his feelings out into the world for everyone to see which put him up for criticism from a range of other musicians. He was a man who struggled an endless battle with mental health and wasn’t afraid to talk about it and I can’t help but admire that. His ideals have guided me to being more open in life to the point where my art practice discusses it.
He has influenced my path and that is something I have come to strongly believe in. I’ve been in a place where I wanted to take my life but since then I have changed my perspective. Chester was part of a band that influenced millions. If he didn’t exist he wouldn’t have touched the hearts of so many around the world including myself. He has left behind a void in this world that can’t be filled and it holds a very potent message.
Mental health can affect anybody. It affected an individual in the public eye to the point where he took his own life and nobody saw it coming. Tragedies like this are not to be forgotten and I hope this can open peoples eyes to the daily struggles that people can have. Chester spoke clearly about his demons and wasn’t afraid to express these feelings. He wore them on his sleeves and was incredibly brave to do so.
For Chester, his life became too much for him. As I mentioned before he has been a huge influence in my life even if I hadn’t truly understood by just how much until today. I know he will be missed by many and I hurt knowing he felt it was his time to go.
If you are struggling out there, please reach out. You will influence so many people throughout your life whether you realise it or not.
Take care of yourselves,
Rest in peace Chester Bennington. The sky feels a lot darker without you.