I found out about an hour ago that Chester Bennington from Linkin Park killed himself. I’m from the Linkin Park era. I’m from the era where we wrote their lyrics on our school notebooks and watched Chester scream while wearing plaid. He was a strange attraction, someone we could relate to.
I’ve watched this band grow from kids to activists to fathers. I own every major CD they ever put out.
I know the history of many of the band players. I know how difficult their lives were and I know the songs meant a lot to them and to those who listened. When I heard Chester died it shocked me then the tears came because he killed himself. That’s a totally different thing than dying, it means there was excruciating emotional pain that he had to end and that he was past hearing a voice that might help him out of his pain. Hearing that he took his life means Chester was suffering, that is what’s behind the tears. I know suffering. I know it emotionally and physically and I hate to hear that others suffer, especially someone I felt a connection to through their music.
I know grief will bend you in half. It will break bones like they’re toothpicks. He grieved. Boy did he grieve. I know the emotional toll grief has on a person especially when grieving the suicide of a friend or family member. It can break you, burn your eyes out. My God it’ll eat you alive trying to grasp that someone you love committed suicide.
It’s not been that long since Chris Cornell killed himself. I still can’t look at photos of Robin Williams without being angry with him. The reactions we have towards death is so unpredictable and individualized. Three people, three different strong reactions.
I think each time I hear someone has committed suicide I become more determined to find another way to see my life to it’s natural end. I can’t promise that I’ll never feel suicidal but I can promise I’ll do everything in my power to to stay off the road where I can no longer hear I have hope.
Of course every suicide will now touch on the pain of my brother’s suicide. I just hope the lightning bolt of grief will lose its strength over time.
Tonight I was reveling in having sold a painting to a woman with stress written all over her face. When she saw her painting in her hands for the first time it really moved her. I hope it gave her a little more of what she needs to keep going.
(the river keeps flowing)