Remembering Chester Bennington

Dear Reader,

In the early 2000’s I was still living at the boarding school in my city. On weekends we used to go out after Sunday mass and sometimes a group of us would go to the shopping center nearby. One of the places I used to love to go was a music store that allowed you to listen to records (remember those?) and I was checking what was new and I saw this album cover that caught my eye but what really made me interested was when I turned it around one of the band members had flaming tattoos on his wrists. That made me want to listen even more to their music. Once “Crawling” begin to play I was hooked.

Linkin Park became the band of my late teen years. The lyrics spoke to me in ways no other band was ever able to. It felt like somewhere someone not only knew what I was struggling with but also found words to express it. The anxiety, trauma, depression, abandonment. All of these were in those lyrics and behind them was the voice and heart of Chester Bennington. He gave a voice to our darkest thoughts, our deepest feelings. He sang about what we were so afraid to express even to our closest friend. He sang and he screamed those demons away, for him and for all of us. How many of us shouted “SHUT UP WHEN I’M TALKING TO YOU!!” ? How many of us felt every word from “Numb” piercing our skin?

Hearing about his death two years ago was like a punch in the stomach. I didn’t want to believe it. Accept it. For me he couldn’t been gone. He was part of my story, part of so many people’s stories. He saved so many of us from our darkness but we couldn’t save him from his. The only comfort is that his words, his voice, will always live on, never forgotten.