Photo credit unknown (taken from Google image search - The Indie Spiritualist)
By: Susan Dusse - 07/20/17
It is ominous to know that Chester Bennington died on Chris Cornell’s birthday; that he sang Halleluiah, and some reports suggest gave a eulogy at Cornell’s memorial service. I’ll stop here and show the following video of Bennington and Cornell performing “Crawling” together. Their friendship is apparent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_v1SLIt01Q
All reports indicate that Bennington, singer for Linkin Park, father of six children, husband, son, bandmate, hung himself early today, July 20, 2017. Allegedly he was found by an employee, and was in the home alone.
I’m absolutely dumbfounded by what must go through someone’s soul, mind, body to take their own life. How can you have such a strong feeling of despair, pain, anger, that death is the best solution? I will never know, because I've never been there. How must it feel to not wake up (or wake up in an alternate place depending on your religious views) the next day after you’ve had time to rethink your decision?
Bennington, #74 on the Richest Front Men in Music list was worth an estimated $27,000,000 from his work with Linkin Park, Dead by Sunrise, and brief stint in Stone Temple Pilots, among other ventures. By “our” standards, he had the perfect life… a beautiful house, wife, kids, fame, wealth, was a music producer, actor. He was young, and ranked high on lists for “best front man.” At this point, I am unaware of a suicide note indicating the motivation, however, I’m sure we will know soon, or at least be poked by conspiracy theories. But as is shown over and over again, our standards for “the good life” and what makes us happy all differ.
As I looked over his career, I found the darker side to his life. He was the product of divorce at an early age, was sexually abused by a male friend of the family, chose not to prosecute or file legal action, battled drugs and alcohol, had a divorce himself, was riddled with injuries and surgeries, had a severe cyberstalker, and lost a close friend to suicide recently; who knows what else wasn’t revealed that remained only known to him.
Often writing and singing songs that have been/will be/are an integral part of many people’s lives, I found this quote interesting: "It's easy to fall into that thing – 'poor, poor me', that's where songs like 'Crawling' come from: I can't take myself. But that song is about taking responsibility for your actions. I don't say 'you' at any point. It's about how I'm the reason that I feel this way. There's something inside me that pulls me down." – Rolling Stone Magazine, 2002
Suicide is like politics, abortion, and religion in some ways. Like, we shouldn’t talk about it at a dinner party or with relatives. Opinions are strong and emotions are high. We all have very rigid feelings about it based on personal experience with someone who has, who has tried, who has threatened, or by our own naivety. I say naivety because if we are still here, then we actually do not know what someone actually goes through to end their life.
What I’m choosing to do is to celebrate what he put into the universe for us to have. His lyrics and voice are something we are all familiar with, even if we aren’t the biggest Linkin Park “fans.” His voice was amazing and his talent was undeniable.
The internet is full of photos that are allegedly his last: Last Instagram, last Facebook, last concert, etc. I’m going to pass, and not participate in the glamorization or defamation of his career and subsequent suicide.
I offer these three links out of my heart and two of them out of personal responsibility: