I always listen to music when I sit down to write a blog post. Most of the time, it’s a variety of songs by multiple bands or artists. Right now though, Linkin Park is the only thing I want to hear.

For the second time this year, one of Jimmy Kimmel’s tweets broke the news to me that someone I was a fan of had passed away.

The first time, it was Don Rickles. This time, it’s Chester Bennington – the lead singer of Linkin Park, who died of an apparent suicide.

My heart sank when I found out, for reasons I don’t even know how to put into words.

Growing up, I never really talked to people about music out of fear that what I listened to wouldn’t be perceived as “cool”. It’s silly, I know.

Enter Linkin Park. I liked them; other people liked them. And that alone gave me a sense of belonging that I can’t really explain.

In university, I remember sitting in a friend’s dorm room listening to Linkin Park song after Linkin Park song, and being introduced me to song of theirs I had never heard before.

Again, a sense of belonging.

I never went to one of their concerts, I don’t know every little detail about their band, and you probably can’t refer to me as a super fan. But like millions of other people, I was a fan.

In many ways, they defined my generation and at the forefront was Chester Bennington.

Many years ago, I remember going through their music on YouTube and finding a live performance of their song “Breaking The Habit“. It blew me away because here was a lead singer (Chester) in front of a live crowd and he wasn’t just going through the motions.

He put his entire soul into the song and made you feel it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to YouTube to watch that video over the years.

I listened to the lyrics today – and I mean actually listened to them – and they mean something completely different now. I always heard them and equated them to Chester’s battle with addiction and how he was finally breaking that habit.

But the lyrics don’t mean that anymore.

A lot of their songs are like that. Or maybe this is what they meant all along and I was just naive.

I listened to one of their newest songs, “Heavy” when it first came out a few months ago, but hadn’t circled back to hear it again.

Today, I went back to listen to it again and could barely get through it.

The opening line, “I don’t like my mind right now” hits you like a brick wall.

It’s just sad. Yesterday was sad. I don’t know how else to put it.

A few days ago, Linkin Park was on my mind because I was thinking about posting news of my WordPress feature on Instagram (I never did) and was brainstorming possible captions that included a pun somewhere.

What I had settled on for a closing line was, “Link in bio, if you want to read it; Link in park, if you don’t.”

And then that sparked the thought in my head, “Hey, I should listen to their music again and go digging for songs I haven’t found yet.”

I hadn’t gotten around to it, until today.

Music brings people together and allows us to get through things by simply opening our ears and listening. Chester Bennington did that for me and for millions of people around the world. That cannot be understated.

I’m sorry for his family. I’m sorry for his friends. I’m sorry for his bandmates.

I’m sorry for Chester.

Let’s take care of each other. It’s the least we could do.

Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We’re quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do

Rest in Peace Chester Bennington.

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30 Responses to Chester

  1. Music feeds the soul! Linkin Park is great soul food! I was shocked and sadden too when I read the news today. Truly sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was actually thinking of the song “the catalyst” earlier today when I was sitting in my cousins funeral service. So strange.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s awesome! I use to be able to listen to music and study but I can’t seem to do it anymore…


  4. Angela says:

    So sad! Linkin Park songs always bring back memories of High School for me, today will be spend mostly listening to Hybrid Theory

    Liked by 1 person

  5. micqu says:

    Such a moving tribute. Thank you for sharing.
    Care to hear a fact? Chris Cornell and Chester were close friends. Yesterday, the day Chester took his life, would have been Chris’s 53rd birthday.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Julia Weston says:

    The news floored me. While I’m a bit older (Grunge defined my generation), I truly appreciated Linkin Park’s music. I went through what you’re going through when Chris Cornell passed, and it’s stunning and tragic how the music changes, shifts into something more, after they’re gone. So very sad. RIP Chester.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. darthtimon says:

    My wife is a huge fan and she was devastated – she saw them in London a few weeks ago, and can’t believe he’s gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This gave me goosebumps. I have and will always continue to be a huge fan. I was lucky enough to see them (along with Motley Crue and Papa Roach) in concert when I was younger and I will never forget that kind of intensity. This was sad news. Have you ever sat and listened to Mike Shinoda’s side project, Fort Minor? I’ve been listening and RE-LISTENING because I too hear “my songs” back to back 43,000 times until people think I must be like the guy from 50 First Dates you know? 10 Second Tom? Yea. Anyways- Where’d you Go? , and Slip out The Back are 2 of my faves. RIP Chester.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I have listened to Fort Minor, though I think the only two songs I really know are Remember The Name and Where’d You Go which is an extremely sad song to listen to in situation like this.


  9. Thank you for this post. Such a loss. My heart is mourning, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Quinn says:

    Yeah. I usually skip over celebrity deaths but a few of the recent ones have made me truly sad. Robbie Williams. Alan Rickman. Chester Bennington.

    Death is a tricky one. It’s hard to truly come to terms with a great talent being extinguished like that. Even harder when it’s by their own hand. It just seems wrong, wrong, wrong. I’ll have Numb on replay today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I’m usually the same way with celebrity deaths, but every so often one just reaches out and punches me in the gut. You’re right, it’s hard to see a talent go like that. He gave so much to everyone else, just wish we could give it back to him.


  11. Beautifully written πŸ˜’πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

    Liked by 2 people

  12. newhonesty says:

    Beautiful tribute! I also have problems with what the lyrics mean ‘now’ but in the end (lol) it is all about what it means to you. As all songs were written they had a generally positive message I think!
    If you want to check it out, I have a tribute to Chester online too..

    Liked by 1 person

  13. gabriellemgillispie says:

    The news of his death hit me like a bus. So so sad. I’m in the same boat as you, liking their music gave people a sense of belonging. I coincidentally came across an old photo of me and a friend of mine in high school wearing matching Linkin Park shirts right after fining out about his death and it reminded me of how they brought people together in some sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I wish I had some sort of merchandise of theirs. It was just awful news. I almost felt guilty about it, looking back on all his lyrics after the fact and interpreting them as a call for help this whole time.


      • gabriellemgillispie says:

        I had the exact same feeling. I felt guilty right as I found out. You kind of forget that there’s a person behind the lyrics sometimes.

        Liked by 1 person

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