On July 21, 2017, I got a text message from my brother. The text message said that Chester Bennington of the band Linkin Park died. My heart sank. I was in a bad mood. I checked the internet to confirm the news my brother brought me. Numerous posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter said that Chester Bennington, my childhood hero and crush, committed suicide. He hung himself. My heart broke into pieces.
I cried as I binge-watched LP’s music videos. All of a sudden, I was transported back to my childhood.
As a kid, I was very in love with Linkin Park. They were the very first rock band that I ever listened to. Years ago, my brother introduced me to that band. He liked their music. I remember when he saw a Fil-am looking guy with spiky hair on the TV*. His name appeared on the screen. Mike Shinoda. My brother told me to remember his name. I did. And I also remembered Chester’s name when it also appeared on the screen. Chester Bennington was the lead singer with an angelic voice and demonic screams.
Linkin Park had great rock and roll songs, which angsty teenagers could relate to at that time. I have to admit that later on I began to like the band more than my brother did.
Growing up, I was bullied a lot in school. Whenever I had a shitty day, I’d listen to their music at the end of the day. LP’s music was my sanctuary.
I was a walking encyclopedia of the band who had memorized stuff about its members. I knew their birthdates, their full names, their wives’ and girlfriends’ names, and their kids’ names. I knew their quotes by heart. I knew some of the things they liked. I knew some of the things they hated.
I have almost all their albums, except the last one "One More Light,” which I still have to buy. My favorite album was and still is Hybrid Theory. But I also like some of their new songs.
When I was a teenager, I watched their concert in CCP Open Grounds. It was an amazing show and I had a blast! What I liked about LP was that they’re really good live. Chester was a phenomenal singer (and screamer!) and Mike was an entertaining rapper. Their live performances were as good as their albums.
I was shocked when I heard the news of Chester’s passing. I didn’t know that he suffered from depression. He hid it so well. He always cracked jokes and laughed with his bandmates.
I see myself in Chester. Like him, I’m into music and art. I love to sing and draw. I am a moody person. And I also had a mental illness, which was already cured. Sadly, his depression doesn’t have a cure.
LP had inspired me to write dark poetry. After hearing about his death, LP’s lyrics made a lot more sense now. I realized that their songs were about him. It was selfish of me to think they wrote those depressing, angry and dark lyrics for us fans to relate so we know that we’re not alone in the situations we face every day. I realized that their lyrics are Chester’s cry for help.
My problems are panis (nothing) compared to Chester’s. His depression is real. His depression is more than just "feeling down” at the moment. Or for a few days. As far as I know, clinical depression is a feeling of hopelessness and loss of interest in some things that used to make you happy. You can laugh and joke when you’re with other people. But when you’re alone in a room, you feel empty and crazy thoughts creep inside your head. I may not have clinical depression, but I have an idea how people with this illness feel.
One afternoon while I was reading a book, I saw LP’s lyrics instead of the real words in the book. I knew I just imagined it. My mind played tricks on me.
Right now, I still can’t believe he’s dead. I don’t know if I can move on from this. His death made me sadder than my breakups. Now I know it is possible to love someone who didn’t know you exist.
Rest in peace, Chester Bennington. You will be missed by a lot of people. Especially your family, friends, bandmates and fans.