It made the news yesterday evening (in UK time) that Chester Bennington, lead singer of the band Linkin Park, had died by suicide.
I won’t do that thing that people do when a celebrity dies, and pretend that a famous person was a lot more important to me than they actually were. But Linkin Park were very meaningful to me, my sister, probably most people around my age, when we were younger. There are songs that everybody of our age bracket and lifestyle-leaning recognises as soon as they come on. Linkin Park have marked our lives.
My sister and me in particular have an odd association of Linkin Park, with the Tomb Raider games. This is because we do a marathon of the games in the summer, and usually have Linkin Park on in the background. Linkin Park songs give me very entrenched Tomb Raider imagery. So it’s weird that I’ve started doing Tomb Raider again this year, that these songs are resurfacing in my life again, and then this news comes.
I don’t know the details of Chester’s problems, I don’t keep up with the band’s personal lives or really any of their recent music (although I do follow Anna Shinoda on Twitter). But I do recognise the feeling that would have led to Chester’s death.
Suicidality is the blackest, most miserable thing it is possible to feel. It swallows you inside yourself, it’s heavy and it weighs you down but simultaneously you feel so floaty and useless as to not have a connection to anything on earth. It is misery and fear and anger and numbness all at the same time. You don’t necessarily want to carry out the act of ending yourself, but you find yourself looking around the room like, “God, why am I aware of this? Why am I alive? Why can’t I just be unconscious?”
It is a fucking poisonous way to be and it will eat you and eat you until you do something you can’t take back. But the fact is, people don’t want to deal with the fact that you feel that way. You can be very open, and people will not get you help. Chester may have been open with people in his life, he may have talked about being suicidal on his private social media sites. But it doesn’t look like anybody came to help him. And then he died.
So I wish that all the people posting “Depressed people need to reach out and not let it get so far!” would actually fuck off, because chances are somebody told you quite plainly that they want to die, or that they have attempted suicide, and you just stopped talking to them for a while. You fucking suck.
There’s nothing anyone can do for Chester Bennington now, nothing anyone can do to right their wrongs or to not fail him. He has people left behind, friends, family, his wife and children, people that need some respect and space right now.
I just hope that the afterlife is somewhat like the stars in Abzu, and that he is peaceful there for whatever happens next.
When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I’ve done
Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed
And don’t resent me
And when you’re feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest