Life

Numb

***Trigger warning: Suicide, Mental Illness***

I woke up this morning without the buzz of an alarm. It was my day off. A day to focus on writing, reading, cleaning and daydreaming. I scrolled through my social media while my coffee was brewing and noticed the status by a friend: RIP Chester Bennington.

It couldn’t be.

I quickly went to a trusted news website and the words screamed at me in black and white. Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, died from apparent suicide at the age of 41.

My heart shattered into pieces.

It was akin to losing a dear friend. It was Chester’s voice that got me through some trying times in my late adolescence. Numb and Somewhere I belong were anthems for me while I rebelled against conformity back in India and struggled with finding a path and purpose. As the years went on, I continued to revel in their music. It got me through late nights of studying statistics and research methods in postgrad.

Their music changed and grew as they got older. But Chester’s voice continued to be both melodic yet rocky. He mastered the art of the scream while also having a rich singing voice. The lyrics though, continued to speak to me. Shadow of the day and Leave out all the Rest haunted me when Minutes to Midnight was released. I’ll be gone and Castle of glass from Living Things gave me goosebumps. Iridescent with a chorus of ‘Let it go‘ was my mantra when I was struggling with my anxiety and depression.

I watched the band perform live in 2007 for the very first time and it was the most unbelievable experience. When they toured again in 2010 and then, 2013, there was no way I was missing it. True to their style, they brought the house down. When they released their album One More Light in May this year, I was excited not only by the new music but also by the prospect of another tour either this year or next.

Only to learn this morning that I won’t see another tour.

I won’t see Chester singing a cappella like he did a couple of times before.

I won’t get the goosebumps and the head rush of watching him and the band jam live on stage.

He has always been open about his mental health problems and his drug and alcohol addiction. He had a traumatic childhood. He was getting help for his mental health. Yet, as I know through my line of work, sometimes, even therapy and medication might not help someone deep in the throes of depression and post-traumatic stress. My heart breaks for his family too.

If I seem devastated, it’s because I am. If it seems like an over-reaction, it really is not. I may not have known Chester personally but his voice, his singing, and the songs he and the band wrote got me through some dark times of my own. They validated my feelings. They gave voice to my muddled thoughts. They embraced me in their melodies. They made me hurt less. They made me feel less alone.

Chester’s possible suicide cuts me deeply because while he made me and so many others feel less alone with his singing, he was obviously feeling just like we once did. He must have been hurting.

RIP Chester Bennington (1976-2017). Thank you for 17 years of music. You will be missed.

“If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
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”

~ One More Light, Linkin Park (2017)

Featured image source: Here

Until next time,

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  • Sreesha
    July 21, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    You captured what he meant to all of us with the line about his lyrics making us feel less alone. I still find it hard to believe, and I’m still struggling to find the words to express my grief. When I wrote a tribute to Chris Cornell two months ago, I mentioned that the grief we feel over the passing of a public figure is still true and valid – even if didn’t know them personally, they were a big part of our lives. When I wrote that, I had no clue I would lose another one of my favorite singers, someone I looked up to when I was young and someone whom I considered a big influence. So heartbroken. RIP Chester.
    Sreesha recently posted…The World Is Turning Upside DownMy Profile

    • Sanch Writes
      July 21, 2017 at 9:46 pm

      You’re right, I do think it’s perfectly valid to grieve for a public figure. I will admit I didn’t listen much to Soundgarden but Linkin Park was my first foray into rock and away from the boy bands. And yes, for all the reasons I mentioned. Life is so unpredictable. I’ve been in a bit of a fog all day.

  • Sreesha
    July 21, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    You captured what he meant to all of us with the line about his lyrics making us feel less alone. I still find it hard to believe, and I’m still struggling to find the words to express my grief. When I wrote a tribute to Chris Cornell two months ago, I mentioned that the grief we feel over the passing of a public figure is still true and valid – even if didn’t know them personally, they were a big part of our lives. When I wrote that, I had no clue I would lose another one of my favorite singers, someone I looked up to when I was young and someone whom I considered a big influence. So heartbroken. RIP Chester.
    Sreesha recently posted…The World Is Turning Upside DownMy Profile

    • Sanch Writes
      July 21, 2017 at 9:46 pm

      You’re right, I do think it’s perfectly valid to grieve for a public figure. I will admit I didn’t listen much to Soundgarden but Linkin Park was my first foray into rock and away from the boy bands. And yes, for all the reasons I mentioned. Life is so unpredictable. I’ve been in a bit of a fog all day.

  • Obsessivemom
    July 21, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    I don’t know Chester Bennington like you do but I feel for you. I’d felt a bit like this when Robin Williams died. Such a sudden loss of a young talented life is shocking and very sad.
    Obsessivemom recently posted…Jugnu – A ReviewMy Profile

    • Sanch Writes
      July 21, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      I think suicides in general are harder to take than natural causes. And I guess with Robin Williams, once again it was seeing the genius, knowing he struggled but just not knowing how much…

  • Obsessivemom
    July 21, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    I don’t know Chester Bennington like you do but I feel for you. I’d felt a bit like this when Robin Williams died. Such a sudden loss of a young talented life is shocking and very sad.
    Obsessivemom recently posted…Jugnu – A ReviewMy Profile

    • Sanch Writes
      July 21, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      I think suicides in general are harder to take than natural causes. And I guess with Robin Williams, once again it was seeing the genius, knowing he struggled but just not knowing how much…

  • Fay
    July 22, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Sorry for you ur loss ?

  • Fay
    July 22, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Sorry for you ur loss ?

  • texerinsydney
    July 22, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Not an over-reaction. There are some musicians and artists that speak to us in ways that even our friends and family can’t or don’t. I am a big believer that lyrics and music can be powerful in our lives. Yes, they can be frivolous fun too, when there’s a time for it. But, when there’s a time for hurt, sorrow, confusion, pain, anxiety, depression, I am one who has felt and heard the lyrics speak messages to me as well. This was a beautiful tribute to an artist that spoke to you. I will miss his voice as well and saddened to see him go.
    texerinsydney recently posted…I’ll show you my books…you show me yours…vol.30My Profile

    • Sanch Writes
      July 23, 2017 at 9:14 am

      Thanks Erin for your lovely comment; I find most of the time I am drawn to songs that speak to me. And LP have had many of those over the last 17 years I’ve followed them. It’s not something you ever think will end in this manner.

  • texerinsydney
    July 22, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Not an over-reaction. There are some musicians and artists that speak to us in ways that even our friends and family can’t or don’t. I am a big believer that lyrics and music can be powerful in our lives. Yes, they can be frivolous fun too, when there’s a time for it. But, when there’s a time for hurt, sorrow, confusion, pain, anxiety, depression, I am one who has felt and heard the lyrics speak messages to me as well. This was a beautiful tribute to an artist that spoke to you. I will miss his voice as well and saddened to see him go.
    texerinsydney recently posted…I’ll show you my books…you show me yours…vol.30My Profile

    • Sanch Writes
      July 23, 2017 at 9:14 am

      Thanks Erin for your lovely comment; I find most of the time I am drawn to songs that speak to me. And LP have had many of those over the last 17 years I’ve followed them. It’s not something you ever think will end in this manner.

  • Vasantha Vivek
    July 22, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    I also happened to read this sad news. But have not had a chance to listen to his music. RIP, great music legend.
    Vasantha Vivek recently posted…Mindful Parenting To Raise My Words And Not My Voice – #MyParentingMantraMy Profile

  • Vasantha Vivek
    July 22, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    I also happened to read this sad news. But have not had a chance to listen to his music. RIP, great music legend.
    Vasantha Vivek recently posted…Mindful Parenting To Raise My Words And Not My Voice – #MyParentingMantraMy Profile

  • Rajlakshmi
    July 22, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    I was so obsessed by their albums while growing up. It’s a shocking news… to die so young … heartbreaking!! I don’t have words. I felt like this when Christina Grimmie was shot. A terrible terrible loss.
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Art makes everything awesomeMy Profile

  • Rajlakshmi
    July 22, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    I was so obsessed by their albums while growing up. It’s a shocking news… to die so young … heartbreaking!! I don’t have words. I felt like this when Christina Grimmie was shot. A terrible terrible loss.
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Art makes everything awesomeMy Profile

  • Reema D'souza
    July 23, 2017 at 12:55 am

    I loved listening to Linkin Park too! And “Numb” was my favourite. That piece of news was really shocking to me too! May his soul rest in peace.
    Reema D’souza recently posted…Book review : A way, not away by Ramya GundalaMy Profile

  • Reema D'souza
    July 23, 2017 at 12:55 am

    I loved listening to Linkin Park too! And “Numb” was my favourite. That piece of news was really shocking to me too! May his soul rest in peace.
    Reema D’souza recently posted…Book review : A way, not away by Ramya GundalaMy Profile

  • Jodi Gibson
    July 24, 2017 at 9:44 am

    I don’t think you are over reacting at all. I felt the same after the loss of Prince. I think some people do think it’s weird to feel so much for someone you didn’t personally know, but it’s not. Sometimes an artist and their music can have such a huge impact on your life, or a particular time of your life. They can create emotion and a connection even more so than people we do know personally, and that’s powerful. I wasn’t a huge Linkin Park fan, but did connect with some of their lyrics – very powerful. And so very sad to see another talent succumb to the pressures of life. It’s so very sad. xx

    • Sanch Writes
      July 26, 2017 at 6:47 pm

      Thanks for the validation Jodi…it’s always good to see when people understand

  • Jodi Gibson
    July 24, 2017 at 9:44 am

    I don’t think you are over reacting at all. I felt the same after the loss of Prince. I think some people do think it’s weird to feel so much for someone you didn’t personally know, but it’s not. Sometimes an artist and their music can have such a huge impact on your life, or a particular time of your life. They can create emotion and a connection even more so than people we do know personally, and that’s powerful. I wasn’t a huge Linkin Park fan, but did connect with some of their lyrics – very powerful. And so very sad to see another talent succumb to the pressures of life. It’s so very sad. xx

    • Sanch Writes
      July 26, 2017 at 6:47 pm

      Thanks for the validation Jodi…it’s always good to see when people understand

  • CookieCrumbsInc.
    July 25, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    Oh Sanch, why did this happen. I haven’t wanted to talk about it but how could it be that he who pulled us out of our own pits of sadness could be sucked in like this? How could we not have done anything to help even though he made such a big difference in ours :'(

    • Sanch Writes
      July 25, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      I know…I’m still occasionally tearing up when I think about him and never being able to hear him sing again. Mental illness is shit. So fucking shit. And the fuckers that abused him as a child; I wish someone could have helped him. I just wish he’d known how much he impacted us all. Maybe that would have kept him going? Who knows… sigh 🙁

  • CookieCrumbsInc.
    July 25, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    Oh Sanch, why did this happen. I haven’t wanted to talk about it but how could it be that he who pulled us out of our own pits of sadness could be sucked in like this? How could we not have done anything to help even though he made such a big difference in ours :'(

    • Sanch Writes
      July 25, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      I know…I’m still occasionally tearing up when I think about him and never being able to hear him sing again. Mental illness is shit. So fucking shit. And the fuckers that abused him as a child; I wish someone could have helped him. I just wish he’d known how much he impacted us all. Maybe that would have kept him going? Who knows… sigh 🙁

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