I am weirdly sad about the death of Linkin Park’s frontman. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always tragic when someone takes their life, but I don’t own any Linkin Park albums, only some songs. Chester Bennington had a gift for capturing dark experiences and emotions and being honest about them, without glorifying them or portraying them as something good (as far as I can tell). He wasn’t afraid to sing about mistakes he made, things he wished he could take back, habits he wished he could break, unhealthy relationships, and his yearning to start fresh and find mercy for his human failings.
One of the beautiful things about writing is being able to put to words what others are feeling and experiencing, but often can’t express or explain clearly–either because of external reasons or internal. In a way, it’s giving those people a voice, and connecting with them on a higher level, beyond that of everyday life. This is one of reasons we love music lyrics–we sing them, write them down, memorize them, think about them, relate to them. Chester was not afraid to write lyrics and sing candidly about not only the difficulties he faced, but by extension, the difficulties that tens of thousands of people face, and often times, may be too ashamed, or feel too powerless, or judged or unloved to sing and voice themselves.
On more than one occasion, I have listened to a Linkin Park song and have thought that the band had perfectly captured a particular mindset, or feeling, or concept, or mood. It was like I could feel and understand what the speaker was singing, even if I hadn’t always felt or experienced that particular thing to that extent myself.
It’s tragic that someone who could connect so personally with so many people he never knew could be in so much pain that he eventually took his own life.
“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”
Hoping Chester has found the peace and forgiveness he spent his life looking for. 😔