not chester bennigton


“Chester was my friend. As he was to so many. And witnessing his life taught me important things. Especially about working relentlessly, pursuing dreams, and being kind and caring while doing it. When I think about him, Chester, I see his face. Which was always smiling. I think about his heart. Which he wore on his sleeve. I think how kindly he treated me, my brother, Tomo, our band. I think about his wife and his six, six incredible children. I think about his family, I think about his band, who were really his brothers, and I remember his voice. At once ferocious and delicate, that voice will live forever.” - Jared Leto on Chester Bennington. (VMAs 2017)

Dear Chester,

I wish I could say that I’m fine, but I’m not.

I wish I could say that I can move on, but it’s hard.

In a month since your passing, I feel like I’ve done so much and so little all at once. I’ve cried a lot and smiled very little. Have gotten lost in my thoughts too much and accomplished less than I hoped. It’s hard to keep going when your shepherd has been lost.

But I’m strong. I put on a brave face and try to lose myself in your music instead of my sadness. In the lyrics, I listen for your testimony and guidance. In your voice, I hear your victories and your defeats. It’s all we have left of you.

I’ve taken my grief and put it to use. I’ve reached out to fellow fans and offered a shoulder, a listening ear, and empathy. I hope it’s enough for them, while I figure out how to get through it myself.

I don’t have to have known you to miss you. I know you’d want us to be okay, regardless if you knew our names or faces. I just wish you’d been okay, too.

From your new spotlight amongst the stars, carry on, shepherd. In memory, we will still follow.