I lost my best friend today. I haven’t stopped crying. I collapsed to the floor at work when I heard the news. There’s so much I want to say but I’m currently very, very broken and distraught. Breathing is hard. Tears are streaming down my face that I can’t control. I got sent home from work early and passed out when I got home. I hoped that when I would wake up that it would all have been a nightmare, but here we are. I was supposed to be fulfilling my #1 item on my bucket list in ten days: meet linkin park. The first time I saw them was August 27th 2007 and it changed my life, actually. I was finally going to be able to tell them how I would not be here today if it weren’t for them. And that’s no exaggeration. They were/they are my everything. My favorite band since I was 8 years old. Chester has been my hero since I was 8 goddamn years old. My first tattoo was dedicated to them, lyrics that are from a song Chester wrote to his kids. I took guitar lessons as a kid for only a week or two, just so I could learn the chords to “Faint” and feel cool for a minute of my shy, dorky life. LP was one of the only music I was even allowed to listen to during a very critical and traumatizing time of my life. I spent roughly a thousand dollars to go see them twice and meet them within the coming weeks, and tbh, no amount of money coming back to me now will ever makeup for it. It’s not just a band, it’s not just music, they’ve been my lifeline. And Chester was the brother I never had, my mentor, he was my best friend. I can’t explain how deeply this is affecting me and I can’t imagine how it’s affecting his family and loved ones. The one thing I am happy about in this moment is that the very last time I saw Chester in person, it was August 16th, 2014. During the last song he came down and shook fans hands, took photos with everyone in the front row, etc. when he got to me I was sobbing and he gave me the biggest hug, and I didn’t know what to do, so I right in his ear I said “thank you for everything.” He put his hand on the back of my head into his shoulder and said “no, thank you.” He smiled at me, and walked off. (Picture above is moments before that happened) I may not have officially met him, and can’t believe that I never will in this life, but deep in my heart I’ll have comfort telling myself that he knows. How important he was/is to me and everyone who listened to LP, his family, friends, everyone. I don’t know how to handle this tbh and thank you to everyone who has reached out and thought of me, that means a lot. I don’t even know if any of this makes sense. All I know is, I miss you Chester. And I’ll be thinking of you every single day until I see you on the other side.