I’m sure many have seen these plenty of times: A long post about why suicide is not the answer and how you have resources. I won’t take too much time. This is for remembrance of Chester Bennington, Linkin Park lead vocalist. July 20th 2017, he took his life. Only a while earlier had his friend Chris Cornell done the same.
Lets ignore the controversy around these deaths just for a moment.
These two did have some history with mental health issues. Cornell had a long time battle with drugs, beginning in his early teen years. Bennington also had issues with drugs and went through sexual abuse as a child. Both did not have healthy ways of coping with the mental health issues they suffered. They were very successful musical artists with many fans, so why did they still suffer? Mental health does not discriminate the rich or poor, successful or unsuccessful. The black or white or old or young. Anyone can have some sort of mental health disorder, and it affects each person in different ways.
I cannot say I know much of Chris Cornell’s work. I’ve looked into some of his stuff since his passing. But Linkin Park was an important band for me. Hearing their song What I’ve Done at the end of the first live action Transformers movie made me a fan. Hearing of Chester Bennington passing away was difficult. I remember the very day: 10 minutes from 2pm on a work day and finding tasks to do until that time. I had glanced at my phone to see the time, and a notification caught my attention. “Chester Bennington found dead, ruled suicide.” I grabbed my stuff and clocked myself out ASAP. I’m sure anyone looking at me saw I was crying as no one dared ask why I was charging out of the restaurant.
No, I don’t know Bennington personally. Or Cornell. But Linkin Park meant a lot to me. I no longer blame myself for grieving over a celebrity, it means they were influential in some way. So now, a little after the 3rd anniversary of this loss, it still makes me a bit sad. All suicide is preventable, but that’s still not universally known. It should not be natural to have mental health issues be ignored or brushed to the side, that doesn’t work. We are allowed to pause and ask for help. Look for warning signs and check on people. And let’s lower the stigma while we’re at this. We praise people for battling their addictions responsibly, it should be the same for mental health. There is always another option, and there is always something to keep living for. So please keep living.