I had just returned from NYC yesterday when the news came of Chester Bennington's suicide. I'm a fan of his music, partly because my job is to present it to 1065 listeners, but LP was one of the bands that I did truly like. I thought it was cool when he took a sabbatical from Link Park to help STP and had the chance to meet him again when they headlined Weenie Roast a few years ago.
My emotions yesterday ranged from anger to sadness and in between. Chester killed himself and left behind a wife and 6 kids. No one could do that unless they are mentally ill and yet the real victims in suicide are the ones left behind. I am a person left behind as a result of a parent's suicide. My mother was mentally ill for years before taking her own life one month after I made her a grandmother. I was grown and on my own, but it still affects you. "I Love you".... parents say to their kid's, and especially young ones, have a certain understanding what that means. "I Love you so very much" and will always be here to take care of you. "I Love You....but not enough to stick around and see you grow up! That's what suicide says to a young child. When they're older and understand mental illness, then they can understand more clearly, but I really feel for these kids. I was grown and knew about my mother's illness so when I got the call, surprise was not a word I would use. I just remember feeling anger mixed with relief that her misery had finally ended. Our society places rock stars on such a pedestal that they can't ever live up to...is that the problem?They can't handle the fame, the loss of privacy so they turn to drugs, alcohol and at some point it all comes crashing down? It seems such a waste to the sane, the normal, but mental illness is as deadly as cancer and has to be treated. We feel so much empathy for a cancer patient, cancer survivor and if they lose the battle with cancer, we eulogize them for fighting the good fight. I'm sad that Chester took his life and I don't believe in coincidence, so I don't think for a minute, that he didn't plan to do it on Chris Cornell's 53rd birthday. I've always felt that things that happen to you in life don't get to excuse your behavior, but it does often explain it. Chester's kids have a hard road ahead so i pray they have a strong support system. If you know people who are hurting, friends or family, please try to get them help. Help is available and mental illness needs to be taken more seriously by our legislators to make sure proper funding is available. RIP Chester, wish you could have gotten proper help to get through it. Having kids and then grand kids one day is one of life's greatest joy's and yet through the fog, you couldn't see that. Very sad.