When the news of Chester Bennington’s death went public on July 20, the world mourned for the Linkin Park frontman. Personally, I understood — while I hadn’t listened to the band much in recent years, they had played a huge part in my teen years. I’d listen to their albums on repeat and, somehow, I always felt as if someone suddenly understood me, even if it was someone who didn’t know me at all. That’s what Chester Bennington did for people all across the globe, and that’s why his suicide hit so close to home for so many people.
Linkin Park recently released a statement about their bandmate, crafted as a letter written to Chester himself. They uploaded the touching tribute to their website.
Our hearts are broken. The shockwaves of grief and denial are still sweeping through our family as we come to grips with what has happened.
You touched so many lives, maybe even more than you realized. In the past few days, we’ve seen an outpouring of love and support, both public and private, from around the world. Talinda and the family appreciate it, and want the world to know that you were the best husband, son, and father; the family will never be whole without you.
Talking with you about the years ahead together, your excitement was infectious. Your absence leaves a void that can never be filled—a boisterous, funny, ambitious, creative, kind, generous voice in the room is missing. We’re trying to remind ourselves that the demons who took you away from us were always part of the deal. After all, it was the way you sang about those demons that made everyone fall in love with you in the first place. You fearlessly put them on display, and in doing so, brought us together and taught us to be more human. You had the biggest heart, and managed to wear it on your sleeve.
Our love for making and performing music is inextinguishable. While we don’t know what path our future may take, we know that each of our lives was made better by you. Thank you for that gift. We love you, and miss you so much.
Until we see you again,
The letter sheds a light on what fans (or at least, what I) truly appreciated about Bennington: his fearlessness when it came to talking about his demons. By opening up about his own, we felt a little less alone with ours.
Rest in peace, Chester Bennington. You meant the world to more people than you could even imagine.