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RogueSoul

One Year: A Reflection, and Looking Ahead

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As much as we've all dreaded this day, we all knew it was going to come. It felt to all of us on the staff like the last hurdle to get over, after anniversaries such as the last show he played and all the moments on the One More Light European Tour. But this one is different. With those, it was a nice reflection and memories of some good times. This was one we all wish we could just press skip on.

Today marks one year since the passing of Chester Bennington.


I remember exactly where I was at one year ago when I heard the news. I was going through a break up, my ex leaving me for someone else she had just gotten to know. I was in bed with a heavy heart, pleading for her to stay with me, when Mark told us all in the Skype chat. In that moment, I dropped everything. I stopped, in disbelief more than anything else. I felt my heart break all over again, now in both a state of denial and shock. At some point I managed to get out of bed and just ended up sitting on the bathroom floor, not crying but wishing I could. A few hours later, I came here to post the official news, and that was by and far one of the hardest things I've ever had to write.

July 21 was actually what I consider to be the worst day of my life. Not the day my ex left me, nor the exact day Chester died. It was the day I woke up feeling nothing but pain. A gaping hole in my heart growing more painful with every second. I laid there hoping I'd have a heart attack, or for anything to happen to take that pain away. Without my friends and family, I wouldn't be here today to type this. July 21 was very nearly the end of my life by my own hands.

This post isn't meant to be a depressing one. I'm not here for sympathy or to bring you down, either. But what's important is that we all remember how we felt that day. That heartbreak, anger, confusion, and everything else in between is what proves to us that our connection to Chester, Linkin Park, and the music was real. Whenever you lose someone, be it a family member, a friend, or an idol, it's never going to be easy. It's a punch in the gut and it brings you straight back to reality. But as much as it hurts, that pain assures you that that person was important, and that's what matters the most. I wrote this post to let you know that there's a future.

I told you my story because it's important to acknowledge the past. I took that pain and made something of it. I did all I could to release all my emotions: I made a covers EP called After July, where I did a cover of 'Leave Out All The Rest' as a way of connecting to and celebrating Chester. That EP also has songs that helped me get through my break up, as well as an original song. I released several more songs since then, and I just released a new EP of all original material, centered around one of the most important songs I've ever written myself, called 'Relativity.' Whatever pain I felt, I turned it into something that made me stronger, that proved to me that there is reason to move ahead. It hurt in the present, but out of pain and heartbreak comes the most powerful things.

I've seen therapists, too. I don't take antidepressants and I haven't been diagnosed by any doctors, but the therapists I've spoken to told me I definitely have depressive episodes. I've even had to call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at one point in the last year. Pain makes us human. Pain inspires art, and we all know ourselves how much of that raw emotion inspired our favorite songs by this band.

Today sucks. It's going to be a hard day to get through for sure, but just think about this: we are alive. We are here, one year later, living and breathing. Since July 20, 2017, we've cried, we've smiled, we've laughed, we've hurt, we've celebrated; we've done everything. Even when all seemed hopeless, we are here. Time stops for no one, and it certainly hasn't stopped for us. All the same, it's going to keep ticking ahead one second at a time, and we have no choice but to follow its flow. And as cruel as it may have been, we've persevered through every second of it that's come.

We as a community have helped so many people. When Avicii died, this community was there to comfort mourning fans. When Anthony Bourdain died, we opened our arms once again, as we have done so for every suicide since. Mike Shinoda is carrying on Chester's legacy with his own solo career, and is touring for his first solo album. Talinda Bennington is campaigning to raise awareness for mental health awareness and making sure we stop ignoring mental health and looking at it as a sign of weakness.

So face today, and every day going forward, knowing that you are strong. Your demons don't define you. Losing Chester won't be the last time you lose someone, and it sadly won't be the last time your heart breaks. But with every ounce of pain comes new motivation to be a better person and overcome it. If things aren't looking so great right now, I promise they will soon. There is a light at the end of every tunnel, even if you can't see it. You have to be willing to chase it. Take it from me: I was at the lowest point of my entire life one year ago. But when you're at the bottom, the only way you can go is up. Make today yours. You are a miracle, never forget that.

Thank you to Mike, Rob, Brad, Joe, and Phoenix for not abandoning us even when they faced their own tragedy. Thank you to Talinda for not giving into pain and fighting it, in order to save others from the same fate. Thank you to Anna, Jim, Lorenzo, and the rest of the Linkin Park family and crew for all they've done for fans and for suicide awareness as well. Without these incredible, strong individuals, we wouldn't be the same people we are today.

From myself and the rest of LPLive, thank you for sticking by us and making this fanbase the best one on Earth. Thank you for giving me and all the other staff members the opportunity to make this place a home. Thank you for being here. Thank you for making Chester proud.

When you feel you're alone, cut off from this cruel world
Your instincts telling you to run
Listen to your heart, those angel voices
They'll sing to you, they'll be your guide back home.

 

When you've suffered enough and your spirit is breaking
You're growing desperate from the fight
Remember you're loved and you always will be
This melody will bring you right back home

When life leaves us blind
Love keeps us kind


When life leaves us blind


Love keeps us kind

------------------

 

We've created a lengthy YouTube playlist with what we consider to be some of the best performances of Linkin Park's greatest hits for those who want to spend this day celebrating his amazing work with the band. You can find it here.

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It's still unbelievable that Chester is dead and it is one year. It's going so fast like it was yesterday when I saw that sadly news. He could make more amazing songs with his amazing voice. I was on concert in Hungarian Volt Festival a month before his dead when I first saw Chester and the rest of the band on live. I did not know back then that it would be also the last time when I am seeing him... :(

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I remember waking up that morning and watching the sunrise. I'd been taking steps forward with my illnesses but I still felt empty for months. I watched some LPTV episodes I hadn't seen before, which had become part of my normal routine, then watched a movie that really touched me and made me feel optimistic. Then I saw the TMZ post and had the worst panic attack of my life that last about an hour until Mike's tweet. That whole first week is a blur. The darkest day was the 26th for me. I hadn't eaten for 6 days, I was getting an hour of sleep here and there and kept waking up from nightmares. I've lived with mental illnesses since I was 7 and was diagnosed with depression at 12. I've lived through being assaulted, abused, and survived a drug overdose given to me by a medical professional that very nearly took my life. I've lived with severe PTSD and agoraphobia for 5.5 years now and it's still just as hard today as the day I developed it.

 

In that moment, all I felt was pain. Pain from of my own personal battles with mental illnesses, from the loss of that stable foundation LP had been in my recovery, pain from his loss. Mixed with no food and very little sleep, it was the first time in 13 years that I'd had a plan and was following through with it. It's the first time that beyond just not wanting to be alive, I genuinely wanted to die, if only to make the pain stop.

 

But I'm still here. It's all still kind of surreal to me how everything worked out and how I ended up being a part of all of this. Looking back it's obvious I was not myself in those moments. It was impossible to think a clear thought, but all it took was a leap of faith. I sat down and talked to people and I think the first major lesson I learned from this was that I need to be more responsible about not putting myself in situations like that. I allowed myself to be completely alone for days in one of the worst times of my life and that's something I know to look out for now. Because as soon as I talked to someone, it broke me out of that isolation.

 

There are still days that my demons tell me I should have done it. There are still a lot of bad days with my illnesses. There are days where there is no light at the end of the tunnel and I know I'm not the only one who feels like that. So on the days there's no light, please just have some faith in yourself and that there will be light again at some point. Just keep walking, for all you know it could just be nighttime and when the sun rises the light may be closer than you thought.

 

Also remember strength comes in many different forms. If you're out there fighting your demons every day and kicking ass, that's great, you're so incredibly strong, but also recognize that there is so much strength in knowing when it's time to take a step back, take a day off of work, soak your feet in the tub, and watch nice fluffy movies in bed all day. You don't have to be fighting as hard as you can to be strong, you just have to be doing your best. And some days your best may be getting some extra sleep and taking care of yourself.

It's hard to believe it's been a year, most of it's been a blur. I feel like I've learned so much about myself and grown so much. In a weird way this has helped me piece together a few more pieces of the puzzle. I don't think I'd have gone to the doctor to find a therapist and I definitely wouldn't be looking for a second one right now because the first didn't work out. It's hard to find a silver lining because it still hurts so much sometimes, but I think about him and how proud he'd be and it's allowed me to take a step back and be proud of myself. Even on my worst days, I've accomplished so many things that I deserve to be proud of and that's something I've never really allowed myself to feel before. I love this community and this family more than words will ever say and I am forever grateful for all of you.

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Can't believe it's been a year. I still haven't healed from it. I don't think I ever will. Chester was a massive part of my life and there is nobody that can fill that gap for me.

Edited by Geki

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Well said. We miss you Chester.

 

I remember it like yesterday, checking my Twitter feed out of sheer boredom at work to find Mike's message. It didn't take very long to find out what he meant...

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One year of loosing the musician that has had the most impact/influence in my life ... I still cant believe he is gone, my mom passed away 2 months after chester and from there I've struggled to keep going. What keeps me going is all the emotion and passion he left on LP music (it gives me some meaning and some sort of comfort), I never get tired of hearing their songs and will never be.

 

On this day I celebrate the awesome person he was and everything he brought to my life, to all of us.

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I of course wrote this for the LP community, but I wrote something on my Instagram for my friends and people who might not quite get it still. I wrote about my own depression and my story briefly, and thanked some friends who helped me. Maybe you guys might want to do the same!

 

Here's my post, if you write something similar about your own struggle, feel free to tag me. I'd love to read it. https://www.instagram.com/p/BldyGvRn2Tt/

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I remember everything I did that day from going to bed at 5 a.m. and waking up at 3 pm, working out at 7 pm, and at 9 pm I got the news... I was fucking devastated. One of the worst days of my life but it taught me to never give up hope and to #MakeChesterProud.

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I don't think I've posted here since before Chester passed, but I read the site nearly every day in that time. It still feels surreal and as if he just took a break from the band and has not been seen in the public, but I accept his death and know that the band's future has completely changed.

 

I had a difficult few months following Chester's death, even if they weren't affected by it. But the strange silver lining is that the conversation about Mental Health has become more prevalent than ever. Watching the memorial concert in October really shows how many people he impacted throughout his career, both professionals and fans.

 

Even more, it really showed how Linkin Park's fanbase is one of the most compassionate in the world - caring for the band, Talinda, each other, and strangers across the world who share a love for some music. I'm glad to see that many people have gotten help in light of this tragedy and if anyone else is struggling, know you are loved like Chester is and there is always someone to reach out to for help.

 

Rest in peace, Chester.

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It's wild to think it's been a year already.

 

I was at work, and I think I first saw a report on Reddit. Immediately, I stopped what I was doing and tried to come here, then to LPA. Both were already completely wrecked by the time I saw the news, but because LPL seemed to still be up initially, I thought it was just a fake report. But then I went to Rolling Stone and saw that it was true, and I just...could barely function for the rest of the day.

 

I'd been drifting away from LP for a long time. Hadn't thought about going to shows, was only sort of interested in The Hunting Party, and when One More Light dropped, I found it strange and unengaging. Forgettable, even. But it's funny what tragedy can do to reframe how you look at art: suddenly, One More Light was devastating to listen to. The title track, of course, but also Sharp Edges, and especially Nobody Can Save Me. The true weight of those songs didn't hit me until I had an event to really use them to try and process.

 

I remembered thinking that it was just far, far too early for a band I grew up with to suddenly lose a member, to suddenly be gone. I especially never thought it would be Linkin Park - I thought the six of them would just go on forever, releasing an album every couple of years, content with their dedicated fanbase and free to explore any musical avenue they wanted. Whether I liked the albums or not, I thought they would always be there.

 

I was certain - absolutely, stone cold certain - that Linkin Park was finished. This was it. Now, while we haven't seen the path they'll end up taking - while the five of them process this in their own ways - I know that Linkin Park will continue, somehow, even if only for a little while. These guys won't go away, and it's something I'm glad for.

 

I've been in and out of this community over the years - this is the only LP forum I visit - and I've been very impressed with how the collective LP community has responded to tragedy, through support and love. The tribute concert was amazing, all the fan tributes I've seen have been so strong, so heartfelt. It makes me glad to be here, glad to be even a tiny part of this wonderful group.

 

Hope everyone is doing alright today. My inbox is open for whoever needs to talk.

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I deeply miss Chester I can't believe that I won't have a chance to see him live again.. Can't believe that he decided to do that... As a tribute i got a signature that he did on my Living Things CD tattoed on my leg.. I think about Chester every fucking day.

 

See you on the other side.

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I of course wrote this for the LP community, but I wrote something on my Instagram for my friends and people who might not quite get it still. I wrote about my own depression and my story briefly, and thanked some friends who helped me. Maybe you guys might want to do the same!

 

Here's my post, if you write something similar about your own struggle, feel free to tag me. I'd love to read it. https://www.instagram.com/p/BldyGvRn2Tt/

 

That was a touching post from you on Instagram. The reality is - we're all human and we all should be here for one another. Just like Chester says in Sharp Edges; ''We all fall down, We live somehow, We learn what doesn't kill us makes us stronger''. I have battled depression and I still am. I hope you're good Soul, and you have a lot of people you can reach out to if you ever need to.

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That was a touching post from you on Instagram. The reality is - we're all human and we all should be here for one another. Just like Chester says in Sharp Edges; ''We all fall down, We live somehow, We learn what doesn't kill us makes us stronger''. I have battled depression and I still am. I hope you're good Soul, and you have a lot of people you can reach out to if you ever need to.

 

Thanks brother. We're all here for you too, even if it doesn't seem like it. Hope you made it through the day okay, it's all up from here man!

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Friday was a roller-coaster, man. Kept thinking about Chester all day long, even when I was very, very busy. Kept mentally singing a lot some of the One More Light song, especially Nobody Can Save Me.

 

I miss knowing that Chester is doing something great for us. I miss you, man.

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haven't listened to OML since it's release given how bad the album was on my first listen, gave it another go to see if anything has changed. good grief is it a bad album, I actually thought that THP was pretty damn decent barring a few tracks and that the band was moving in a decent direction... but hot damn OML is really bad.

 

The main issue with a sound change is that you alienate a large portion of your 'old' fans in search of new ones. LP's sound change was gradual, all the albums after Meteora felt like a mixture of old and different, but OML was the fist album where they went all out different.

 

I was actually quite excited when they were talking about a more pop-like record as i like their slower songs, but what i got was some EDM/pop/rap fusion that sounds like garbage top40 overproduced trash. I just can't understand how these veterans, especially with how talented Mike is, could not muster anything more interesting and unique than this...

Edited by GraDoN

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