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Why I Couldn't Finish Watching the Chester Bennington Tribute Concert

Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

On October 27th, Linkin Park gathered together at the Hollywood Bowl in California with many of their close friends to sing on stage in memory of their frontman, the late Chester Bennington. As special as this event was, I couldn’t bring myself to finish watching it, not because it wasn’t good, but because it was heartbreaking to watch all of these incredible singers sing the same words that Chester had brought to life with his powerful voice.

I grew up listening to Linkin Park and at a young age, I found myself relating to the lyrics. As I grew up, I continued to listen to every single they released and I would play their albums on repeat. And no matter what, I always found myself relating to every single word he sung. It was like I knew him on a personal level, and it felt like he knew me too. Three months have passed and I’m still not OK knowing he’s gone — even though I didn’t even know him.

When I read the news my heart sunk, and part of the reason was because I felt helpless. I wish I could have saved him. From someone who struggles with suicidal ideation (as well as many other mental illnesses), I also felt conflicted inside. How could I continue living knowing he no longer could? I never once thought of what he did as selfish, and I hated seeing people saying that he was, but I did feel regret for knowing that he was struggling inside but I couldn’t help. His lyrics felt like the words to his soul, and his voice seemed to help set his emotions free. He sang with passion and he was amazing for sharing that side of himself with his fans.

So many connected with him personally. If you go on any social media platform, you’re bound to find countless stories of how he helped people cope and how he saved their lives. My generation needed his voice. We needed to know we weren’t alone and we needed to know we mattered. He gave a voice to those of us who were too scared to believe what we felt was real.

Although I never got the pleasure of meeting him, I will cherish every word he sang and I will never give up my fight. I will continue to do my part to end the stigma and help bring more attention to a horrible and misunderstood mental illness.

Chester needs to be remembered as the person who helped everyone know it’s OK to be who you are and to never change no matter what. He’s helped so many. Let’s make sure we make him proud by spreading his message and saving many more lives.

Don’t give up.

If they say,
“Who cares if one more light goes out?”
In a sky of a million stars,
It flickers, flickers.
“Who cares when someone’s time runs out?”
If a moment is all we are,
We’re quicker, quicker.
“Who cares if one more light goes out?”
Well I do.

“One More Light” — Linkin Park

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Photo via Mike Shinoda Instagram