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Why Chester Bennington's Real Legacy Isn't His Suicide

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.

I am so deeply moved by music; I always have been. I guess this comes as a blessing and curse. I am grateful how I am able to feel so much, and at times scared knowing how strongly a song can impact and swallow my mind whole.

With that being said, Linkin Park has always been a band I could turn to growing up and in my adult life, where I felt a little less heavy-hearted going into a depressive episode. Being able to find so many experiences and emotions wrapped in a song is a beautiful, powerful thing.

I feel incredibly lucky to be alive at the same time Chester Bennington was, and to be able to live my experiences, along with his own, through his music. This man truly is my hero — to be able to speak so openly about his own life, in order to make someone else out there feel a little less alone. An advocate for mental health. An amazing leader. This is what I aspire to be.

Since Chester Bennington’s death, I have heard and read numerous things, from “He sings about suicide prevention, but then commits (sic) suicide?” to “How selfish, he had a family.” I’m not foolish enough to think this post will change anyone’s perspective, but hopefully, you’ll think twice.

This man was so devoted to advocating for mental health and suicide prevention that he poured it out in almost everything he did. That is this man’s legacy. No matter what the cause of death, nothing will ever be able to take away what this man accomplished and stood for. In no way was he selfish; sometimes, the demons in your mind are louder than other days. I’m sure this was one of those moments.

So please, honor this man with what he deserves, and remember to carry on his legacy of advocating not only for mental health, but for one another. Be a friend to someone. Listen.

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, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

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Image via Linkin Park Facebook page.