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How Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda Wants You to Honor Chester Bennington

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When someone dies by suicide, honoring them can be complicated. While we don’t want to glorifying how they died, those who kill themselves deserve to be remembered just like anyone else.

That’s why it’s important that Linkin Park band member Mike Shinoda is helping fans remember Chester Bennington, who died by suicide last month, in a way that encourages them to take care of themselves. Borrowing the idea from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, whose husband died unexpectedly in 2015, Shinoda created the hashtag #MakeChesterProud, and asked his Twitter followers to remember Bennington by being kind and generous to others.

Fans have been tweeting different ways they are “making Chester proud,” including taking care of their own mental health.

People are also making donations to Bennington’s and Shinoda’s charity, Music for Relief, which has started a One More Light fund in Bennington’s honor. Music for Relief is also currently collecting donations for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

This week, Shinoda’s wife, Anna Shinoda, published a blog reflecting on her own mental health. She said she admired Bennington for being so open about his struggles with mental illness and addiction in interviews, and his honesty inspired her to share a bit of her own story. She wrote:

Chester worked hard. He worked hard to be sober. He worked hard for happiness. I am eternally grateful for the years that were given to us because of the work he put in. We will never know what was happening in his final moments, but we do know that the only thing to blame is disease: addiction and mental illness.

Find a way that works for your brain.  Dedicate yourself to working towards mental health.  Most likely, it will not be a destination, but an on-going journey. This is okay. The important thing is that you are on the journey and putting in the work, one moment at a time. Slips can happen. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Admit it and get back on the path. Accept help. Be compassionate with yourself.

Although it can be hard to know what to do after someone dies by suicide, the worst thing we can do is stay silent. We’re proud of Mike and Anna Shinoda for keeping up the conversation — what will you do to make Chester proud?

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 text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

Lead photo via Linkin Park’s Facebook page

Originally published: August 29, 2017
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