R. I. P. Chester Charles Bennington

Chester Bennington

I was in the backseat of my mother’s car, borrowing my brother’s iPod when piano notes began playing, before erupting into an explosion of rapping, singing, and screaming.  “In the End” was my first introduction to Linkin Park, and the beginning to my life as a Soldier, as the fanbase calls themselves.

Throughout middle school, I constantly found myself in Walmart’s CD section, which always had the edited versions of CDs, much to my parents’ relief, and was about four times the size that it is today.  I would carefully select the next Linkin Park CD that would be on repeat for the rest of my life.

Fan art of Chester Charles Bennington 1976-2017 Created by Instagram user @aerintallulah

When I was having a bad day and needed someone to speak what’s on my mind far better than I ever could, I constantly turned to Chester Charles Bennington and Mike Shinoda.  Like so many other Soldiers would agree, Chester and Mike had, in a way, become two of my best friends.

So as I sat in between presentations at my college orientation, scrolling through Facebook, and seeing the top five posts on my feed being about Chester’s death, I was heartbroken.  Chester had meant so much to so many of us and had helped all of us through our own struggles, and to think that we could not help him in the same way was the most devastating part.

Chester hung himself from his bedroom door, and was found on Thursday July 20, 2017 around 9am.  Coincidentally, that would have been Chris Cornell’s 53rd birthday – a close friend of Chester’s, who committed suicide by hanging in May 2017.

Most people have a hard time discussing the fact that mental health is more of a disease.  People think that you can just stop being depressed, but it is like cancer — it doesn’t stop on command.  You can treat it, but sometimes, the battle is lost.  This does not make Chester a war hero, nor does it make him a coward.

“When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I’ve done
Help me leave behind some
Reasons to be missed
And don’t resent me
And when you’re feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest”

– “Leave Out All the Rest” by Linkin Park

Fans across the world have been sharing memories of them meeting Chester, and the impact Linkin Park had on them.



One week since Chester’s death, Mike Shinoda tweeted his grief, thanks, and resources where you or a friend can get help, if need be:

Rest in Peace Charles Chester Bennington.  You will be missed, but always remembered.

If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out and get help.  No problem is too small or too big.

Suicide Prevention Hotline (available 24 hours): 1-800-273-8255

Aerin Wagner

Queen of the Living

Just another broke college Queen trying to navigate the world of the living.

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