Why I Almost Didn’t Write About Chester Bennington

If you’ve been on any form of social media, you’ve no doubt heard that lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, passed away on July 20, 2017. He killed himself, reports say by hanging.

As with many celebrity deaths, the news spread faster than a fire on a gasoline trail. Reactions have been all over the board. The BBC, CNN, Reddit, Billboard.com, and most every major news source has written about and reacted to the news. People from these sites to my own Facebook are expressing sincere grief. They are also sharing horrible memes at the expense of the suicide in the name of a joke. And, in reaction to these memes, people have been calling for everyone to come together in understanding and sympathy for the family survived by Bennington.

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There is an appalling backlash at celebrity death, especially when the circumstances surrounding the death are taboo and shocking. What is there left to say? What could I possibly add that hasn’t been said?

But then it hit me – talking about his suicide isn’t about adding another voice to the pile in hopes to be heard. It’s about working out my own feelings with the tragedy, and my own feelings to how others are reacting to the event.

Let’s make one thing unambiguously clear – if you’re a person making fun of this suicide, than fuck right off. I understand the art of counter-culture and subversive humor, but here is a place where I don’t protect your cheekiness. If you want to grieve, okay. If you want to be edgy, okay, but do it somewhere else, man. You wouldn’t walk into a funeral and post pictures of the band “Suicide Silence” with Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington’s faces photoshopped onto bodies of the band. Your moment of cleverness is not worth tormenting those who are actually in pain, so, get a life.

Secondly, that band meant a lot to a lot of people. Just because you don’t care for Linkin Park doesn’t give you the right to negate someone else’s connection to them. I’m getting real sick of metal heads checkin’ metal cards of people who let music fill them with empowerment.

I have lost someone close to suicide. The process of healing thereafter is different for everyone, and is a long road to walk.  Suicide is committed by someone who is mentally ill. There could be a whole array of reasons for the mental illness such as bi-polar or drug abuse. Our opportunity as fellow humans is not to necessarily cure those suffering or to counsel those who are hurting, but it is to get them the help they need. It is our job to love one another, and be good to one another as civilized human beings.

The signs of depression are acute and vague, sudden and quietly-lingering. Be aware, take it seriously, and maybe you can save a life.

If you are hurting, I am so, so sorry. If you wanna talk about it, I’m here. If you wanna hate on it, go somewhere else.

Let me remind you that while some are taking Bennington’s death as a harrowing reminder that life is precious, others may view it as inspirational. I hate to sound preechy, it’s not my M.O. But I’m simply exhausted by the fray of reactions. Let people be sad, please, or work through this however they need to. Stop with the hate.

Call (1-800 273 8255) – National Suicide Prevention

Text (741741) – Crisis Text Line


If you are not okay, that’s okay.

With the utmost love,


By kallerna (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

One comment to “Why I Almost Didn’t Write About Chester Bennington”
  1. It won’t be long before common decency makes a comeback. Until then those insensitive assholes should expect some karma coming their way.

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