I may anger some with my opinion here, but I’ve read a lot of comments about the passing of Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, accusing him of being a coward for killing himself and leaving his family (including six children from two wives) behind. And one thing that occurred to me was, why is it selfish or cowardly to want the pain to end when you’ve suffered from depression your entire life?! Who says he never sought help or tried his hardest to conquer feelings of hopelessness or self-loathing?! The first reaction people invariably have when someone kills themselves is anger. But if you’ve ever suffered depression yourself or know someone who has; or known someone who has committed suicide (or attempted it) you know that they’re not in their right minds. They’re in such a state of pain and hopelessness that they just want it to end. They’re not thinking of their families or friends. That’s not selfishness, that’s legitimate mental illness. And how is it selfish to want to die? Isn’t it selfish of a sufferer’s family to want them to continue on in that state? To know that they’ve felt like this for long time, perhaps years or decades, and despite help, they haven’t managed to keep their head above water? Personally I think it’s more selfish to expect that person to keep going in a world they can’t understand or take, just because you’d be in pain if they left. Just my opinion, sue me.
I was a Linkin Park fan during the ’90’s and still occasionally listen to their two best albums, Hybrid Theory and Meteora. I think many of their songs speak to what may have been going on in Chester’s head. It’s all so much more poignant now when you listen to their songs because so many are about pain, despair, mental illness, relationship breakdown, paranoia etc. I’ve heard that he was friends with Chris Cornell and that the Soundgarden vocalist’s death affected him deeply – so much so that Chester ended his life on what would have been Chris’s 53rd birthday. Two deeply scarred souls; two incredible talents lost to this shit-stain of a world. All I can say is, at times, I can’t really blame them.