Rest in Peace, Chester Bennington


Chester Bennington | © Yulia Grigoryeva |

I'm dancing with my demons
I'm hanging off the edge
Storm clouds gather beneath me
Waves break above my head
You tell me it's alright
Tell me I'm forgiven tonight
But nobody can save me now
—Linkin Park, "Nobody Can Save Me"

Linkin Park and I always had a strange relationship. It was sort of this on again-off again thing. That's happened before with a few bands where our timing was just never right; eventually, the relationship flatlines and I hardly remember it existed. With Linkin Park, I always came back, but I was perpetually behind, oddly out of sync. I would find out they released an album months earlier or I would put off buying an album because of other priorities.

I was determined that one day I would change this. Of course I would have time. It's not like the LP was going anywhere. They'd been around this long. They were here to stay. Then when Chester died, I was stunned. I ran out of chances to be a good fan and that just felt wrong.

Adding to the hurt, Linkin Park had just come out with One More Light back in May. True to form, I misremembered the release date, thinking it was supposed to be July for some reason. I lost two good months of enjoying what would soon turn to tragedy, though I did listen to "Battle Symphony" on Spotify over and over.

Blood on the floor
Sirens repeat
I've been searching for the courage
To face my enemies
I hear my battle symphony
All the world in front of me
If my armor breaks
I'll fuse it back together
—Linkin Park, "Battle Symphony"

As of my original draft of this post, it had been only a week since we lost him. It was another week before I bought One More Light. Then another before I listened, afraid to hear these last precious notes of an album with some heavy, prescient song names. Three weeks to the day now. Not long enough to keep from welling up with tears during a number of these songs. There's a depth of emotion that was ever-present in Chester's voice and all of Linkin Park's best, and the sadness that hit me today while getting to know this sweet goodbye made me feel more connected than ever to the lyrics.

Who cares if one more light goes out
In the sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone's time runs out
If a moment is all we are
Or quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out
Well, I do
—Linkin Park, "One More Light"

Rest in peace, friend who I knew only through music and lyrics. I hope there's no more sorrow for you. You touched so many lives, and I'm sure that you played a big part in saving mine 17 years ago with Hybrid Theory. But that's a story only for me.


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