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You’re still alive in our hearts, Chester

You’re still alive in our hearts, Chester

It’s been five years since the world lost a rock icon, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. He may be gone but his legacy lives on in many people’s hearts.

Looking back, it still feels surreal to find out the news about his tragic suicide. I was in class and was about to submit my short story to my Literature teacher. When I was about to pass my paper to her, she checked her phone and gave a woeful whisper about Chester’s death. Thought I only misheard something so I asked her. Turns out she’s also a fan and clarified that I heard it correctly. The man who I’ve been listening to growing up took his life.

You’re still alive in our hearts, Chester

I’ll be sorry for now that I couldn’t be around

At that time, I had been listening for weeks to their latest album, “One More Light.” Months before that, my classmate gave me a complete discography of Linkin Park from 1996 to 2012. It has its unreleased songs, encores, posters, behind the scene photos, and a few live performances in Europe and US.

Every day I felt alive with their music. It’s my heartbeat that keeps me occupied during long commutes, makes cold showers bearable, and helps me go to sleep. Linkin Park has a song in my every mood.

Why is everything so heavy?

That’s why on his death, it felt like I skipped a few beats. It was hard to listen to some of their songs, especially the latest ones. Their “One More Light” album may be their oddest era but it also sounds like Chester’s final words.

Most of the songs in this album tackle themes about lost loved ones and sending a message to them, and battling personal problems.

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The song titles sound like an entire story of someone about to end it. Starting with “Talking to Myself” referring to Bennington. Thinking about life lessons and regrets in “Sharp Edges” and “Halfway Right.”  He told how he’s dealing with it his problems in “Heavy” then followed by “Nobody Can Save Me.”

If only we’d seen this coming, if only we helped him, there could have been one more light in the sky of a million stars.

The hardest part of ending is starting again

Chester may have taken his own life, but he saved mine through his music. He reminds me that I’m loved in “The Messenger.” He said that he cares and my life has value in “One More Light.” He said to let go of sadness and frustration in “Iridescent.” He said that the weight I’m holding will give me strength one day in “Robot Boy.” There are many lines in many of their songs that always tells me what I need at the right time, at the right place.

Thank you, Chester.

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