AltWire contributor Samantha Warren discusses the recent death of Chester Bennington and mental illness.
When you go to shows, you have one thing in common with the strangers standing around you. You know the lyrics, you buy merchandise, and you have one common goal. It’s to sing along to the band that’s standing right in front of you. One way or another, that band made an impact on your life, and that’s why you spend money on concert tickets. You spend money on merch, and sometimes you even travel the miles to see them in person.
We lost Chester Bennington almost two weeks ago now, and it was a loss that affected millions of people from the fans, music industry personnel, and artists alike. Over the past two weeks I’ve gone to several shows, and each band/ artist that I’ve seen took the time to make a special tribute to Chester, and to their own fans to re-assure them that help and hope is out there. We all struggle, but we can get through it to.
I think one of the most important things that this taught us is that someone’s life can seem perfect on the outside, but they’re struggling on the inside and fighting to survive each and every day. Never underestimate someone and their daily struggle. Depression is a nasty battle that can drain the life out of you, but somehow you find a way to get through another day.
A lot of times music is that outlet. Music is the release for people. Music is the reasons someone’s heart could be beating. If you see someone with lyrics inked on their body, there’s a reason. It’s not just “another dumb mistake” someone made to mark their body. Those lyrics made an impact on that person’s life, and they want that reminder that when things get dark, those words pulled them through the light. If it helped them once, it can help them again. It’s that constant reminder that they can get through anything.
If you’re struggling, keep doing what you love. Go to shows. Sing your heart out. Find your release. Meet your favorite band members after the show. Tell them what impact their music has had on you and on your life.
Out of all of the statements I’ve seen… this is the one that hits home for me was from Alt Press, “We are the kids that regret the scars on our bodies, but cover them with art to remind us to never go back to that place. We are the kids that grew up hurting and turned that pain into music that touches the heart of millions. ”
If you ever feel alone; reach out to someone. Help is real, and so is hope. Recovery is always possible. Be there for each other today, and every day. But mostly in the upcoming days as we mourn the loss of a man who changed the music industry and touched the hearts of millions.
Music is powerful. Chester will always be a legend. Rest easy.