Chester Bennington, best known as the lead singer of Linkin Park (he was the singer, not the rapper) has reportedly committed suicide at the age of 41. Bennington was the Godfather to one of the late Chris Cornell’s children and coincidentally (or perhaps not?) ended up not only committing suicide the same way that Cornell did (by hanging) but also on what would’ve been Cornell’s 53rd birthday. Bennington’s music often talked about his struggles with both depression and substance abuse, and he was also reportedly molested as a child, all things that could’ve contributed to the death of the hyper-talented singer.
Linkin Park released it’s sixth number one album back in March of this year and was set to go on tour next week. Bennington performed at Cornell’s funeral, singing the famous song Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. You can watch him and Linkin Park perform One More Light (During which Bennington looks extremely pained) on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show the day after Cornell’s death here:
Many celebrities responded to his death on social media including his bandmate and fellow lead “singer” of Linkin Park Mike Shinoda, Jimmy Kimmel, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Joss Whedon and more…
Obviously this is a huge loss to the music industry, but more importantly, it’s a huge loss to Bennington’s family. He was the father of six children and they will now grow up without a father. Suicide is often referred to as “a permanent solution to a temporary problem” and that really doesn’t take into account the feelings of the person who died. Unless medically corrected, depression isn’t a temporary problem, it’s clearly a problem that plagues certain people for their entire lives. Sometimes medication doesn’t work to correct the issue and occasionally can even make it worse. Medication can also perhaps correct it but cause a lot of side effects, one of which is aggression and/or thoughts of suicide. So, before people start throwing around lazy platitudes like the above, take into account that for the person who is killing themselves, the thought of living into the future becomes too much to bear. If it were as simple as it being a “temporary problem” people literally wouldn’t kill themselves. It’s the fact that it seems like (and in a lot/most cases it is permanent) a permanent problem with only one solution that causes a lot of these suicides.
There seems to be a lot of ignorance on the subject of mental health and a gigantic lack of empathy (Bennington’s suicide, like many before him, is causing people to insult him for being “selfish”) these days and it’s really just excarbating the problem. People with mental health issues often believe (perhaps correctly, considering) that people don’t care about them and when they read things like “Selfish, good riddance!” online after the death of a famous person (i.e.: “If people didn’t care when famous person X died, why would they care if I did?”). The other typical response is the most ignorant, which is something along the lines of “He had millions of dollars, a mansion, etc. What could he possibly be depressed about?”. The better way to frame that would be, considering he had millions of dollars, a fancy house, and adoring fans, how terrible must he have been feeling to end his “perfect” life? Once you look at it that way you start to understand why these things happen and maybe, just maybe you’ll prevent someone else from doing the same in the future.