In The End

Suicide is painful. A family is left without a loved one. A void is left by a person whose brain would not allow them to feel the love the world had for them. The brain can make it extremely difficult to deal with life. Addiction only fuels that pain to unspeakable heights. It doesn’t matter what a person appears to have going for them. Money, fame and family don’t always make the pain go away.

After my Dad passed away I felt a pain I didn’t understand and did not know how to control. Life felt so numb. Things that I found joy in previously felt laborious and pointless. I felt like I was a burden to the people I loved. Nothing could take away the pain. Like a lot of people who feel a pain they don’t understand, I found brief periods of solace through self-medication. I figured if life was going to be filled with a pain I couldn’t control, at least I could numb it at times.

Music was another saving grace. Two albums by one band in particular helped. I found myself playing Linkin Park’s albums Hybrid Theory and Meteora as loud as I could stand for hours at a time. The band had two singers. One was more hip hop, which was familiar for me. The other, Chester Bennington, had a voice graced by God and touched by the devil. His lyrics told a story of demons that had clearly tormented his life. The power and controlled chaos of his voice stirred a visceral reaction that just made you feel pure emotion for 3 minutes at a time through each song. When you can’t find the source of what is dragging you down, just feeling something feels so damn good.

I was lucky. I started to find the motivation to take small steps toward moving past the pain. i started to talk to people about it. I eventually found the other side of it. I am better because I experienced that pain. I can empathize with others who are feeling it. It never goes away completely, but I can usually catch it before it takes over.

This week I learned Chester Bennington lost the battle with his demons. He is survived by six kids and a wife who are feeling a loss I can’t imagine. My heart goes out to them first and foremost. But when I heard, part of me did think ‘what if.’ What if I did take a wrong turn at some point. Could I have felt as helpless as he did. Would I have felt that if I hadn’t found those two albums? His ability to bring his pain to life through my headphones definitely had a huge impact on me.

Thank you Chester. Thank you for your energy, your voice and your courage to put your pain on display for the world to see and hear. I’m sure I’m not the only that has been moved by that voice. That voice will continue to move those that don’t know what the next step is in life.

I tried so hard/And got so far/But in the end/It doesn’t even matter/I had to fall/To lose it all/But in the end/It doesn’t even matter — In The End Chester Bennington

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