Greetings and thank you for stopping by.
This is a tough one for me to write, and for many reasons. Suicide. One of those subjects that is not easy to face, accept, talk about, or understand. But it is. And it’s everywhere. It’s final. And leaves those of us left behind filled with questions, pain and a hole never to be filled. No closure. None.
Suicide is everywhere at epidemic proportions. It does not discriminate. The recent overwhelming press in Hollywood has been horrible, for sure. But it does bring something that is all too often silent, or taboo to talk about, on the forefront of conversation. Sometimes blessings come out of dark times. With Robin Williams, Anthony Bordein, Kate Spade, Chris Cornell, and my beloved Chester all being gone, suicide is in our faces They all chose the method of hanging, which to me is very disturbing. Each of them was in the best part of their lives according to those around them. To anyone onlookers, each of them appeared to have a perfect life. But each had demons hidden within that overtook everything. Mental Illness in varying forms. They seemingly just got tired. Tired of the fight. Tired of the struggle. My heart physically hurts thinking about all of this. Thinking that there are tens and hundreds and thousands and millions of souls out there that struggle. That don’t have that Hollywood life and financial security. That feel they don’t have that voice. It’s overwhelming. But the change has to start somewhere. There just has to be a way. I won’t take no for an answer. I believe in the kindness of people. And I believe we can make a change. Make a dent in the madness.
Chester Bennington. The goofy looking frontman of the band Linkin Park with far too many tattoos and one of the. most recognizable voices in music history. You read any interview, comment or publication about him and it was always positive. He did much philanthropic work, as did the band, and was described as the “nicest guy” ever met. He loved his fans, fittingly called the Linkin Park family, made time for them, reached out to them. He was married, had six children and was adored by his family. He was open and honest, ALL the time, Especially with the tough subjects. He drew no lines. He talked about it all. You can research any of the thousands and thousands of public interviews he did, and he spoke of his struggle with Mental Illness with candor, honesty and grit. He wrote about it, sang about it, talked about it.
Linkin Park. Broke records and had an International following that few bands have ever reached. I think I was such a fan because of the subject matter they continually wrote about and sang about. If you listen, a large majority of the band’s music is all about the struggle of Mental Illness. They somehow put words to what millions and millions felt every minute of every day. That, in itself, is remarkable. I believe this is the only band in my music junkie’s life, that I owned everything they put out. They gathered a worldwide following of misunderstood souls. Because, by listening to the lyrics of the majority of their music, they were connected. Someone understood. Someone “got it”. Profound.
Chester suffered with diagnosed and severe depressive disorder and anxiety. He openly admitted his music and the brotherhood with his band was his therapy at times and a rock solid support system.Over the years he sought professional therapy and was medicated. He struggled off and on, mostly off, with alcohol, which is very common as it dulls the pain. At the time of his death, his life was at an all time high. He was appropriately medicated and in control. The band had just released a new album and was one week away from starting an international tour. His interviews were positive. Disturbing is that two days before he ended his life, he was on vacation with his family. He returned early to do an interview, and took his life when the family was away.
This is what Depression looks like. Then 48 hours later? He was gone.
What is the answer? I’m not sure the actual act of suicide can be actually prevented. AT that deciding moment. After the journey has gotten that far. The actual physical act. I think it comes way before that. It sounds too simple, I’m sure, but it comes with having a voice. To using your voice. To quit being silent. To know the signs. To educate ourselves. To cross the line of being politically correct and bring it up! Ask! Support! Be Present! Get active with an organization! As bloggers, invite someone to guest on your blog. Provide a platform, give someone a bigger voice. Share their story. Learn.
Don’t be part of the problem, by scrolling past, by keeping quiet, by conveniently ignoring so you can pretend everything is ok. Remember, that love is a verb. It’s an action. Reach out. Send that text message. Write that letter. Ask that question. Keep inviting. Be present. BE THE CHANGE.
Chester Bennington. We never stood on the same carpet. But July 20, 2017 changed my life. I heard. I froze. I was one of those who took for granted he would keep making music and be around until hall of fame days. I could press play and hear his one of a kind voice and sing along to every word. And now he was gone. Forever. Just gone. I’m not sure I will ever truly get over this. As it makes no sense to my brain. He was just so…..Chester. Never to be replaced. I watched one of the last concerts he ever performed, it was in Germany, just a few weeks before he was gone, every night on my ipad for six months. No joke. I cannot even explain now why I did that. If you ask me, I couldn’t honestly answer.
I’m not sure that I have done this whole post justice as I sit here with warm tears dripping down my cheeks. But I can tell you this. Because of this, and many like him, I have become a better person. I have stopped being silent. I have found my voice. And I am committed. I am the change. And you should be too.
This is a journey. For all of us. Suicide is at an all time high. For all age groups, genders, races. One in four. One in FOUR. We all know four people. It is with my sincerest of heart that anyone that is reading this, will keep that number tattoo’d on your brain. FOUR. One in FOUR. We all know more than four people. BE THE CHANGE.
One of Linkin Park’s final songs both written and performed, kind of sums it up for me:
If they say who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars – it flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are, we’re quicker….quicker.
Who cares if one more light goes out?
It is with a heavy heart that I sign off on this one. And from my heart to yours, thank you so much if your eyes have read this far. I appreciate you.
I really need some comments on this one folks, please share.
Until next time…….be kind……always,