Farewell, Chazzy - A Letter to Chester Bennington

Thank you, Chazzy Chaz.

A man as amazing as Chester Charles Bennington deserves a massive thank you. When Chris Cornell passed away in May, Chester wrote a farewell letter for his friend. I decided to do the same.

Dear Chester,

    This letter, even though you will never see it, is a thank you letter.

    When I saw the news today of your death, my world turned upside down. I was shaking, crying, barely able to breathe. I was so shocked to see your name in a headline alongside the words “Dead” and “Suicide”. I didn’t believe I for a while, because I’d also seen the article about your death being a hoax, but then I saw Mike’s tweet, and the news stories on NY Times and Washington Post, and I realized - it was true. My greatest inspiration was gone.

    I can’t really pinpoint when you became such an inspiration to me. I started listening to Linkin Park when I was in seventh or eighth grade, after my mom put the Twilight soundtrack on my iPod shuffle and I heard Leave Out All the Rest. LOATR soon became my favorite song, and it still is six years later. I started listening to LP religiously after Living Things came out. I fell in love with the raw emotions of Meteora, and the clean energy of Living Things; the eager buzz of Hybrid Theory and the simple but true sound of Minutes to Midnight. A Thousand Suns completely blew my mind.

    As I started to learn more about the band, I also learned more about you. I found out that you had a rough life growing up, struggling with sexual abuse as a kid, and drugs and alcohol as a teen and young adult. Depression tormented you your whole life. But you drew strength from those experiences, and became this amazing badass with a big heart who would do anything for his friends and family. You didn’t stop shows because of a broken arm, or cancel tours because a spider bit you in the ass, and even when you did have to end a tour because of a broken leg, you came right back as soon as you were able to give us the show we’d been waiting for.

    You never failed to show your love for your fans, your family, or your fellow band members and musicians, and we all noticed and loved that.

    I admired your dedication to the people around you, and how tough you always were, and how you stayed so strong and kept such a big smile on your face. Your amazing singing voice kept me going through the standard teenage angst phase that is high school.

    

    For a long time, a huge dream of mine has been to see Linkin Park live, to see you and Mike and Brad and Phoenix and Rob and Joe on stage, playing all of my favorite songs. An even bigger but less likely dream was to actually meet you, hug you, and say, “Thank you.”

    It breaks my heart to realize that now, that will never happen. You’re gone. Your beautiful voice can now only be heard in recordings, your grin now only seen in videos and photographs.

    I still can’t fully believe that you’re gone.

    And even though your death was one that seems to leave no hope, you still are and always will be an inspiration to me.

 

    Thank you, Chester.

    I know that you will never see this, but thank you.

 

                                Rock on forever,

                                          Sky

 

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