What is your synonym for a word “summer”? Is it a beach, the sun, the heat, the holidays, an ice cream or your childhood? Mine is probably the last one. Summer was always for me the time of long sunny days spent at my summer cottage.
At summer 2003, when I was a nine years old girl, I once came to my friend Christine, whose house was near my summer cottage. We started to discuss music (indeed, I was a music lover from very early) and she said that she has just discovered “the best band ever” – Linkin Park. I never heard about them before, so we put the CD, and it was Meteora. I could not describe how this album affected my mind already from the very first song. It was the love from the first seconds. All summer long we passed our days listening to Linkin Park. I was totally mad about them. I emphasize – TOTALLY MAD. I not simply had all their records on CD, cassettes, and DVD. I had their photographs literary everywhere. My most favorite topic to discuss was Linkin Park and how I am in love with their frontman – Chester Bennington. I could simply start a conversation with “hi, my name is Veronika, and I love Linkin Park and Chester”.
(I love Chester, from my diary, 2003)
The summer was gone, and so I went to the fourth grade. I continued to talk only about LP. No one in my class listened to them. Everyone looked at me as if I am strange, because at those times it was “right” to listen to Russian pop music or at least Eminem. I should admit that my parents didn’t endorsed my passion as well. I still remember a Christmas party with a DJ, when all my classmates asked for Фабрика, Корни, and Виа Гра, but I went and asked for the only LP song he had – In The End. I was waiting for it to play at least for an hour, and I was the only person at the whole dance floor dancing and singing. I still remember that moment, and even I was standing there alone, surrounded by the gaze of uncomprehending girls, I felt the power of music with all my body, I was fully with it, and completely HAPPY. I was only ten years old, but I felt the song with all my mind, body, and soul. This was one of the greatest music experiences in my life.
It was also the time when the Internet only appeared in my life. My first ever visited web page was…. linkinpark dot com, of course. My nicknames either included LP or Bennington in it. Holding the surname Bennington was, of course, my biggest dream. As well as being Chester’s wife. It may sound very funny now, 14 years later, but it is essential for this story. Coming back to the Internet, I also had my own LP page, made on popular platform then – narod.ru. My first ever blog on diary.ru was created on Chester’s birthday – 20th March 2004. I also had some stuff “like Chester does”, for example, similar black glasses and a similar green cloak.
Towards the beginning of the new grade my passion cooled down. On the same time a music video for “Numb/Encore” was released. And then every single person that misunderstood me started listening to LP. It was totally awful to me. Like, yesterday you laughed at me, and today you are adoring them. I slowly started listening to other music, but after LP it was only rock and alternative. Of course, indie and the stuff, but it’s another story.
In 2008 they visited my home town, Riga. It could be my childhood dream come true, but I really don’t remember why I didn’t attend the gig. I really do. In 2014 a friend offered me a ticket to their London gig, but due to several reasons I refused it. I truly believed I will have opportunity to see my childhood love in the near future. I must also confess I was less into their music after the fourth grade, however I always had some of their songs in my playlist.
20th July 2017 came with bitter news. I opened the Facebook app and with blurred eyes saw a title. I didn’t believe. My heart went crazy. My body was shacking. I opened Google, as the article was in some suspicious source. According to Wikipedia, he was still alive. However, reliable news sources 15 minutes ago published the news about… Chester’s suicide… I immediately ran to my mother and with tears in my eyes screamed, that Chester is dead. I truly cried that evening. We even put a candle for him.
Now it’s almost the third day without You. I am totally heartbroken about the loss. It is like loosing a very close friend to me.
When I try to imagine Chester hanging on the door, my eyes are full of tears.
With his incredible music Chester helped millions of people, especially teenagers. Many years after my madness Linkin Park and their music was among those things that helped me to overcome with the post break up.
Unfortunately, he was unable to help himself.
Depression is a very serious issue. I couldn’t imagine what was in the mind of this beautiful, incredibly talented and kind man that forced him to make such a terrible decision.
I hope you have finally found peace. We miss you endlessly.
This song is for you, because you were “so tired of being here”. You may not know it, but you are immortal – in our hearts and memories.
And finally… “These wounds they will not heal”.
Your fan and a friend,