Thursday Chester Bennington took his own life and I cried like a baby.
From the day I was born, I was exposed to music. My mom found that her colicky newborn calmed down when she turned on the radio. Now mind you, it wasn’t just any kind of music that calmed this cranky pot down….it was the local Phoenix AM rock station in 1965.
Our house was always filled with music. I didn’t just listen to rock-n-roll, but country, blues, classical, gospel, (ack) disco, and whatever was played on Lawrence Welk! When I was seven, I started piano lessons. I continued until I was 16, and WAY too cool for tinkling the ivories!
I have seen too many concerts to count. I have seen over 30 Broadway musicals between living in LA and Phoenix. In my MUCH younger days, I used to mosh, do the hustle, and even slam dance.
To top it all off, I am a music savant. I can hear a song one time and remember the lyrics forever. This is a great gift and a curse at the same time. As I type this, I can pull up Disco Duck, The Streak, and The Macarena (in both English and Spanish).
Music has gotten me through the worst of times and the best of times.
I passed my love for music on to my daughter Christina. She is my concert and Broadway musical buddy. Her music tastes are just as eclectic as her mama.
Both my daughter and I loved Linkin Park. Chester was a hometown Phoenix boy. Their lyrics were powerful and spoke to the pain that happened in both of our lives. Three years ago, we were finally able to see Linkin Park in concert.
I am sad because Linkin Park has been silenced. More than that, I am devastated because Chester Bennington took his own life. I am overwhelmed with the thought that things were so bad for him that he had to remove himself from his family, friends, and the world.
I understand paralyzing depression. I understand the lasting effects of bullying. I understand the devastation of sexual assault. I understand being different. I know what it’s like to feel the world crashing all around you. But….there’s always been a little seed of hope I could cling to.
If there’s anyone out there who has felt this way and have considered ending it all, PLEASE instant message me. Reach out to someone you trust. Call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Suicide is not the answer. Your life is worth living.