I’m dancing with my demons,
I’m hanging off the edge.
Storm clouds gather beneath me,
Waves break above my head.
Lyrics to “Nobody Can Save Me” from the album “One More Light”
It’s been one month since the news of Chester Bennington’s suicide broke. I knew I wouldn’t be in a suitable frame of mind to blog a week or so after his passing, so it took until now to write this. Doing this helps me process my grief and I thought I’d take some time to explain why his death impacts me so.
I tried so hard and got so far,
but in the end it doesn’t even matter.
Lyrics to “In The End” from the album “Hybrid Theory”
I was enchanted by their very first song when I heard it (probably on radio), in 2000. Like someone online said, it was like nothing I’ve ever heard before, and it resonated deep within me.
When I saw their video, I was sold. I then saved up what little pocket money I had, and went to the (now defunct) record shop at a corner of Coronation Plaza to purchase my very first album, Hybrid Theory.
It was a little jarring to listen to it, because the rest of the songs were more hard rock compared to In The End, but I didn’t care. I studied the lyrics and listened to the album over and over again.
I’ve become so numb,
I can’t feel you there,
become so tired,
so much more aware,
I’m becoming this,
all I want to do,
is be more like me,
and be less like you.
Lyrics from “Numb” from the album “Meteora”
I won their second album from the radio station Power 98 many years back for being the first to call in when their song was played. I hadn’t heard a single song from that record, but the electric guitar riff they had was so distinctive, I knew it had to be them the second the song played.
It was an absolutely delightful album.
I quickly fell in love with “Somewhere I Belong” and “Numb” – these songs were the background tracks to my tumultuous teenage years.
Chester gave me the words I couldn’t articulate and listening to the album made things just a tiny bit more bearable.
And the shadow of the day,
will embrace the world in grey,
and the sun will set for you.
Lyrics to “Shadow of the Day” from the album “Minutes to Midnight”
Knowing someone for 17 years is a long time. Longer than some of my friendships with my closest buddies. Although he never was my celebrity crush, I feel a strange affinity with him. So much so that when I learnt about his death, I was in a state of shock.
Here was a successful musician, that in spite of all he had, felt so much pain that he had to erase his existence.
And the global outpouring that ensued just made me realise that people do care.
Though I am no superstar, knowing that people would mourn my death would probably be why I would hesitate to take my own life, just like he did, even though life can get pretty tough at times.
I think it will take a while more till I properly process my grief, but in the meantime, I know I am in good company with the millions of fans out there.