The lyrics of “Numb” keep playing on a loop in my head as the voice of an entire generation passes away. Our generation pretty much grew up hearing Linkin Park. In all probability, no other music group has influenced rock music and the spirits of billions quite like Linkin Park did in the 21st century.

Their lyrics begged us to hold on, to survive, to fight. It dealt with everyday experiences that you and I have to face. It wouldn’t be hyperbole to comment that Chester was the one influence in metamorphosing me and millions of others to be our true selves by finding existence in the primordial soup of mediocrity.

TMZ first reported the news that Linkin Park’s frontman and vocal beast, Chester Bennington had committed suicide on July 20 and claimed that the information was backed by law enforcement sources. His body was discovered in the morning at his Los Angeles County home after he apparently hanged himself.

Another key member of the band and longtime friend, Mike Shinoda took to Twitter to confirm the news and expressed his grief saying that he was “shocked and heartbroken, but it was true.”

Was he 'standing in the wake of devastation and waiting on the edge of the unknown?'

While there has been no official remark about the reasons that led the rock star to choose this path, various reasons and causes have been speculated:

  • Struggle with alcoholism and drug abuse and ultimate survival: Chester has had a tumultuous history with alcoholism and substance abuse, including marijuana, cocaine, LSD, and methamphetamine. He eventually got over this and has denounced drug addiction and usage in interviews and events.
  • Chapters with physical abuse: Chester revealed in an interview that he was sexually abused when he was seven years old. He pretty much kept this to himself out of embarrassment and fear and continued to suffer until the age of 13. During this period, he felt a strong negative impulse - the urge to kill people and run away.
  • The tragic loss of a close friend and mentor: The lead singer of the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, Chris Cornell was a very close friend of Chester. Chester was also the godfather of Chris’ son. Cornell killed himself this past May by hanging himself and I do not think it is a coincidence that Chester took his life the same way on what would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday. Chester performed “Hallelujah” during Cornell’s funeral and Mike Shinoda revealed that Chester was deeply impacted by his friends’ absence.

We have become so numb, we can’t feel you there, Chester

Chester’s recent demise brings forward the issue of depression and mental illness to the surface.

Whilst society continues to dismiss this as nothing gravely serious, depression’s a real killer. If it can kill Robin Williams, Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington, it’s pretty damn real. In the end, what’s truly sad is that Chester and Linkin Park saved all of us with their timeless classics at some point in our lives and then he went out the way we would have if we hadn’t heard his music.

Rest in peace, Chester Bennington!

Oh and, Chester was wrong. In the end, it does matter. He mattered to all of us. And Chester will live on through countless people whose lives he so gloriously touched and influenced.

Thank you for everything, Chester.