R.I.P., Chester

It’s nighttime, and I’m in my cousin’s car. My cousin, Ate, is driving her sisters and me from our relatives’ party to their house. On the stereo plays this catchy but angry song. It has rap and screaming at the same time- I’ve never heard anything like it. My cousin, Tfluu is sitting in the front seat and banging on the car roof when the verses, One Thing/I Don’t Know Why/ It doesn’t even matter how hard you try/, comes. When the song ends, she would play the song on repeat and bang her hands on the roof again.

This is my earliest memory of Chester Bennington and Linkin Park.

I was in sixth grade.

When I heard Chester Bennington died, I was in disbelief. It had to be a hoax. How can the lead singer of one of the biggest bands die? They were on tour; it would jeopardize it!

Then the R.I.P’s on my social media feeds started coming and so did the news outlets.

Reality hit.

Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, is dead.

DEAD!

I listened to Linkin Park during my teenage years. Here are some of their songs that have relieved and guided me. These songs are:

Numb

Album: Meteora

Released: 2003

I think all or many teenagers related to the lyrics of this song when it was released. The song starts with the exasperated lines I’m tired of being what you want me to be/Feeling so faithless/lost under the surface/I don’t know what you’re expecting of me. Anyone can relate to that feeling of just being frustrated at the expectations of parents, school, culture, community, etc. When the song was released, it hit me hard in the gut. I had loving, but overbearing parents who wanted the best for me. They had advice they wanted me to follow, but it wasn’t necessarily the smartest. The more they gave their advice, the more I pushed back. I’d listen to the song on repeat because, like many others, it made me realize that I wasn’t alone in my plight.

 

Crawling

Album: Hybrid Theory

Released: 2000

I’ve heard from many sources, including Mr. Squigglekins, that Crawling is about drug use. Even if that’s what the song is about, I interpret Crawling as dealing with insecurity. The lyrics, Crawling in my skin/These wounds they will not heal/Fear is how I fall/Confusing what is real, characterized my anxiety and insecurity in my teenage years. It suffocated me, and I felt constantly lost. Listening to this song helped me relieve my overbearing emotions, even it was temporary.

Somewhere I Belong

Album: Meteora

Released: 2003

Somewhere I Belong was cathartic because it spoke about the inability to fit in unless you accepted yourself. The chorus I want to heal/ I want to feel/ What I thought was never real/I want to let go of the pain I’ve held so long (erase all the pain ’till it’s gone)/I want to heal/I want to feel/Like I’m close to something real/ I want to find something I’ve wanted all along/Somewhere I belong conveyed how I felt in high school and college. I badly wanted to find a group, but I had a tough time accepting my limitations and my flaws.

I still feel sorrow over Chester’s death. I empathize for Linkin Park, his wife, children, and friends. It is hard to lose someone, especially someone who had a tremendous impact on many people.

I hope you found a place where you belong,

Chester.

By User:Gansb (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons