It isn’t that I don’t feel sad about death, because I do. I however don’t understand the mourning for someone who is an art icon in their own right, no doubt, but ultimately a stranger. I don’t understand when people are die-hard fans of other people either, but then if I start listing out things I don’t understand, I will never finish this post.
My point is that death is sad, I get it, but the death of celebrity shouldn’t cause you so much anguish that it shuts you down like you lost a dearly beloved family member. I should say though that this is purely my opinion. Other people make the argument that a child dying in Syria because of ISIS is far more tragic, and yes it is, but that doesn’t diminish or augment other sorrow. You cannot compare away sorrow; it’s an emotion not the stock market.
Having said that, I do feel sad when a beloved celebrity dies. I feel sad that their greatness of talent and spirit have left the world. I feel sorrow for their families in their time of grief. I feel sad that, if they were great humans in the bargain, the world will be a lesser place without them. There is a moment of reflection on the fragility of life, and I move on. No stirring speeches or copious tears.
But today I wake up to the news that Chester Bennington committed suicide yesterday.
Chester Bennington was the face of Linkin Park. When he and Mike Shinoda sang, their voices hit chords in what felt like my soul. Their band mates played music that stirred emotions I didn’t know I had. Linkin Park music was a balm for my 20s, at a time when I felt alone and isolated, and unable to find love (even though it was there). I was at my lowest ebb in those moments (of course this is before I lost my father), and Linkin Park was succour. There were moments I wanted to reach through the music, and touch Chester, and thank him for giving voice to the pain I felt. In those moments and for many years later, their music became my anthem. And I realised for the first time how powerful a drug music is.
I still don’t mourn for Chester Bennington, because what I said before still holds true. However I do mourn for the comfort that man brought into my life at a time I needed it, and wish that he could have received the same for himself.
The world will be a lesser place, because he is no longer in it.