I saw the post on my timeline and stared at it. It was a mix of total disbelieve, shock and horror. The lead singer of one of my favourite bands dead- this better be fake news.
But it is not. I ask professor Google and it is everywhere- TMZ reporting and Rolling Stones. It is true. But he can’t be dead. He was the voice of my adolescence and my angry youth years.
It was Linkin Park and Bennington which carried me through the long angry days of being a teenager. It was the voice that rings in my head to this day when I feel anxious or upset. Dead? Impossible!
But TMZ reporting on it, Rolling Stone and then the BBC. It was true.
I think what is the most painful was the way he died. And the way the media reported on it: Bennington, husband and father of six committed suicide. And TMZ: he hanged himself.
I’m not being full of nonsense here- all deaths are tragic, and it does not matter if the victim was black or white, young or old or healthy or sick. All deaths are tragic and hurts like hell. And death comes way to fast and way to soon.
But the pain was familiar. It was “it could have been me” familiar. And it did not help when some ignorant fools started commenting on the pages that “suicide is only for the weak”, “suicide is a selfish act” and “what is wrong with people to think suicide is an option”
And all I want to ask is “what is wrong with you by thinking the way you do?” Why are we as people stigmatizing suicide and mental health issues. The sad part is that suicide is one of the leading causes of death all around the world.
“Suicide is the result of many factors that come together, such as an underlying mental health condition and access to lethal means — we must do more to prevent such tragic deaths through greater awareness of mental health issues, common risks and warning signs, and effective interventions and treatments.”
And one of the ways we as a society can help us by talking OPENLY about suicide and mental health. Without feeling ashamed or stigma attached around it.
And one of those things involves talking about suicide. Openly, honestly, and without shame or stigma.
Every day people, like Chester Bennington, dies. And I feel we should do more to support others. We really need to put the effort in being there for other people and to help others. By reaching out. By speaking up. By being there.