I still remember where I was first time I heard of Linkin Park. It was in 2000. I was 14 years old at christian summer camp during a group building activity. Our counselor played “Crawling” by Linkin Parked and asked us to discuss what we thought the lyrics might mean and what was behind them.
Jump forward a few days after I had returned home and of course I had my mom take me to Wal-Mart to buy their album Hybrid Theory. From there I was HOOKED! It was easy to fall in love with their music as did most of the world. Both the lyrics and instrumentals were catchy and loud and in your face and seemed to be what we all wanted to say but Linkin Park did it for us and BETTER!
I’m sure we all have sang their songs loud and proud in our cars and with friends. Listened to them when we were down or angry or pumped up. Headed to the lake, on a road trip with friends, at a party, alone in our room……Linkin Park was there helping us with anything and everything we were doing or going through.
Being a singer, guitar player, piano player, and drummer I LOVED playing Linkin Park. Being a singer, especially as I’m sure any other singers out there, we all loved and wanted Chester’s voice. “CRAWLLLLINNGGGGGG INNNNN MYYY SKINNNNNNN” blood vessels popping out of his neck, leg up on the monitor, bent over screaming into the mic for the world to hear.
Now I’m sitting here listening to your voice fill my house…I feel like I lost a close friend yet we never met in person. Listening and realizing you’ll never be on stage again. Realizing you’ll never write another word. Realizing it’s all come to an end because something or somethings in this life pushed you to what you thought was your last decision you could ever make as a human, a father, a brother, a husband, and friend to all that fell in love with you and your band. I wish you would have stayed….
I always tell people “I hate when people say I wish __________” and now I’m sitting here doing it. I wish you would have stayed. I wish someone would have seen the signs and let you “bleed it out”. I wish you could have re-read everything you’ve sang and written and taken your own advice. I wish you took one more look at your beautiful family that YOU made and decided it would be worth staying for. I wish I never had to wish because our world was full of love and kindness and embraced the “weird” and “different” and the broken.
I will forever remember Chester and Linkin Park. My hurt for his fellow band members leaves me numb……the things they all seen, experienced, went through together, built together, and just the bond they had…..the travels shared….the world they had together….
To anyone feeling stuck with one last option or decision to make…. I hope someone reacts to their gut feeling and wraps you up with words of love and care and kindness and blankets you with all the things and reasons to stay and work through it. You have a purpose I promise! Whatever you’re battling…whatever cross you’re carrying…whatever storm you’re walking under….it never had to be your end. The end is always beautiful and if life’s not beautiful for you……it’s not the end. It doesn’t have to be the end.
Two songs I’d like to leave for anyone that reads this I have left below! Whatever pains you had Chester….they are gone. Rest easy.