rionaleonhart: final fantasy versus xiii: a young woman at night, her back to you, the moon high above. (nor women neither)
Riona ([personal profile] rionaleonhart) wrote2017-08-03 09:22 am

And I Can't Bring You Back.

A month ago today, I was in the O2, watching Chester Bennington bound around the stage. The stage was incredibly far from our seats, the performers were tiny, but his voice filled the arena and he had so much energy. Linkin Park's music had been a part of my life since I was twelve or thirteen years old, but I'd never really taken notice of the people behind it before. I fell a little in love.

Two weeks ago today, we lost him forever.

I keep thinking I'm okay and then realising I'm not.

It's not about the music. I love Linkin Park's work, it's true, and I'm sad that I'll never see what he would have done next (or see him perform again), but he's left his voice behind on over a hundred songs; it's an incredible legacy. I rediscovered Linkin Park in February and have been listening primarily to their music since then - I've been listening to them almost exclusively over the last month - and I'm still not bored. He achieved the hell out of his potential. But by all accounts he was a kind, funny, loving, talented, good man, and I felt lucky to be alive at the same time as him. I just wish he could be here and happy.

The pain of knowing he's gone has eased a little, at least, but I can't stop worrying about the rest of the band. They gave me so much, and now they're in so much pain I can't bear to imagine it, and there's nothing at all I can do to help them.

In a way, it's probably for the best that he was the first member of the band to go, because he was so intensely loving, he felt things far too strongly, and losing one of the others would have killed him, whereas I think the others will be able to survive this. But it was still far, far too early.

I hope they're not blaming themselves. I hope they realise how much joy they brought to his life.

When Chester was still around, Rei and I joked that he was my boyfriend, but our relationship was complicated by the fact he didn't know he was my boyfriend. Now I feel that my friends are suffering, but I can't offer them any comfort because they don't know they're my friends.

Okay, I'm not allowed to be sad about Chester without also posting something silly or cute about him. That's the rule. Here is Chester going to great lengths to scare Mike. Also, here is a video of pigeons backed by Linkin Park music, which is hilarious to me and I don't know why.

(Be aware that there's a lot of discussion of losing people to suicide in the Dreamwidth comments.)
wolfy_writing: (Default)

[personal profile] wolfy_writing 2017-08-03 08:34 am (UTC)(link)
I'm sorry.

I hope the rest of the band is okay. This kind of loss, in particular, is hard on people, and can leave a lot of unanswered questions. I hope they're getting support.

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[personal profile] wolfy_writing 2017-08-03 10:53 am (UTC)(link)
I'm sorry about your friend. I can't imagine what that must have been like.

I'm sure they have people there to help them with this.
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[personal profile] wolfy_writing 2017-08-03 10:57 am (UTC)(link)
It makes sense that you'd want to talk about it. I don't mind listening.

I'm glad his music helped you with your feelings about your friend. (I know that for people who die of suicide, it's very common for them to sincerely believe that their death will take a burden off their loved ones, and make everyone else's life easier. Which is the opposite of what the actual impact tends to be.)
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[personal profile] wolfy_writing 2017-08-04 01:35 am (UTC)(link)
I'm glad I could bring some comfort.

And yeah, it makes sense to have his death hit you hard. Even the impact of his work on your life is by itself enough of a reason.

(Anonymous) 2017-08-03 11:13 am (UTC)(link)
Grief is a strange thing, and we all grieve in different ways. Some people shut down and refuse to talk, some talk a lot, some get lost in thoughts etc. It must be very hard for public figures though - in this case, the rest of the band. You want to be private in your grief, I imagine, but there's this aspect where as a public figure people want to see everything and your tributes. There's something very performative about the world these days. There's always cameras on so people are always making big gestures about things so others can see it.

This is a weird conversation, but it's something I feel very much these days.

I know you didn't watch the Bayside song - I don't blame you, and I was worried it'd offend you; I'm glad it didn't, since I wasn't trying to advertise the band so much as say it's something that has helped me in the past with my own grief. Maybe showing you the lyrics would be an acceptable compromise? (Again, you can say no. I won't be offended. I hate situations like this.... not just because they suck in general, but I have Asperger's and it's like trying to step on top a glass precipice. There's always the chance I'll say something dumb without meaning to (and being mostly oblivious to it), but when people are feeling down that's really not the time to do it.

Lyrics if you're interested (again, really don't feel that you have to look):

Bit of a comment to one of your comments about anger and letting it go: It's funny that last time I spoke about a "public figure" as it were who I vaguely knew who committed suicide, since I have an internet friend who did the same. But that was a much longer time ago and was less comparable. Also, that wasn't such a shock. They'd been suicidal for years. They posted their suicide note in a locked entry on LJ, actually. They were studying abroad at uni and actually the university were notified by a real/LJ friend from their own country worried about her welfare from what I know (I know they confirmed that she had actually died well before the university made a notification about it). The student obituary for her is still online actually... I looked it up while I'm on the subject. It's good that people had nice things to say about her. She was lovely. (Page 1 and 6)

...Geez, that's a depressing story. Anyway, my point is I was quite angry for a while too. It's natural, I think. This individual in particular was very outspoken on helping people with their problems, and helping people to live through difficult times (including through voluntary advice giving), so them doing that was almost an insult. But I've let go of that now. It is very hard struggling with the range of emotions though.

My normal reaction to difficult things is to try and change the subject and distract myself with things, so it's a bit weird to be talking about this. But I've never really felt comfortable telling that story about Ki before either, so maybe I should share some praise for her while it's something I'm willing to talk about. She was a great person, just very troubled.


(Anonymous) 2017-08-03 12:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes, that's a nice thing they've done. And it's lovely to see fans uniting in being good people, but also giving them some space to grieve too... mostly. But yes, Linkin Park has been very important for... gosh, probably an entire generation.

Yeah... here's the story behind that song (and why it's called Winter): Horrifying in its own way. So not a suicide, but very similar for the grieving for a bandmate thing. And I find it makes me feel better. It's sad, but also weirdly uplifting.

The feelings aren't nice, but they say it's part of the process of grief, don't they? I remember partly being really mad as they'd survived some really fucked up things, but the actual trigger in the end was something absurdly minor compared to all the adversity they'd suffered. But yes, she was awesome. I imagine your friend was too. I think sometimes you just feel so helpless to do anything, and that's the worst.
dracothelizard: (DW: Doctor + Tardis)

[personal profile] dracothelizard 2017-08-03 05:22 pm (UTC)(link)
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[personal profile] dracothelizard 2017-08-04 08:18 am (UTC)(link)
And he got to do a lot of things with his band, and bring joy to lots of people!
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[personal profile] newbie1990 2017-08-03 09:30 pm (UTC)(link)
I wasn't especially fannish about Linkin Park, and nor did I have an intense resurgence like you did and yet there were days I cried and cried about this. Just because you'd mentioned him so recently and because so many of the feelings he fought against were out there in his songs and because he had six children. Given that you were so much more involved it makes a lot of sense that you'd be so upset, and I'm really sorry that it is so painful.

I don't doubt that the band have friends and family who will remind them of all the things you mentioned. I hope they get to take the time they need. (& I hope you, also, get the comfort, peace and support you need.) (Trivially: *many hugs*, bc my main reaction to 'people are very sad' is 'oh no, hugs and hearts :('.)

...I think I get why the pigeons amuse you. It's just, like, punk rock pigeons. Like they're a weird little pigeon gang. Idek. (The scaring video is just adorable, possibly more so because it seems like Mike isn't especially scared, and so may well have known he was there and gone along with it just because he was clearly making such an effort.)
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[identity profile] 2017-08-22 07:37 am (UTC)(link)
Hi! Over here from AO3; I hope that’s okay. Commenting on your DW instead of LJ, because I don’t really trust LJ these days

You are so lucky to have seen them live. They’ve been to my country twice; now I think I’m going to regret not seeing them for the rest of my life. How could I have known there wasn’t going to be any next time, ever?

In a way, it's probably for the best that he was the first member of the band to go, because he was so intensely loving, he felt things far too strongly, and losing one of the others would have killed him

I haven’t thought about it this way, but I am inclined to agree. If it had been Mike or any of them (*knocks h a r d on wood*) I would not have wanted Chester to fall into a bigger pit than…well than the one we’re all in now.

(Then in the next second I think, but couldn’t he have just passed when he was 90 or something?? So that I can tell incessant stories to my future grandkids over how Chester was in a walker and still constantly tried to jump with it and could still scream like a banshee? Ebb and flow, ebb and flow.)

His death, it just felt like, I don’t know, God punching me or something. I was talking (okay, sobbing) it out with my therapist and somehow the C.S. Lewis quote "Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again" came up and she said “did Linkin Park feel like one of those fairy tales to you?” because I’d been describing how I’d been quietly and lovingly getting back into the band during this latest album run. And I said YES, it feels like I fell back into the fairy tale, only to have the prince taken away from me forever. That’s what it feels like.

But by all accounts he was a kind, funny, loving, talented, good man, and I felt lucky to be alive at the same time as him.

About 3 weeks after it happened, I bit the bullet and looked up a video of his performance here and I felt this weird sort of…exhilaration, watching him be there, hearing people with my accent scream his name. An overwhelming feeling of: He. Was. Here. On the stage where where I’ve watched a lot of other singers perform since. In the world. He existed. He’s breathed in the same air I have breathed in. I wrote a big bold CHESTER WAS HERE in my journal, just to remind me.

Have you read Melina Marchetta’s Jellicoe Road? There’s a quote there that goes "What are you so sad about? We’re going to know him for the rest of our lives". I don’t know if that has any weight for someone else, out of context, but it is the thought I am trying to hang on to these days. (Incidentally the character who says it is named…Chaz. Hilariously, the name thing didn’t even occur to me when I first made the connection.)

The vids…ok the pigeon one is cracking me up too. I’ve seen birds set to boy band music, but Linkin Park? That’s a first.

also, why did these grown men have a room filled entirely with balloons. What even is this band, seriously.
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[identity profile] 2017-08-24 06:05 am (UTC)(link)
Your friend is awesome for doing that, and I'm really glad circumstances were in the right place for you! At least you will have that forever.

It's weird how much in life is up to chance
I’ve also been thinking of that in terms of Chester coming into our lives in the first place. What if that guy hadn’t recced Chester to the rest of the band as a possible vocalist, what if Chester hadn’t been willing to move to a different place, what if the first vocalist hadn’t quit…

And also, what if Chester hadn’t made it big with LP, with THIS particular group of people. I really believe what you said, that they were saving his life again and again all these years.

He burned so brightly! It’s not how he lived his life that I’m grieving…it’s the loss of such a light.

That quote, I’m thinking of getting it on a shirt + Chester’s face. I’ve seen other people getting tattoos but that isn’t my thing, so. I’m leaving out the 'why are you so sad' part if I have one made though, since there is one hell of a valid reason to be sad. (Also, the character being spoken about there was just leaving, not dead.)

GOOD QUESTION. What an excellent, ridiculous bunch of people.

It makes me happy that there literally hundreds of videos of their wonderful ridiculousness out there! And how, most of those vids merit the question of what is going on here???
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[identity profile] 2017-09-02 05:43 pm (UTC)(link)
I stumbled into this ( the other day and DAMN. Feelings. It will never not hurt, but I am so, so glad he got to have moments like that in his life.

Mike just stroking Chester's head! Rob glancing over and immediately deciding to look elsewhere!
*snort* I love how Rob has a look like '…yeah, no. I will not be assimilated' and he is anyway and how Dave is just headtilting like 'lolwhat' (I imagine they must’ve all gotten like that whenever Mike and Chester started up). And how Joe is obliviously off to the side the whole time, all : \