Reality Check for Punks

He Didn’t Take the “Coward” Way Out.


I’m a country girl at heart. But not this new country whatever you call it. The old country. Before they added pop into it. Before, when the lyrics spoke to you. They told a story. It’s not that anymore. It’s saddening.

With that being said, I like listening to all genres of music. I had my rap days, pop days, techno days, hair bands (yes, that’s 80’s and early 90’s rock), alternative, and some heavy rock. Over the years, it all has changed. My husband and I were talking about this last week in the car after hearing the death of Chester Bennington, the lead singer for Linkin Park.

When the news flooded my Facebook about his suicide, I was shocked. Kind of like in disbelief. My ex introduced me to Linkin Park. Their first cd, Hybrid Theory was amazing! It was something that people could connect with. The lyrics were raw and real. I still play that cd in my car. My kids know the lyrics to the songs on that cd.

Chester Bennington was an amazing artist. A true genius with talent that is indescribable. Today’s artists pay someone to write their songs. Nothing is original. But Linkin Park, they are true to themselves and their fans. Chester and the band wrote about what was happening in their lives. Chester wrote about the demons from within him. The lyrics meant something (like old country artists).

His death was a shock for all his fans. The amount of tributes immediately following his death was more than you would think. I just read that 3 people have committed suicide because of his death. That’s how powerful his impact on people was. It’s a little extreme but who am I to judge. I’m no one and have no right.

I also saw where within minutes of the announcement of his death, Linkin Park’s new cd was released. I was talking with my oldest daughter when she got home from my mom’s house about his death. Speaking about death is never an easy thing to do with kids but she’s a little older and as much as I do not want to admit it, a lot more mature than most kids her age.

Anyway, I tried to explain how the lyrics they sang were lyrics they wrote themselves. I pulled up a few songs and told her to read them carefully and see if she noticed anything. After a few minutes, she pointed out that he was talking about his struggles. We looked up the new cd and my daughter pointed out that she had heard the song “Heavy” on the radio at her dad’s house. We pulled up the lyrics to that song as we listened to it on YouTube.


I cried. The more songs I listened to off their new cd, the more I ached for Chester. The amount of demons within him that he felt he couldn’t control. The way that he felt alone (depression will do that to anyone even if they have all the people in the world around them). I have to wonder if his bandmates knew what Chester was planning and let him get all his thoughts out in the last of the songs so he could go out with a bang so to speak. Maybe they kept pushing for him to write more in hopes that they could keep him around a little more, hoping that he would fight off these demons.

I hear people saying that he was a “coward” or that “he took the easy way out.” Seriously?! To the ones who are saying that, you my friend… are an asshole! You have no idea what he was dealing with or struggling with within himself. You don’t know what brings a person to the thought that taking their own life is better than living with the one they have or the thought that taking their life is the only way out. Who are you to judge the life they are living? I pray that you never have to deal with this in your life.

Please, if you feel that someone you know may be depressed, reach out to them. Check on them, even a phone call. Just let them know you are there and you care. People should not have to feel alone, especially if they are struggling with inner demons.

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