A Letter to Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington

Chris Cornell, 52, and Chester Bennington, 41, each have now tragically taken their own lives within 3 months of each other, and with it have spurred many deep emotions out of people. Full disclaimer: I am not a family member of either man nor did I know either of them personally. The emotion that accompanies that of hearing the tragic news of a loved one taking their own life is one that I have thankfully never had to experience. I have a heavy heart for their families; including their wives and 9 combined children they're survived by.

As nothing but strictly an observer as a fan, I am not mad at you for taking your own lives. Some were. Some were angry by your decision. They called it a selfish move and a cop out. I respect that everyone grieves differently, but I am not mad. Instead, I am saddened by the realization that you both had such dark times and torment that you felt the only way it would be better was to end your lives.

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Chris and Chester, your music helped changed my and so many other's lives for the better and for that I am forever grateful. Grateful that the art you produced helped so many of us through our darkest times, helped us vent and release and express ourselves in ways we couldn't effectively articulate beforehand. Grateful that without your music that made many of us look up to you, some of us might have fallen victim to the same fate as our idols did. Thank you for getting us through the hardest of times in the past and In the future. Your music will live on forever. Know that what made you guys so successful is what makes it so hard for so many of your fans to cope with this news: your music articulated what we couldn't and because of this, we felt like we knew you and you got us.

As a father, I'd go to hell and back for my children. There isn't a thing I would not do for them. I could not fathom taking my own life and leaving them behind. But I am also in my own shoes and no one else's. I can't even imagine the mental anguish either of you, or the 94 other people that take their own lives each day, go through in your last moments. I do know that I will not judge, knowing that anguish must've been amplified countless times over knowing the loved ones you were leaving behind.

Instead, I will continue to blast the shit out of your music and let it do for me what it so tragically was unable to do for you. Because in the end, it did really matter. To millions of us. And for that we are forever indebted to you guys.

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Tweets by Geoffrey Rickly, lead singer of Thursday/United Nations about the deep experiences of a lead singer in response to Chester's suicide. 

Tweets by Geoffrey Rickly, lead singer of Thursday/United Nations about the deep experiences of a lead singer in response to Chester's suicide.