Dear Chester Bennington a.k.a Chaz,
It’s been three days since you passed away. I was specifically put Linkin Park songs on the loop today and hoping today I can finally sip the sadness within me and squeeze out all the tears I’ve been holding back. Life has kept me busy I couldn’t even find time to mourn properly.
I remember the time I tried to get my hands on Hybrid Theory. I didn’t start collecting cassettes until my last years in elementary school and it was my first ever rock album ever. I remember I told my parents that I want to buy some cassettes, followed by the disapproval from my brother telling it was bad music that put aborted babies in the cover – to which I found out years later he was mistaking it for Limp Bizkit’s cover. Rock music was heavily stigmatized back then. Not to mention, the heavy usage of profanities, and adult content… not helping at all. But in the end, I came home with two cassettes; Hybrid Theory by Linkin Park and Black & Blue by Backstreet Boys. LOL.
You guys showed me, rock is just… music. There’s nothing to be afraid of and there are just so many things to say with music. It was exceptionally important at the time. I will never be where I am today, doing the things I do, exploring the music I love, if it weren’t because of you guys.
You guys were my role models, never were a guilty pleasure.
I am grateful for the fact I had the chance to witness your performance live. I cried at “Waiting for The End” and was patted and consoled by strangers I met during the concert. I never thought it would be my only chance to see you in person. I had almost missed that one for financial reason.
Today I revisited that day again. I re-uploaded my old crappy vlog I made with a pocket camera, and remembered the faces of the strangers that helped me not to feel too lonely. I am pretty sure they are crying the same tears as mine now, as with all the millennials that had spent most of their childhood listening to you guys.
At the night after the news upon your passing broke, I couldn’t sleep. I was digging my old cassettes collections and trying to comprehend, “What did I miss?” I was anxious; if I fell asleep, I would wake up the next day having your existence erased from my memory – just like my half-forgotten childhood, and forced to “grow up” and move the fuck on.
Trying to contain you in my thoughts is easy. But that only remains true until one day I can finally comprehend that you are NOT coming back. No more angry screaming, no more Soulful Chaz, no more Rolling in The Deep covers. No more.
It’s still feel so surreal. Your music still brings a lot joy and spontaneous headbangin’, only until I realized… I was listening to somebody that is no longer there. Now, every time I listen to you screaming, it felt like a magical dream from a very distant place from a long gone past.
I couldn’t fathom what you’ve been through, Chaz. I’m battling my own demons right now and no words can describe exactly how broken I am to learn that you’ve lost your battle. I just hope now you are free and your legacy will help people keep fighting this war so we won’t lose another generous being like you. Nobody deserves to hurt like that. No kid deserves to lose their parents like that.
Rest in peace, Chaz. Your beautiful soul will always be remembered.