*Trigger warning – suicide, depression*
Well this has taken me a few days to write, for numerous reasons. As everyone probably knows by now, we lost Chester last Thursday to suicide. Out of all the recent celebrity deaths, this one hurt. 

As people who follow this blog know, I’ve been very open about living with Major Depressive Disorder and have for about half my life. I’ve also talked about how having one of my best friends lose their life to suicide made that depression come back tenfold. So much so that I ended up being put on antidepressants because three months after the fact, I was only getting worse and not better. I went from thinking,”I could never put my family and friends through this” to believing it was the only option. Luckily, my doctor’s office was a short walk from my place and I made an appointment with a psychologist.
One of Chester’s good friends, Chris Cornell, died by suicide a couple months ago. Chester passed away on what would have been Chris Cornell’s 53rd birthday. 

Although I never knew Chester personally, he was one of the few voices that helped me cope with depression when I was first diagnosed as a teen. I remember the first time I first heard Linkin Park, back in 2000 when I was 15. It was when I was babysitting for my parents friends and they had satellite. It was one of those big ones that would take up your whole backyard but you could get AMERICAN CHANNELS! That meant MTV!!! Satellite wasn’t anything like how it is nowadays and the internet was definitely nowhere near what it is today. It quickly became a habit of mine whenever I would babysit for this family to put on MTV as soon as the kids were asleep.
Well, this band called Linkin Park comes on, with a neat video for a song called One Step Closer. I watched and thought, “these guys are so cool!” They had the dyed hair like me, had cool tattoos and I could identify with the lyrics. They instantly joined KoRn and Limp Bizkit in the “current favourite bands” category and with that babysitting money, I went and bought the cd shortly after.
The song that resonated the most then (and still does), was the song Crawling. I was recently diagnosed with depression, getting bullied in highschool and it summed everything I felt so articulately, something I’m still struggling with expressing, most times.
Flashforward a bit and I’m at Ozzfest 2001. Although the lineup had a lot of amazing bands on it, I was there to see them more than anything. I remember they opened up with “With You” and my tall friend decided to put my short ass on his shoulders so I could see. I remember the band playing and I remember during the first chorus, Chester pointed right in my general direction as he sang the words “WITH YOU”. I’d still like to think he was pointing right at me as I was a good 5ft higher than the crowd, but let’s not kid ourselves. Ha.
It was a show I knew I would remember for the rest of my life and I remember I was so happy just to witness it.

Now flashforward a few years as I am now, nineteen/twenty and they’ve changed their sound quite a bit and I lost most of my interest in them. Musical tastes change, happens to everyone but every so often I would still check in with them and check out their stuff. I loved a few songs, but they were no longer “MY FAVOURITE BAND EVER!!!!!!!1” I would still occasionally pop in Hybrid Theory or the other couple cds I have to reminisce. I never completely ended up hating them (*cough Muse cough*) or anything like that. It was more like just growing apart from an old buddy, really. I wished them well and all the success and I’m glad they did so well, in the years since. 
If I had gotten the chance to sit down with Chester, in the past couple months, I would have told him how much he helped me and to tell him, I know how much it hurts. Hell, it’s been two years since my friend died and it still hurts – less than it did the first year, but it’s still in the back of my mind. I would have maybe made him feel less alone, knowing I had went through the same situation. I wish I could have been there for him like he was for me so many years ago. I am forever grateful and thankful for him being a “guardian angel” for me years ago and I hope he is now at peace.