A Tribute – Chester Bennington

Worth Living Ambassador Ann Ottaway

Ann is a 30 year old former legal assistant, animal lover, and a believer in new beginnings. Ann shares her recovery journey with the hope that her story allows others to realize they are not alone.  She is a regular contributor to the WL Blog.

Caution: Ann mentions Suicide

A Tribute – Chester Bennington

I can vividly remember the seventeen year old version of myself listening to the songs that captured my feelings in ways that I never could. Navigating my own feelings let alone putting them into words felt impossible and frustrating beyond comprehension, but I had those songs to do it for me. As I reflect on the death of Chester Bennington,  I reflect on memories of myself crying and trying to capture my breath as his voice articulated everything that I could not.

Flash forward fourteen years later to a time when I hear those songs again and those overwhelming feelings are a distant memory. After a suicide crisis and over a year of treatment, I can articulate all of the feelings I once had. I have tools to cope with my emotions and medication to manage my symptoms. Fourteen years after I needed the voice of someone else to speak for me, I am in recovery and living a healthy and happy life.

Now the same voice that helped me through so much pain is gone. The voice that I felt so much empathy for is gone. The voice that touched the lives of countless others who felt just like I did is gone.

So much sadness surrounds his death. I am sad for his wife and six children, his family, friends and fans. Mostly, I feel sadness for a man who helped so many people but ultimately felt so helpless that he ended his own life.

I have read many tributes that show gratitude for his life by people who felt just like I did and got through their experiences by listening to the same songs. A life ended by suicide ought not to be remembered simply as a tragedy. Instead, I choose to remember a life which brought hope to myself, my friends and thousands of strangers. When death occurs it leaves a ripple effect, but it in no way overshadows the impact of the life that preceded it.

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