A week ago, the news broke that Chester Bennington committed suicide. This tragic loss was a total blindside. Family, bandmates, friends, and fans alike were all taken aback by this. Why did this happen all of a sudden again? When he decided to take his own life, what did the lyrics to the newly released song “One More Light” mean to him?

If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We’re quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well, I do

Ironically, this particular performance of the song was dedicated to Chris Cornell, who also committed suicide in similar fashion. This is sadly not unusual in the limelight. We see many stars living in a whirlwind of substance abuse, fortune, and fame. In recent years, we’ve seen the two aforementioned men, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Wayne Static, Robin Williams, Kurt Cobain, Lucy Gordon, Chris Benoit, Aaron Hernandez, it goes on and on. Meanwhile, there are people that are still living in a way that’ll likely bring about another young death.

If I had a chance to ask any of them one question, it would be this: what did you lack? Certainly, in this most recent tragedy, it wasn’t for lack of money. He just bought a two million dollar home before he took his life. Was it for lack of love? Certainly not. The home he bought has enough rooms to accomdate his wife and six children. Was he seeking some other companionship? The shock and grief shown by people that he’s friends with, people that’s he’s made music with, and people he’s toured with all indicate that Chester had someone to turn to in time of need. He had wife, six children, bandmates, and a legion of fans. This man did not lack love or adoration.

I read an article the day of his passing that blamed the death on the fans. Many of his own fans were harshly critical of Linkin Park’s new material. There was some negative press about the album as well. To coincide with this, there was an incident where plastic was thrown at the band during a performance of a song from the new album. The article suggests it was pressure and criticism from fans that drove him to do what he did, which I scoffed at. But, what if I was wrong to react that way? What if that did have something to do with it?

In “Free From It All” Lecrae raps “You live for their acceptance, you die from their rejection” when talking about an artists’ relationship with fans. What if that actually did weight heavy on Chester? His mistake would have been placing his identity in fallible humanity, which would not justify pointing the finger at his fans.

Ecclesiastes is playing right before our eyes over and over again. With all the money, all the fame, all the love, and all the pleasures this life could possibly offer, people still are not happy. They’re still committing heinous crimes. They’re still taking their own lives. Until we realize that this is not something we can throw money at and attempt to medicate, this is just going to keep happening. What good is at for a man to gain the whole world and still lose his soul?

Nail in my hand
From my creator
You gave me life
Now show me how to live

 

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