Less than a week after Linkin Park's lead singer Chester Bennington died by suicide, his bandmates have issued an emotional public statement in the form of an open letter to their frontman.
"We’re trying to remind ourselves that the demons who took you away from us were always part of the deal. After all, it was the way you sang about those demons that made everyone fall in love with you in the first place," the band wrote. "You fearlessly put them on display, and in doing so, brought us together and taught us to be more human. You had the biggest heart, and managed to wear it on your sleeve."
During his life, Bennington spoke candidly about his history of childhood sexual abuse and subsequent battle with drug and alcohol addiction disorders.
"Our hearts are broken. The shockwaves of grief and denial are still sweeping through our family as we come to grips with what has happened," the letter began. "You touched so many lives, maybe even more than you realized. In the past few days, we’ve seen an outpouring of love and support, both public and private, from around the world. Talinda and the family appreciate it, and want the world to know that you were the best husband, son, and father; the family will never be whole without you."
"Talking with you about the years ahead together, your excitement was infectious," the band continued. "Your absence leaves a void that can never be filled—a boisterous, funny, ambitious, creative, kind, generous voice in the room is missing... Our love for making and performing music is inextinguishable. While we don’t know what path our future may take, we know that each of our lives was made better by you. Thank you for that gift. We love you, and miss you so much."
Bennington's bandmates have also created a page on Linkin Park's official website dedicated to suicide prevention. It includes information for various suicide and crisis-prevention phone and messaging services.
If you are thinking about suicide, please contact Samaritans on 116 123. All calls are free and will be answered in confidence.