Unless you live on Mars or under a rock OR under a rock on Mars, you must know by now that Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington took his own life on the 20th July 2017, found by his housekeeper in his California home as a result of hanging. Ironically on former Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog lead singer Chris Cornell’s birthday but he was another celebrity that took his life only 2 months earlier, this begs a serious question are the two linked somehow but that is neither here nor there and I just don’t know what to make of this one bit. I’m not even going to sugarcoat things as I’m so angry and so annoyed at the situation as I know humanity has been around long before I was born and will be there long after I’m dead *touch wood* but the only way I can say it is that it’s 11th August 2017 where I find myself in the Hounslow branch of Starbucks, I’ve never felt so heartbroken by a “celebrity death” and nothing has come close since maybe Princess Diana but I think I was too young in 1997. To think I was an 11 year old boy when that happened in that Parisian tunnel, but this suicide hit me as a 31 year old man as this is when I admit a thing scarcely mentioned, in fact even thought about… *deep breath* as I’m not the rock pillar you see today *sarcasm detected* but yeah… Linkin Park and Chester Bennington’s voice in particular got me through many a dark day and night as he knew just what to say. I doubt I’m special in this regard as yes not just mental health but teenage angst is oft “problematic”.

This means all the rubbish I’ve had to go through and all the drama and strife that goes through one’s mind when I was at a cricket match when an acquaintance mentioned it to me. A bit male banter, a bit “I don’t want to believe it” but I simply retorted “thanks for ruining my day”, even Middlesex winning a T20 match against Kent couldn’t soften the blow and to be honest it took another day or two before I genuinely took it in and believed it. I say a day or two but that cricket match was on 20th July 2017, to think I heard about The Garage doing a fundraiser for Mind as we’re in an age of time when these things can’t be hushed anymore but at the same time just to know that if people are willing to talk, people are willing to listen. So that night in London was well and truly out of my remit but then to be honest what a stone cold, amazing cause and it was just the tonic I needed to allure me out of my shell.

There’s something unique and rather niche about those into rock music, into alternative, indie, you name it as whatever it is in particular the style of music just breeds a certain following that means even in lining up to get in everybody was super nice and super helpful. The kind of situation that means I haven’t lost all hope in humanity but it is well and truly on life-support as I just can’t smile like I used to and it’s times I think back to Shawn Michaels when he gave up his World Championship back in February 1997. Either way this was how I saw everything I had lost somewhat and just taking some time out just to find myself and it was in Chester’s death that it was that jolt NEEDED to re-introduce myself with the “real world”, can’t feel sorry for myself all day I suppose and so yes Chester Bennington’s death is a sad one and it clearly can’t be forgotten, but maybe it’s “too soon” but I do honestly try to find the good in ANY situation and in this death I challenged myself and though I can only speak for myself I just pray that this death wasn’t in vain and it touched another human being as the night was a raging success and I read that it raised upwards of £4000 for MIND as well as has spun off plans for another night in Brighton that’ll hopefully raise even higher so dare I say it but “you’ve gotta crack some eggs, to make an omelette”.

One word: AWARENESS!