"I know his torture is unique to him, but I would always be here to listen and help in any way I can," Durst writes in an emotional note shared in Variety

By Jordan Runtagh
July 25, 2017 04:15 PM
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Following the shocking suicide of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington last week at the age of 41, Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst has penned an emotional open letter to his late friend in Variety.

The pair have an extensive shared history, dating back to their status as twin titans of the emerging rap-metal genre in the early 2000s. Just 24 hours after learning of Bennington’s death, Durst shared the following message with the outlet before taking the stage at a Hammond, Indiana concert on Friday.

I’m sitting here with my brother Cory and we were talking about when Linkin Park played before us on their first ever show in Europe. They came in our dressing rooms and they were clearly both so excited and so shy. [Limp Bizkit guitarist] Wes [Borland], myself and my brother went and watched their show and doused them in champagne after their performance to congratulate them.

I remember seeing them on the side of the stage and as were performing, I was thinking to myself, “Chester’s voice is going to blow these kids the f— up.” It was a great moment and I’m happy now to have had it.

I can say so many wonderful things about the Chester I knew. He had a way of making anyone he spoke to feel heard, understood and significant. His aura and spirit were contagious and empowering. Often those types of people have so much pain and torture inside that the last thing they want is to contaminate or break the spirit of others.

He would go out of his way to make sure you knew he truly cares. As real and transparent as our conversations would be, he was always the one projecting light on the shadows. In my last conversation with him, he was holding his two cute puppies and giving me the most selfless and motivational compliments in regards to Limp Bizkit and myself and thanking me for paving the path for bands like Linkin Park.

In return, I told him if it weren’t for him and his voice and his words, this genre would never have reached the masses and affected so many lives. I thanked him for being so courageous and humble and for always being such a gentleman. We laughed and hugged and told jokes as if there would always be a tomorrow for us to meet again.

I want to hug him now and let him know that we all experience our own pain and deal with it our own ways. I know his torture is unique to him, but I would always be here to listen and help in any way I can. But I won’t get that hug and that moment now, which makes me so sad.

In addition to Durst, Bennington’s Linkin Park bandmates Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, Dave Farrell, Joe Hahn and Rob Bourdon shared their first public statement since the singer’s death on Monday. In the lengthy note posted to Facebook, they write that their “hearts are broken” and say Bennington’s “absence leaves a void that can never be filled.” The group also touches on the rocker’s struggle with depression, acknowledging 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.”

Bennington was found dead at his home in Palo Verdes Estates, California, just after 9 a.m. on Thursday, authorities told PEOPLE at the time.

The coroner’s office initially confirmed to PEOPLE that Bennington’s death was being investigated as a possible suicide. On Monday, the coroner’s office told PEOPLE Bennington hanged himself from a bedroom door and the official cause of death was suicide by hanging.

Linkin Park was touring the Grammy-winning band’s seventh studio album when Bennington died. The remainder of the tour has been canceled in the wake of his passing, PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly previously confirmed, as well as their upcoming dates with Blink-182.

Credit: James Minchin

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).