Linkin Park Pays Tribute to 'Brother' Chester Bennington on First Anniversary of His Death
In a touching tribute to the singer posted to Instagram on Friday, band members Mike Shinoda, Joe Hahn, Dave Farrell, Rob Bourdon, and Brad Delson wrote a candid and emotional message about the past year.
“To our brother Chester,” they wrote. “It has been a year since your passing — a surreal rotation of grief, heartbreak, refusal, and recognition. And yet it [still] feels like you are close by, surrounding us with your memory and your light. Your one-of-a-kind spirit has authored an indelible imprint on our hearts — our jokes, our joy, and our tenderness.”
“Eternally grateful for the love, life, and creative passion you shared with us and the world,” the note continued. “We miss you more than words can express.”
It was signed with “love,” along with the hashtags, “#MakeChesterProud” and “#320ChangesDirection.” Contact information for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline was also provided.
On July 20, 2017, Bennington was found dead by suicide in his Los Angeles home. He was 41.
The Grammy winner had struggled with depression and substance abuse for years before his death.
Linkin Park released a statement at the time about their frontman, writing, “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.”
They also honored their bandmate on Oct. 27, with a tribute concert at the Hollywood Bowl.
Bennington — a father of six — joined the band in 1999. They released their most recent album, One More Light, in May of last year.
Public memorials for Bennington are being planned around the world on Friday. Fans have been using the hashtag “#LPMEMORIAL2018” to collectively celebrate the musician’s life.
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“I was writing all this stuff the way I was processing it,” Shinoda, 41, told PEOPLE of the autobiographical record, a sonic representation of the stages of grief. “I think that’s therapeutic, in the long run.”
Added Shinoda: “On the first half of it, there’s really a palpable sense of grief, and then as it goes on, it brightens up and goes to other places.”
In addition to art therapy, Shinoda relied on his friends, bandmates and wife Anna for support after Bennington’s death. Now he’s hoping his new music will add to the growing conversation surrounding mental health.
“We can do some powerful things,” he said. “I think too many people are embarrassed and don’t want to [get help] because they feel weak. I hope we get to a point where that’s not really the norm.”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).