This Ones for You, Chester

Let me start this by saying that I truly hope I don’t offend anyone as I know this is a touchy subject to write about. That is not my intention in the slightest bit. This is nothing more than my own personal thoughts about suicide as it’s something I’ve always wanted to write about but didn’t have a reason too until recently.

Growing up, Linkin Park has easily been my all-time favorite band. I remember listening to them as a kid and being completely blown away because up until that point I had never heard anything like them. Even to this day, for me, they still take the number one spot out of any artist. One risk with going off the grid doing these hikes is that anything can happen and a whole week might go by before I get a chance to turn my phone back on. So with that first sentence you most likely already know where this is going. Obviously hearing about Chesters passing isn’t the same as if I turned on my phone to horrible news regarding family or friends. But man, this band means so much to me and to hear that Chester died by suicide was absolutely heart breaking. There’s no way I could ever give back to them what they have gave to me, but on the smallest of scales this is the least that I can do.

For as long as I can remember I’ve always been extremely upset anytime that I’ve heard about suicide regardless if I knew the person or not. Especially in teens. Finding out that suicide is the second-leading cause of deaths among teenagers was devastating news to hear. I think this scares me so much because on a small level I’ve been there. I occasionally think back to a conversation that I had with a friend where I was telling her about the lowest moments in my life but ended it by saying how in the grand scheme of things that my problems were nothing. That there are people going through horrific events across the world and I couldn’t even begin to imagine putting myself in their shoes. She agreed with me, but she also told me that those lowest moments in my life were very real to me and she couldn’t have been more right. I don’t think that I would have ever fully gone through with the act of suicide, but to say that I’ve never experienced those thoughts would be a lie. There’s been some dark moments throughout my life as I’m sure with anybody where we start noticing those thoughts creeping in. And that’s where I get scared. I get scared because I feel that when someone dies by suicide, in that moment there mind got the better of them. That maybe there thinking wasn’t all that clear. That maybe impulsiveness surpassed better judgement. Or being a teen thinking that things won’t ever get better not yet having the knowledge that comes throughout life to know that good or bad, it’ll pass. I say this because this is exactly how I felt in my darkest moments. Honestly not knowing if things were going to change. Starting to believe that you’re flawed; that maybe from now on this is how things are going to be. Letting the mind head in the wrong direction. Hearing about people who attempted suicide only to experience regret backs this theory on a micro scale. “The millisecond my hands left the rail, it was an instant regret.” “I wonder,” he said Friday, “how many others (from) that 4-second fall felt the same way?” – Kevin Hines, a survivor after attempting suicide by jumping off the golden gate bridge.

To say I have a valid say in anything suicide would be foolish. What I do know though is that there is a lot of trauma out there. I said it before and I’ll say it again. Being a human being is fucking hard. It’s really hard. I think about the trauma that I’ve experienced in my life and know that everyone I come across has experienced their own version of trauma and it has all been very real to them. And I can’t say what the best direction for suicide prevention is, but I think a really good place to start is to start by understanding our own minds. How we work. Understanding we aren’t our past. Understanding what our fears are. Having the courage to be able to look them directly in the face without constantly sweeping them under the rug. Especially as a young adult I think that is a huge place to start. And I absolutely know that there’s a multitude of reasons on why people die by suicide. Whether it’s chemical imbalances in the brain. Severe traumatic childhood experiences. Impulsiveness from a recent tragic event in someones life. I honestly believe though that one of the best places to start alongside seeing a professional is with the internal work.

I hear people say that meditation isn’t for everyone and maybe that’s right. The more I practice it though, the more I’m not so sure I 100% agree with that. It definitely might not be enjoyable for everyone because I know I have a love hate relationship with it. But I do believe everyone can 100% benefit from doing it. This also isn’t to say that mediation is the only route to go down when it comes to the internal work. But I think it’s a pretty damn good start.

So man, I really hope I didn’t offend anyone with this. Like I said earlier, that wasn’t my intention. The more these subjects are brought to light in a respectable way, the more I think it can help people feel comfortable enough to speak their mind on what’s really going on. At the end of the day we’re all human beings stumbling along the way as we try to figure this life out. And no ones got this shit down pat yet. We gotta help each other. It’s as simple as that. People helping people. And this goes without saying but if anyone should be dealing with this, I’m always here. As always, thank you for reading. This ones for you, Chester. Rest in peace.







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