Dear Chester,

There’s a knot in the pit of my stomach; like the most tormenting blackout. My heart is thumping against my ribs, as I try to pour my emotions over the keyboard. The first inevitable action was to reach for the headphones, maximize the volume, and play the songs I’ve grown up with; which brought me one step closer to tunes and lyrics and art. The symphonies of the familiar Linkin Park songs are echoing in my ears, my mind, my heart; like a flock of blackbirds following me. A wave of immense pain is slowly pounding my insides, as I venture to fathom that the soulful, heart-wrenching, enamouring voice had lost a fatal battle of its own, in the end. You, the musical maestro, the legendary hero who had managed to define music for millions of souls, has let free of the grip of life; forever lost in the echo. 

I chanced upon you across YouTube’s vastness nine years ago; my first tryst with an English band. I remember how you were the cushion to every blow of emotion a middle-school child was capable of experiencing. I remember the boost of confidence my personality witnessed as I proudly boasted of listening to ‘Linkin Park.’ I remember sitting hours in front of the computer during the day, singing along every word of your melody. I remember resorting to your haven when the nights were sad and terribly dark. I remember falling in love for the first time while humming to your tune. I remember being heart-broken with your words proffering me an inextinguishable flame of comfort. I remember painting the world red with my angst with the burning passion in your music. I remember snippets of the timeline of my life through the bundle of your songs; each a rhapsody of my existence.

We’ve been left powerless buthaven’t we?

Over the years, you’ve churned out songs which struck the strings of my dishevelled heart. From Hybrid Theory, Meteora, Minutes to Midnight, A Thousand Suns, to Living Things, The Hunting Party, and One More Light; I’ve stuck by you till the shadow of the day. The floating and fiery sensation of being alive which your voice dispersed, the cocoon of dejection and disappointment and failures and frustration which you harnessed is a reminder of why countless hearts cry today in your remembrance. We knew that the great hits you churned out through the years were feeding on your devastation, your depression. Turns out, you were living every lyric and harmony of songs which weaves us a bed of comfort and compassion. Your death has caused a ripple through me; a thunderous storm, rolling in the deep. 

To all the Linkin Park fans out there, you’re not alone. The unnerving blow to the music world is a loss we will collectively mourn. As we rummage through our memories to reminisce and bleed out how every song pulled us through a fragment of phase in our lives, the iridescent path your songs took will be there to direct every ounce of our feeling. Turns out, the magic you conjured through your songs has found a way to cultivate the memoirs of every person reading this. Oddly, the songs feel sweeter, with a sea of desolation engulfing them as millions of your fans tune into reliving the bits and pieces of your soul. Almost as if, they were creeping in with a perpetual numbness, a light that will never come. 

You tried so hard, and got so far. I guess, in the end, it didn’t even matter. But, your loss matters to every soul slightly shattered today. We will remember how you stayed through it all; the good, the bad, and the terribly sad. Your grit and raw emotion echoed with every note and chord, and today as we cope with the grief of losing a legend we grew up with and would never grow out of, here’s the jewel of advice we will always remember:

When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I’ve done
Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed
And don’t resent me
And when you’re feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest.

Goodbye, friend.


Your fan, till the Final Masquerade 



Feature Image Credits: Rolling Stone


Saumya Kalia

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