Talinda Bennington, widow of late Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington, said she felt that her husband was in a “good place” in the time leading up to his suicide in July 2017, which made the manner of his death that much more surprising.
“We just thought he was OK,” Bennington told ABC News’ chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton for her ABC News podcast, “Life After Suicide”. “I can’t emphasize [that] enough. If you knew Chester, you would know that he was in a good place, in such a good place.”
In the two years since Chester’s passing, Bennington said she’s made a conscious effort to not “stay stuck in despair,” and that interacting with grieving Linkin Park fans on social media helped her do that.
“They were reaching out, saying how sad they were and how they didn’t think they could go on because Chester couldn’t,” Bennington shared. “And I knew that that’s the last thing Chester would’ve wanted.”
Bennington then started retweeting those messages so that Linkin Park fans could “lift each other up.”
“That caught on like wildfire,” she said.
However, Bennington’s been unable to move past certain things — for example, she still can’t listen to Linkin Park songs.
“I’ll jump from the back seat and change the station, I’ll jump out of the car if I have to,” she said. “That’s just a visceral reaction I still have to this day … it’s just too painful.”
As she continues to move forward, Bennington is working with her 320 Changes Direction mental health awareness organization, and plans to launch a festival in connection with it, alongside Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman.
“It’s really exciting,” she said. “We are in the process of creating something really amazing.”
If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.
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