Chester Bennington's widow shares heartbreaking video taken 36 hours before his suicide
Two months ago, the world was shocked to hear about the death of 41-year-old Chester Bennington. The Linkin Park singer, who was known to have struggled with addiction problems and mental health issues throughout his life, died by suicide at his family home in Los Angeles.
Fans or not, hundreds of thousands of people expressed their condolences at Bennington's passing - but none have been as vocal as his widow, Talinda. Since his death, she has shared personal details about herself and Chester on Twitter, and is using her platform to encourage others struggling with depression to seek help.
Not long ago, she tweeted a picture of Chester and their family. "This was days b4 my husband took his own life," wrote Talinda. "Suicidal thoughts were there,but you'd. Never kmow (sic)."
Her tweet highlighted the insidious reality of depression, and reiterated that, even if somebody seems fine on the surface, they may still be suffering on the inside.
Last week, Talinda posted another moment from the days before Chester's passing in order to convey the same message. Before she shared it, though, she tweeted that, "My next tweet is the most personal tweet I have ever done. I'm showing this so that you know that depression doesn't have a face or a mood."
What followed was a 40-second video of the musician eating novelty-flavoured jelly beans, and laughing with his children after biting into a 'rotten egg flavoured' candy. In the short clip, Chester seems happy and at ease, and the atmosphere from his family wouldn't have been perceived as anything other than positive.
"This is what depression looked like to us just 36 hrs b4 his death," Talinda wrote in the heartbreaking tweet. "He loved us SO much & we loved him."
One of the hashtags she used to sign off the tweet, '#MakeChesterProud', is something she has included in many of her posts. The objective of the hashtag is to encourage others who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health problems to channel their energy into something positive, and to make Chester proud by battling against depression in a productive way.
Talinda, who had been married to Chester since 2006, has now dedicated herself to promoting greater openness and understanding of the sorts of struggles that her husband went through. "I'm going to spend the rest of my life for this cause," she wrote in another tweet. "My grandkids won't know about mental stigmas!"
Bennington was known to have been fairly honest about his depression, too. In an interview with Music Choice earlier this year, the singer said that:
“My whole life, I’ve just felt a little off. I find myself getting into these patterns of behaviour or thought – especially when I’m stuck up here [in my head]; I like to say that, ‘This is like a bad neighbourhood, and I should not go walking alone.’”
With suicide being the leading cause of death for men under 50 - around three times higher than the rate at which women take their own lives - it is clear that this issue needs to be talked about more. The stigma surrounding mental health struggles are evident in Talinda's posts, and it is a terrible thing that we can only wonder how things may have been different for Chester if we spoke about depression more openly.
If you or anyone you know have been affected by any of the issues in this article, contact Your Life Your Voice on 1 800 448 3000, Samaritans on 116 123 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline on 1 800 273 8255. For recorded information, call Mind on 0300 123 3393.