If Chester Bennington Could Have Listened to Dear Evan Hansen, Would it Have Changed His Life?

That’s a dangerous and important question. I don’t know the answer to that, only God does, but it plagues me just the same. The anniversary of his death is approaching us soon and I know a lot of people just like myself are going to be affected by it. It just hit me the other day while I was listening to my YouTube playlist on shuffle that Chester is really gone and he’s not coming back. The beginning of the mixed playlist went as follows:

1. Mike Shinoda: Over Again

2. Linkin Park: Heavy

3. Dear Evan Hansen: You Will Be Found

As a self-proclaimed Broadway junkie and Linkin Park fan, albeit a little late, I was curious and found myself speculating the following: if these two could have interacted, what would have happened? The chorus of “You Will Be Found” echoed through my headphones while, simultaneously, Chester’s plea of “I’m holding on, why is everything so heavy?” and “If I just let go, I’d be set free” was in the background of my mind; it almost felt like this fictional character was trying to send a message  to a broken, hurting man that just couldn’t get through the barrier in time.

As previously noted, I came into the Linkin Park fandom a little later than most, sometime around late high school, early college years. The first song I’ve ever heard by the rock band that would get me through tough times was “What I’ve Done.” I remember thinking that I’d never heard that kind of sound, that kind of blunt honesty in a rock song before. I was hooked. I commend Chester for being outrageously open in his musical memoir, his collection of albums that made all of us who loved him feel a little less alone in our suffering because he put himself out there first. I always wondered if it was a little more than ironic that the music video for “Numb” was filmed in a church? Nonetheless, I digress.

“Even when the dark comes crashing through, when you need a friend to carry you, when you’re broken on the ground, you will be found.”

Such powerful words and so desperately needed for those who, like Chester, are struggling silently with demons that want to destroy them in the worst possible ways. It’s hard for me to write this when I think about the fact he’s dead. He, who gave the world so much, is dead and the planet keeps spinning on its axis, Dear Evan Hansen keeps influencing people and starting conversations, and Chester Bennington’s legacy continues in only his music. We won’t hear him laugh anymore or get hyped in the middle of concerts. All we have are the memories associated with his life in melodies and chords. If he could have heard the message of an unusual Broadway play telling him “You are not alone. You are not alone. You are not alone. You are not alone.” we might still have him. Or, things could have played out exactly as they did. Who’s to say? Just know this: even if you have to fall to lose it all, in the end, it matters. You matter.

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