Widow Reveals What Triggered Chester Bennington’s ‘Shame’ Right Before Suicide

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You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 if you are struggling with mental health issues. If you want to help people dealing with mental health issues, visit 320 Changes Direction.

Late Linkin Park and Stone Temple Pilots singer Chester Bennington’s widow Talinda discussed his death recently at the Canadian Event Safety Summit.

“The phone call I received the next morning was life-altering,” she said. “My children’s lives were altered forever. And in the travel time, which felt like a thousand years to get from Sedona back home, I knew that I had to walk into the home where my husband took his life and I had to normalize that for my children, because they were going to respond to how I reacted. I walked into that house and I walked up to the room that it happened in, I made my peace with it and then I made it as normal as I can. And that was the beginning of my journey of doing what I can do to normalize mental health.”

Talinda also opened up about her husband’s struggle with addiction, saying that before the morning he died by suicide, “he had been sober for almost six months, which was amazing for him. He had a lot of shame in the past when he had relapsed — shame that he had just begun to share with me in the couple of months before he died, shame I didn’t even know a person could have,” she said. “So when he passed, and I learned that there were two empty beer bottles in the room, I knew he had relapsed, but I also knew he wasn’t so intoxicated out of his mind like I would have thought [he would have been in order to take his own life]. I knew instantly that that drink triggered that shame, triggered a lifetime of unhealthy neural pathways.”

Talinda said that Chester “suffered from depression as a child, and it was untreated. He had traumas throughout his childhood, which many of us have — I have myself,” she admitted. “But the way his pathways kept going, they just kept going towards disaster. And by the time he died, it was so much work — I believe as Mike [Shinoda] said — it was so much work for him to just do normal stuff, to be happy.”

“As Chester’s wife, of course, you can only imagine the things that have gone through my head: ‘What did I miss? What could I have done?'” she said. “As much as social media has been a huge support for me, I do every now and then get people blaming me — straight-up blaming me — for him dying, for not saving him, for mistreating him. Who knows why these people behind their devices are saying these horribly cruel things to me? But, you know, it is a little stab in the heart, but what I have to remember is that it’s not my fault, it’s not my children’s fault, it’s not the band’s faults — it’s nobody’s fault. It’s not a fault. It’s years of untreated mental health, which led to substance abuse, which led to unhealthy relationships. By the time I met him, he was ready to be healthier.”

  • makingconnections

    What a good description of Chester Bennington’s struggle with mental health by his wife. Her way of sharing the way she approached his death from the first moment till now is a gift to all of us. Sometimes all we can do is put one foot in front of the other and always remember if you’re a parent, you’re their role model. If you can cope with the tragedy, it’s likely that they’ll cope. Thank you Talinda Bennington.

  • makingconnections

    I heard a mother of an addict say recently: “We can’t talk to him–just ‘guilt and shame, guilt and shame’ is all we ever hear.” The whole family that wants to help is held hostage by those words. How do families or partners of those who are in recovery help addicts to move forward. So many are so terrified of saying a wrong word and tipping the emotional balance of their loved one towards using again, drinking again, or suicide. Any advice anyone?

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  • Olga Stewart

    Talinda, I am so very sorry for your, your children’s, and your family’s loss.

    • Trovoid

      I respect her even more after reading this. She seems very empathetic and informed in regards to mental health. It seems that she sincerely wants to help others and understand the nature of these illnesses. She appears to be a very strong and caring woman.

      • Kay B

        I agree. She gets it.

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  • YUGE

    NO ONE GIVES A FLYING F UCK ABOUT THIS LOSER.

    • Dave Crowley

      I have to agree. If I hear his name along with Chris Cornell, as if they were equals, I will scream.

      • marc sticken

        When I see your name next to a dumpster I wonder who put you equal with it.

        • Dave Crowley

          That is all you got ? Really? Are you 12 ? You must be. That would be LP fan base

          • marc sticken

            Nah im 17, I’ve been listening since I was 7

      • vinner

        lol, stfu, they were more of an equals than you will ever be to any of them.

        • Dave Crowley

          That makes no sense . I do not claim to be a talented. Rock star. Cornell has more talent than that hack could dream of having . Lincoln park sucked …bad. in the end we chalk this up to Darwinism. Oh and you can lick my ass

          • vinner

            Eh, whatever. Kind of pathetic to mention Darwinism while continuing to have problems constructing simple sentences. And my statement wasn’t that complicated, so either you play stupid or really are that dumb.

    • marc sticken

      Noone gives a fuck about you either

      • YUGE

        You will be killed in a car crash this week.

    • Kay B

      If you don’t care than why comment? Why read the article? And quit yelling.

      • YUGE

        F UCK U

        • Kay B

          I’m sorry I don’t know how to reply to some one with the IQ of broccoli.

          • Olga Stewart

            Heh!

          • Patrick Clark

            Obviously, you don’t think that being in a wheelchair and having to change the bandages on my leg wounds on a daily basis on top of being homeless doesn’t cause massive bouts of depression? Especially when I used to be able to walk onto a stage to play music, and lived indoors. Depression is a daily demon in a life like mine. Somehow despite that fact, not having kids, a significant other, family, battling drug and alcohol issues, being wheelchair bound, homeless, and not having his wealth, I still manage to get through another day. And I don’t have a band, manager, and family that depend on me. I’m the first person that should kill myself, yet I struggle on!

          • Olga Stewart

            I am sorry for assuming.

  • BranFAN

    “…which led to unhealthy relationships.”

    That seems like a shot at his ex-wife, but didn’t Chester say in a magazine interview the stupidest thing he ever did was get divorced? If my husband said something like that, we’d fight. I know we romanticize dead people, though.

  • Patrick Clark

    Fuck Chester, I have no sympathy for someone in his position. I am a musician and have been for most of my life, I’m now in a wheelchair and homeless at 43 years old so my chances of having kids, or getting married are slim not to mention I’ll probably not be able to make a living playing music. I’ve had a fucked up childhood and life yet I still somehow manage to get through another day without killing myself. Oh, and I have and do struggle with addiction issues, so for someone who has the life that I could only dream of to kill themselves is not only selfish and weak, it’s pathetic. I’m still here and dreaming of having a life like his and he took the easy way out!

    • Olga Stewart

      Have you ever suffered from depression?

      If not, then you will also never understand how very difficult that can be to deal with

      I am very sorry to know of what has happened to you.

      But just as I’m sure you would want someone to understand your feelings, maybe you could try to do the same for people who suffer in a different way from you.

      • Patrick Clark

        The only difference between myself and him is he was fortunate enough to be able to make a great living doing what we both love to do which is play and create music. He was too selfish to realize that he won the life lottery, that where he was is more than a blessing and people like me would kill to have that blessing. People like Chester, Chris, and Kurt had a dream life that most musicians never get a chance to experience and were selfish and ungrateful by throwing it away. If any of them lived a day in my shoes, maybe they could’ve seen how fortunate they were and what a life worthy of suicide is really like!