This week, we sadly lost Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington at the age of 41. What makes matters more devastating is that he died from committing suicide. Bennington is not the first, and I very much doubt, the last person in the public eye to commit suicide. Indeed, I still remember posting something very similar to what I am about to write shortly after the death of comedian and actor Robin Williams.
Bennington death is a tragedy. Anyone committing suicide is tragic. I know for many people it will be extremely difficult to understand why somebody would ever commit suicide. This is because for the majority of people the idea of wanting to die is incomprehensible. I can totally understand that, but one mistake I think a lot of people make is thinking that someone who has committed suicide is thinking rationally.
I stumbled across an article today from the Metro newspaper, reporting how Korn Guitarist Brian Welch had called Bennington’s suicide cowardly .
Now Welch is obviously a friend of Bennington’s, so we must keep in mind that he will be grieving, and so this will be at least in part him lashing out in anger, which is highly understandable. However, what he has said is a huge misjudgement of suicide, and could do a lot of damage to those who are perhaps considering following Bennington down that route.
Speaking as someone who once tried to commit suicide I can tell you with full confidence that you are not in your right mind at the point of wanting to kill yourself. You believe the world would be a better place without you in it. Sure, there is a part of you that is wanting away from the pain you are going through, but it is not selfish, and it is not cowardly. It might sound weird, but it takes courage to go through with the attempt, this might sound that I am condoning the actions, or recommending people try – this is the furthest thing from what I am doing. All I am saying is that if you are someone who has never been low enough to even think about committing suicide, realise you could never understand what is going through a person’s mind at that very moment. Sometimes you have to resign yourself to never understanding the reason behind something. Trying to rationalise it through the eyes of a non-suicidal mind is futile.
As I say, voicing the rationalising that suicide is cowardly can also be extremely damaging, especially coming from someone like Welch who could easily have followers and fans who are contemplating suicide themselves. In essence, you are adding the label of coward onto them, which could quite easily add weight to the side of them that wants to commit suicide, possibly tipping them over the edge.
Now, I want to make it clear I am not condemning Welch for his comments. I can completely empathise with the guy and understand where he is coming from. But it is important to realise that this is not a simple situation, and not easy to comprehend by anyone. Making such clear cut statements is just very unwise at this stage – or any stage for that matter.
Saying all this, I would like to finish on a quote from Welch about his friend “Lord, take Chester in your arms and please reunite him with his family and all of us one day. Be with his wife and kids with your grace during this difficult time.”
One More Light
Founder & CEO
Tom has going on 24 years worth of experience of working with children and young people. Having started when he himself was only 11.
He has worked in various roles, from babysitting, helping run his churches Kids Church, as well as various youth groups. Including various Friday night youth groups, a political consultation group for young people to have their say on matters concerning young people that were currently going through parliament, and the UK Youth Parliament.
For a number of years worked as a mentor for troubled young people who were at risk of falling out of the system. While volunteering he went through Level 3 training in mentorship.
While still at school Tom was trained up as a mediator and helped make a difference in the lives of his fellow students who had fallen into conflict. He was even featured in a local ITV program about the mediation training.
Tom has studied both Child Development and Child Psychology and hopes to take this line of study further in the future. In the meantime, he has gained a Level 2 Counselling certificate and will be working towards Level 3 very soon.
Tom’s real experience, however, is first hand. Having been bullied from the age of 11 through to 19. It was this the finally lead him to set up Strength Restored in order to make a difference in the lives.