Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Dear August: Whirlwinds and Chester Bennington

Dear August,

I honestly cannot believe that it is that time of year when I can write to you again. I have missed you old friend. The past twelve months, since our paths last crossed, have been a bit of a whirlwind. Life has been so busy and I don't know if I have really stopped long enough to completely catch my breath.

Don't get me wrong August, I adore being busy, but sometimes it kind of catches up with me and I realise how exhausted I am from constantly doing stuff. Sometimes it is nice to just sit down and reflect on how far I have come since we last met.

But that's not what I want to talk about August, because I feel that we need to talk about Chester Bennington, but I don't think that there is anything that I can possibly write that hasn't already been said by so many of the amazing people who have shared their feelings about the passing of a man who brought so much happiness to my life. In the face of such tragedy, I personally have found the amount of love and support across the internet to be so incredibly overwhelming.

For some time now, Linkin Park has been the target of a great deal of negativity, generally because of their change of overall sound, so to see so much positivity following his absolutely awful and premature death has been nice to see.

Over the fourteen years that I have been a fan of the band, I have seen them live three times and met them at a Meet and Greet once. I've never really known what it was about their songs that I felt so connected to, but I think I have figured it out.

It is that their songs are about being human, being broken, picking yourself up and dealing with life.

In fact, I think the letter Linkin Park themselves wrote to Chester sums up how I feel better than I can:
"We're trying to remind ourselves that the demons who took you away from us were always part of the deal. After all, it was the way you sang about those demons that made everyone fall in love with you in the first place. You fearlessly put them on display, and in doing so, brought us together and taught us to be more human."

I don't think the death of someone I don't actually know has affected me this much since Heath Ledger died. It feels so weird, because even though I did meet Chester, it was one time and I didn't even have a conversation with him, it was just a case of getting him to sign my Hybrid Theory album cover and moving on to the next person.

The most important thing for me, that has come out of Chester's death has been that it has forced people to talk about mental health, and most importantly - suicide. This is the problem, there is so much stigma about mental health and people are too scared to talk about it, so if nothing else good happens, I hope that it will encourage more people to open up and together we can change the way mental health is dealt with on a personal and wider scale.

Needless to say August, July hasn't been the best of months, but I am ready to put that behind me and face you head on this year. I have so many plans and so many experiences to share with you.

Let's do this.

Love, Kat xx

Dear August is a series of posts that I started writing back in 2013, inspired by a Letters to July series a YouTuber used to run. I like to check in with them every year and see how far I have come. If you want an insight into why I chose August, you should check out my original Dear August: Why I Love and Hate You.


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