From Chester's hometown, something light and hopeful


It’s strange that in the last month or so I sort of “rediscovered” Linkin Park and then this happened. I’ve found myself watching videos and reading up quite a bit about Chester and his life. I grew up in Phoenix, AZ like Chester and his family, and I found out that his brother is a helicopter pilot for the Phoenix Police Department.

In my job, we frequently work alongside the police and if I see a police helicopter out and about I’ve pointed it out to coworkers or friends, jokingly calling it the “ghetto bird” and wondering what is going on, hoping they catch whoever they’re after. Now, with my new found knowledge that it may actually be Chester’s brother behind the controls, I can’t help but be reminded of this musician who’s lyrics inspired me and let me know I wasn’t alone in my angst - every time I see that police helicopter up there chasing someone down.

Call me a weirdo, but I can’t help but make that connection. Like many of us I feel deeply affected by Chester’s death. I also lost a family member to suicide, and another to drugs, and several friends to drugs, and work for an organization where we help people with mental health and substance abuse issues. I’ve experienced drug addiction, depression and anxiety myself. If I can help just one person, then I’ve done my part to honor those lost. And next time I’m at work and I see that police helicopter and hear them on the loudspeaker, I’ll think of Chester. A little reminder from the sky to keep going.

The best way to honor those lost to mental illness and / or drug addiction is to help even just one person, or play even a small part in helping them. If you can be one piece of the puzzle of someone’s hope, you are a light in the darkness. And you may find that it helps you too.