Karen Fratti
Updated Jul 24, 2017 @ 5:45 pm

The death of Chester Bennington last week hit fans hard, and his friends and family especially are still trying to process what happened. On Facebook, Linkin Park wrote a letter to Chester Bennington to say their goodbyes and thank him for his friendship and talent. They began the letter by writing, “Our hearts are broken. The shockwaves of grief and denial are still sweeping through our family as we come to grips with what has happened.” We are crying already.

Chester Bennington’s death came as surprise to his friends and family, and he definitely won’t be forgotten any time soon.

His bandmates continued their letter by expressing gratitude to Bennington for his work and friendship over the years.

Bennington’s “demons” were mental health and substance abuse issues that he spoke openly about throughout his career. Bennington likely helped more people than he could ever imagine get through tough times of their own through his music and candid conversations about the difficulties of getting sober and dealing with depression. Linkin Park acknowledged this on their Facebook page in their open letter:

To help others who struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts, Linkin Park has also created a website dedicated to suicide prevention hotlines and services. It’s also a place where fans can leave their condolences and remember the music and life of the Linkin Park co-founder. This is such a necessary gesture, since mental health issues, depression, and battling suicidal thoughts are still wrought with stigma.

Bennington died by suicide last Thursday, on what would have been his close friend Chris Cornell’s 53rd birthday. Cornell also died by suicide in May after battling depression and substance abuse throughout his life. Bennington performed the song “Hallelujah,” which Cornell had also once covered on a solo album, at his funeral.

Hopefully, Bennington’s fans can find a community on the new site to talk about the musician’s impact on their lives. And hopefully his death, along with Cornell’s earlier this summer, will help encourage people to have larger and louder conversations about the tragic effects of depression and substance abuse.

If you are thinking or have thought about suicide, if you are worried about someone you know, or if you just need someone to talk to, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat with their counselors online here. You can see more of their services here. All services are free and available 24/7.