Dear, Chester

Dear, Chester,

I’ve been thinking over the past two days about how it felt to hear that you were gone, and about all that I’ve heard, seen, and felt since then. I never met you, yet the news that you had died has left the world feeling like there’s a piece of it missing. And there is—you’re not here anymore. I knew you as an artist. And you were an artist, but you were so much more as well—husband, father, friend. Even though I never met you, I feel I did know you. That’s what art does—in its own way, art lets us know people, to understand some personal piece of who they are, and to connect across distance, across time.

Who cares if one more light goes out,
In the sky of a million stars?
It flickers, flickers.
Who cares when someone’s time runs out,
If a moment is all we are,
Or quicker, quicker?
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well, I do.

“One More Light”

Since I heard what had happened, I’ve gone back to all the Linkin Park CDs, to concert footage, to the songs I’ve spent years listening to. It all reminds me how talented and passionate of an artist you were. And in all the social media posts I’ve seen since your death, it is clear just how many were affected by your life. I’m one fan, but I know I speak for many when I say that you changed lives with your art.

If I cannot break your fall
I’ll pick you up right off the ground.
If you felt invisible
I won’t let you feel that now.

“Invisible”

In a way, it feels strange to write this; in moments of loss, words rarely feel like they are enough. Honestly, I don’t know that they are enough for moments like this. But sometimes words are all we have. So, whatever these words are worth in this moment—thank you for your art. Thank you for your life. Thank you for providing entertainment, inspiration, comfort to me and so many others. Thank you for all you gave us. And I’m sorry that things ended the way they did.

When my time comes,
Forget the wrong that I’ve done.
Help me leave behind some
Reasons to be missed.

“Leave Out All the Rest”

It’s a tragedy that you’re gone, in so many ways and for so many reasons. And you will be missed. I wish I had more to say. But maybe, right now, simple statements are the best. Thank you. Your life and your work will continue to affect people. And I’m sorry this story didn’t have a different ending.

-Josh

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