When Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington took his own life on July 20, the world was devastated. The tragic loss was a shock to his fans, who were preparing to see the rock star during the band’s One More Light Tour, and his highly anticipated appearance on Carpool Karaoke.
His family were equally as confused by Bennington’s decision to end his life. Shortly after his death his heartbroken wife, Talinda, posted a home video of the singer laughing and joking just hours before his body was found by his housekeeper.
Since learning of her husband’s death, Talinda has been working tirelessly to change the way we view mental health.
Using Twitter, the former Playboy model has been active in starting a discussion about depression, highlighting how the illness doesn’t necessarily show any symptoms. Something that Bennington’s episode of Carpool Karaoke proves, as the 41-year-old musician laughs and jokes with his bandmates and actor Ken Jeong.
The episode was filmed on July 14, just six days before Bennington committed suicide. In the 23-minute video, the ‘Numb’ singer can be seen smiling, laughing and joking as he sits in the drivers seat of the infamous Carpool Karaoke car.
In light of his tragic and unexpected death The Late LateShow‘s host, James Cordenannounced that he would allow Bennington’s family to decide if the episode should be made public. It would appear that the green light was given, as the heartbreaking episode is now live.
During the episode, the band and Jeong sang along to Outkast’s hit ‘Hey Ya’and The Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s ‘Under The Bridge’, along with their own hits, ‘Numb’, ‘In The End’ and ‘Talking To Myself’. Not only that, but Bennington also taught Jeong how to scream whilst singing, something the actor was surprisingly good at.
As Bennington relaxes behind the wheel, he tragically declares “this is probably the greatest day of my life,” as he beams with excitement. He then tells the other men in the car about his aspirations for his six children after Jeong asked if he hoped his kids would enter the music industry.
“For me, I just want my kids to find something that they’re passionate about. One of my kids loves sports – great! My daughters, they love music, they want to learn how to play instruments. ‘Cause Lily’s really curious, like ‘Daddy, how do you like songs? Where does the music come from?’ I just want them to find whatever it is.“
The group then progress on to a party bus, where Bennington can be seen as the life and soul of the party as he sings and dances whilst brandishing an inflatable guitar.
The footage makes for uncomfortable, but essential viewing for all, to ensure that we understand the many forms of depression.
There you have it. A successful family man smiling, laughing and singing on a day he referred to as one of the best days of his life. Six days later he ended his life, to the dismay of his friends, family and fans. This proves just how important Talinda’s message is; that this is the true face of depression.
Somebody suffering doesn’t have to look “sad” or be curled up in bed all day. They can be hanging out with friends, joking and laughing – all the while silently suppressing the debilitating mental illness that is slowly eating away at them.
If you’re silently suffering from a mental illness, we urge you to speak out. Confide in family, friends, loved ones or medical professionals. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of. It is an illness and needs to be treated as such.