At age 41, the Linkin Park lead singer's passing has shocked the music community, in which he was known as one of the leading pioneers of the nu-metal genre. According to prevention experts, his death arriving on the late Cornell's 53rd birthday may bear some importance.
As reported by Mashable, these experts believe that momentous occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries can be triggers of intense emotions for people who have lost loved ones to suicide - increasing that person's very own risk.
“Anniversaries bring up the fact that the person isn't with us anymore,” says Julie Cerel, president of the American Association of Suicidology said. “It becomes a time of risk for people who are hopeless and hurting.”
While there's no official word hinting that Bennington's death was in any way due to the date, he had previously spoken openly about his struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts.
The Linkin Park frontman grew close as friends with Soundgarden's Cornell after touring together in the late 2000s. Bennington performed a rousing rendition of Leonard Cohen song 'Hallelujah' at his memorial service after paying touching tribute to his friend on Twitter in a letter which stated: “I can't imagine a world without you in it.”
Cerel advises those who have experienced a loss by suicide to plan in advance of dates such as these in an effort to make an awful day a little bit more bearable.
American Association of Suicidology (AAS) board member and vice president of suicide prevention group Six Feet Over, says that Bennington's fans may now be dealing with their own complicated feelings over the singer's death.
“The loss of Chester Bennington is touching thousands, if not millions, of fans across the world and that pain is real,” she says.
Lehto says that in the wake of a suicide death, having casual conversations can make a big difference. So can reaching out for more urgent help if the risk of suicide feels imminent.
“My message would be that you matter,” she says. “No matter your hardships, no matter how your heroes may have died, your life is important.”
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