Symphony – Finding Beauty and Meaning After A Painful Loss

By · August 4, 2017 · Filed in Entertainment, Personal

After a restless night I had to lose myself in some music and ironically there’s a line in this song that goes “and now your song is on repeat and I’m dancing on to your heartbeat”. These past few months I have had several songs on repeat(this one included) to deal with the loss of a member of my extended family who I never got a chance to meet to suicide as well as several celebrity deaths that have hit me hard and reminded me of past losses/pain and heartache I’ve dealt with in my own life.

One of which was the loss of Nicky Hayden. While I had met him for a moment last year at the WSBK races at Laguna Seca I admit I never got a chance to truly know him. How his death really affected me is it had happened just as I started riding my bicycle to work as a way to both save gas and try to get an elusive workout in. After hearing that Nicky had been in a severe bicycle accident I gave up riding on the street. It was hard to take that someone who had spent their life “living on the edge” and even winning a world championship riding motorcycles at speeds over 200mph could lose their life while training and traveling at speeds a fraction of what he was doing on the racetrack.

The muse for the composer in this video loses his life in a bicycle accident as well. The pain and heartache that the composer goes through can be seen in both his moments of reflection while also finding meaning in writing his greatest symphony as a result.

Back to trying to find beauty and meaning through personal loss, ironically, I have yet to lose a friend who rides despite all the horror stories people tell me. I did however lose my grandpa in a traffic accident when I was too young to even understand loss(it was the first death I actually remembered and can still place myself in the spot/location I was when I first heard the news at age 7). The lasting memory of my grandpa was his stern warning prior to a moment around age 5 when I was riding my bicycle in the rain shortly before I crashed into a mailbox, split my chin open and needed to go to the ER for stitches.

Another death that has touched me was that of Chester Bennington. Here again was someone I never knew personally, however, his work with Linkin Park was and still remains an “anti-drug” in my life. Ironically, the raw emotion and pain in his voice and lyrics were fueled through a lifetime of pain and even drug and alcohol abuse. At the same time it was this ability to share such raw emotion and pain that I felt I could relate to that drove me back from the edge when I could have easily gone down the path of drug use/abuse or worse, suicidal thoughts/actions. Whenever something in life got me down enough all I had to do was throw on “Crawling”, “Pushing Me Away” or one of the many other phenomenal LP tracks, scream along with Chester and suddenly realize the pain was NOT too much to bear.

This includes the most painful event of my life, losing my best friend months before his 21st birthday. It was at that moment as well as the moment that I heard of Chester’s suicide that I really started asking a lot of questions about the meaning of life. Even before Chester was the news that my brother’s nephew(his wife’s sister’s son) had taken his own life. Much like Chester and even my best friend he was someone who seemed to have everything and so much to live for, but for one reason or another the stress/pressure of life was too much to handle.

In a video of one of Chester’s last interviews he starts with “I don’t know if anyone can relate but I have a hard time with life, sometimes” and goes on to explain the inspiration for the latest LP hit “Heavy”. He also states “a lot of people think if you’re successful you get a card in the mail saying you’re gonna be totally happy and satisfied”. This is scary to know that even after reaching an amazing level of success in both the music industry as well as building a legacy through his own family that he could still have these thoughts. It’s a thought process that can be applied any one of the 100’s of famous people who took their lives from as far back as Van Gogh to Hemingway to more recently Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington.

Back to the video that inspired this post there’s another line “when you’re gone I feel incomplete so if you want the truth. I just wanna be part of your symphony.” This is evident in LP’s response to Chester’s death by changing their logo to an “incomplete” hexagon to signify that the band would be incomplete without Chester. My hope is that the living members including Mike Shinoda(an amazing writer/lyricist himself) who has done great things with his side project Fort Minor ┬ácan write their own symphony to honor Chester’s memory.

In conclusion, I don’t know if I’m just rambling now or if any of this makes any sense to anyone but myself. I’ve also said in the past nobody really reads these anyways, however I figured I needed to get some things off my chest and figured writing would be a good way to release all this stress and anxiety I have been holding in.

Until next time, try to find the inspiration for your own life’s Symphony and thank you Clean Bandit and the lovely Zara Larsson for your work of inspiration. Also thank you to everyone who has been an inspiration who is no longer with us.

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