"It's not a fault - it's years of untreated mental health"
Bennington passed away in July after taking his own life. He was just 41-years-old.
Appearing at the Canadian Event Safety Summit to discuss mental health, Talinda spoke about the events that led to Bennington’s death, and how others can seek help. She revealed that he’d been deeply effected by the loss of friend and Soundgarden icon Chris Cornell.
“My husband had had a past… in the past, he had attempted suicide, but I thought to myself, ‘It was ’cause he was wasted. He was this or that’,” said Talinda. “So [before] he did pass, I thought very naïvely, we were in the clear.
“We had a very, very dear friend, Chris Cornell, take his own life. And I felt that, ‘Okay, Chester sees what Vicky and [their] kids’ — we’re godparents to their children — ‘what they’re going through and this will never happen.'”
Speaking of their final days together, Talinda revealed: “He was very excited to be promoting the new album and doing stuff, so he was happy. He gave me a kiss goodbye, he gave the kids a kiss goodbye, and I never saw him again.”
However, Talinda also spoke of the sorrow of Bennington’s relapse into alcohol after being sober for almost six months.
“[It was] shame that he had just begun to share with me in the couple of months before he died, shame I didn’t even know a person could have,” she continued. “So when he passed, and I learned that there were two empty beer bottles in the room, I knew he had relapsed, but I also knew he wasn’t so intoxicated out of his mind like I would have thought. I knew instantly that that drink triggered that shame, triggered a lifetime of unhealthy neural pathways.”
Following Chester’s death, Talinda has become an advocate for speaking out for mental health in the battle against depression, often using the hashtags #FuckDepression and #MakeChesterProud on social media. She added that in cases such as this, no one is to blame – but depression needs to be treated and assessed.
“As much as social media has been a huge support for me, I do every now and then get people blaming me — straight-up blaming me — for him dying, for not saving him, for mistreating him,” she admitted. “Who knows why these people behind their devices are saying these horribly cruel things to me? But, you know, it is a little stab in the heart, but what I have to remember is that it’s not my fault, it’s not my children’s fault, it’s not the band’s faults — it’s nobody’s fault.
“It’s not a fault. It’s years of untreated mental health, which led to substance abuse, which led to unhealthy relationships. By the time I met him, he was ready to be healthier.”
Fans can make donations to the charity 320 Changes Direction in Chester Bennington’s memory.
Meanwhile, Mike Shinoda recently revealed that Linkin Park would be continuing as a band without Chester Bennington.
During a twitter Q&A, one fan asked Shinoda, “Mike what will happen with Linkin Park in the future?”
Shinoda replied, “I have every intention on continuing with LP, and the guys feel the same. We have a lot of rebuilding to do, and questions to answer, so it’ll take time.”