[Photo by: Brian To/WENN.com]

Linkin Park’s “In the End” is on repeat and the chorus weighs heavy.

“I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter

I had to fall to lose it all, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter”

It’s one thing to hear the hopeless words of an honest man in an honest moment. We relate. We appreciate the honesty. But to hear Chester Bennington sing these words on the day he died, knowing death came in a truly hopeless moment, knowing that single second steals the hope of every moment more, the words take on a different weight.

Chester Bennington died this morning in California, his death apparently a suicide. Much will be done to honor his life. The tributes are already pouring in, as thousands begin to process the awful news, that Chester will never take the stage again, that his voice won’t sing a day beyond today. More importantly, six children lost their father, a wife lost her husband, two parents lost their son, and a brother lost his brother.

We pray they might be met with love. We pray for time and space to mourn and heal.

All of that said, my words right now are not for Chester. This moment, these words, this is for you.

If you’re reading this, it means you’re still here. If you’re breathing, the air in your lungs declares that you’re alive. We can’t know how long we have, but it seems we have today.

Please know you’re not the only one who hurts. You’re not the only one with questions and sadness and pain. If life feels nearly impossible, please know you’re not alone. Please know that it’s okay to be honest. You don’t have to fake it. You don’t have to play it cool. If you need help, please know you’re worth whatever help you need. If you need to talk to a counselor, if you need to call or text a hotline, if you need to step into treatment, it’s perfectly okay. You deserve whatever help you need.

Please stay alive, for every future joy. For the next album you’re going to love, for the best concert you haven’t been to yet, for your wedding or your husband or your wife, for the kids you have or dream of having. Please stay alive to be surprised, by love and hope and help.

If someone you care about is struggling, please reach out. Please break the silence. Please cross the distance. Remind them they are loved. Remind them they deserve better. Encourage them to get help.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, Crisis Text Line is a great place to start. Simply send a text to 741-741. A trained crisis counselor will respond, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Like Crisis Text Line, these folks are available 24/7.

For additional resources, including licensed mental health counselors, please visit TWLOHA's website.

Today, we mourn the heartbreaking loss of Chester Bennington. But today as we mourn, may we also declare that we’ll keep going.  May we ask for help and offer help as well. Because everything inside this life, all the good and bad, all the pain and hope, it matters.

You matter.

We’re all in this together.