How Chester Bennington’s Wife, Talinda, Marked the Fifth Anniversary of His Death

by Caitlin Berard

July 20, 2017, marked a harrowing day for musicians and music lovers around the world. At just 41 years old, Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington was found dead in his home in California. The world was then shaken once more, as his death was ruled a suicide.

In addition to his countless fans and friends, the music icon left behind six children and his wife of 11 years, Talinda, who continues to be plagued by immeasurable grief to this day. Since his death, Talinda has kept his memory alive while diligently spreading suicide awareness in the hopes of preventing Chester’s terrible fate from befalling anyone else.

On the five-year anniversary of the tragic loss, Talinda continued these efforts, posting a touching tribute to her late husband on TikTok. “Just sitting here thinking that I can’t believe it’s been five years since I last saw you and kissed your sweet face goodbye,” she wrote across a video of herself sitting alone in a field.

In the caption, she added, “5 years. I didn’t think I could breathe this long without you. R.I.P. my love” with the hashtags “grief,” “widow,” and “suicide awareness”.

Tyler Bennington, Chester’s 16-year-old son, took to TikTok to spread mental health awareness as well. “Depression is an invisible illness,” he wrote atop a picture of his father. “Please, always check on your family and friends. If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts. Tell someone, you are not alone.”

In the caption, he continued the grief-stricken message. “I can’t believe it’s been half a decade without you,” he wrote. “If you or anyone you know struggles with mental illness, please get the help you need. For anyone struggling with suicidal ideology, please contact the 988 number.”

The Mental Health Awareness Campaign Launched in Chester Bennington’s Honor

In an effort to create something positive out of the horrific loss of her husband Chester, Talinda Bennington launched the 320 Changes Direction initiative, which seeks to support those who suffer from mental health issues. Through the campaign, Talinda also hopes to reduce the stigma surrounding both mental health and addiction.

“The idea for 320 was born out of my personal experience and the recognition that we can do better to address the needs of those who are suffering from mental health concerns and addiction,” Talinda wrote on the 320 Changes Direction website.

“For 13 years I watched my husband Chester [Bennington] struggle with depression and substance use,” she continued. “I often felt scared and alone. I wanted information… But finding answers to my questions and available help for our family was very difficult. After my husband lost his battle with depression and addiction, I knew I had to make a change to the mental health landscape.”

To increase the reach of the non-profit, Talinda worked with Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman to develop the 320 Festival. Every year, fans gather for a day of musical performances mixed with feature panels from mental health advocates. Though it provides plenty of fun for attendees, the 320 Festival also raises awareness of mental health resources.