Category Linkin Park

A grieving process by ninja

(One Shot)

Hi guys, this is a story I wrote after Chester’s passing to deal with my demons and writing about grief helped me move forward. I hope you will like it.

It’s the first time ever that I post a story of mine online.

English is not my mother tongue but it’s proofread so I hope the writing is alright.

Warning: There are mentions of self harm, which can be triggering.

I do not own Linkin Park and eventhough it relates to real events, it is fiction.

Happy reading!



July 20th

Elisa has to pick Brad up because his friends don’t want him to drive as he is in some kind of mutism.

When he first arrived to Chester’s house he was hysterical, telling people they were wrong, that Chester wasn’t gone. He didn’t want to believe it, it couldn’t be possible, they were going on tour in one week, it had to be a bad joke, but it wasn’t.

Joe had arrived first and as soon as he saw the guitarist, he knew immediately that he was in a bad state. The DJ had approached the guitarist to talk to him and took him in his arms but Brad was screaming, trying to escape his friends embrace, he wanted to see the singer, he didn’t want to believe he was gone.

Joe didn’t know what else to do than scream back at him to calm down and that he was sorry, the vocalist was gone, it was true, the future was unsure from now.

Since that moment, the dark haired man hadn’t said a word. That was 6 hours ago.

Now he just has this lost look in his eyes. Joe had tried to talk to him, trying to make him eat and drink something but he never got any response, neither did the others. He was just staring at the horizon, without moving, the only way they knew he was still alive was that he was breathing.

Once home, he goes directly to his noise isolated guitar room and begins to scream and cry. One of his guitars gets smashed in the process. As he was about to throw another one, his wife enters the room running, stopping him and forcing him to sit down, she lays the guitar on the side and gives him a glass of water. She talks to him calmly but he’s not listening, he’s furious and hysterical, tears are streaming down his face. If the room wasn’t noise isolated, the whole neighbourhood would probably hear him.

He’s hurt, he feels like he’s being stabbed in the chest. “Why?” he asks, “How could he?”

He’s lost, empty, frustrated, angry, devastated, scared, what was going to happen now? All those years of hard work blown up like that.

He loved him, loves him so much, and now he’s gone forever.

20 years of memories comes back in his mind, reminding him of all the moments of glory, the fights, the hugs, the concerts, the long debates and discussions that could take unexpected turns and either lead to more fights or laughing moments.

He tried to help, they all did. He thought he was a bit better, that the days off would help him, they were supposed to make him relax, not fall down again. How could he miss this? How the hell did they miss the signs, they were best friends, basically living together, how?

So many questions, so many things left unsaid, how will he ever forgive himself?

Elisa is still here by his side, silent. She holds him as the hours pass. She’s crying too, Chester was also her friend.

He looks like a lost little boy.

At some point, he looks at the broken guitar, one of Chester’s favourite, he cries harder, hating himself for breaking it. She tells him they’ll buy a new one or repair it. But how? He can’t buy a new one, he don’t want to replace it.

He then realise it’s getting late, asks where the kids are, she reassures him, they are at their grandparents. He asks her how she is holding and she just breaks down. It’s his time now to take his beloved Elisa in his arms, stroking her hair, trying to reassure her.

They have each other; they will go through grief together.

When calmer, they go down to the kitchen to eat something, they are not that hungry so they have ice cream, tea and a lot of alcohol.

He can’t sleep, turns around every two minutes. He wants it to be a nightmare and wake up, but it’s not, It’s getting darker and he’s suffocating again. He tries to calm himself but it doesn’t work, until he feels a hand stroking his back, which reminds him that he is not alone. He wants to turn around to get a hug but doesn’t want to face her, so she comes closer and takes him in her arm whispering comforting words, massaging him so he can finally fall asleep. His mind becomes quieter and he finally manages to get some rest.

The morning after, he’s completely hungover, Elisa went to work and he has a band meeting to go to.

No one has much to say, they sit there, staring, silent, a few words come up, they comfort eachother, making sure each of them knows it’s none of their fault.

On July 24th, they post a statement on their official accounts

The breakdown

He was standing there, in front of the mirror, he looked at himself, thinking he’s just a mess. He doesn’t truly know what’s going on but the razorblade is calling for him, maybe, he thinks, just maybe, one cut could ease the pain, would it make it go? He didn’t know, it had been years since he had touched it, and now it was back on the sink. His mind was going crazy, a little voice telling him it’s not going to make anything better, nor will it make Chester come back, the other one, the demons, telling him to just get over it, pushing him to do it. He remains still a few minutes, he tries to catch his breath, exhaling and inhaling slowly the way they were teach to do before a show to calm themselves. He closed his eyes a few seconds, having a grip on the sink to stay still.

His fingers were now touching the blade, the sharp edge calling for the skin to open itself under its passage, releasing blood and pain. Just one cut, he though, to make his head go quiet again.

He now had the blade in his hand, it’s reaching his forearm and he let it slide against his white skin, now painted in red as the blade was going down, further into his burning flesh. At some point, he felt some kind of force, forcing him to stop, and suddenly, he cast it away, realising what he has just done. He put some bandage on his arm, cleaned the mess and hid the blade again hoping no one would find out what had just happened.

After the Hollywood Bowl show

It had been a few days since the Hollywood bowl concert in homage to Chester and Brad had barely left his bed. It was already 3pm as he was looking outside the window constantly thinking about his lost friend. The concert had left a weird feeling inside him which he couldn’t really explain. He didn’t even know how he had managed not to break down on stage during the 3 hours long concert. It had been hard but having his bandmates and friends by his side had made everything a little bit easier.

He was thankful to his very understanding wife whom was taking care of their kids that were could hear playing outside. His friends had tried to call him several times but he didn’t even have the courage nor the energy to pick up his phone and respond. He knew they were comprehensive; they were all going through the same thing after all. He was crossed since Chester’s passing, he had tried to keep his mind busy with the concert preparation and his children. But now, without anything to look forward too, he felt like everything was falling apart again.

A little knock on the door of his bedroom took the guitarist away from his though. A small voice that he immediately recognized as Mike’s was calling for him before entering quietly with a worried look on his face. Brad wanted to smile at him but he just couldn’t and began sobbing instead, tears falling down his face. He wanted to explain how he was feeling but just couldn’t find the right words. Eventhough knowing one of his oldest and best friend was by his side made everything a little better.

Mike sat there on his bed, holding his friend, imploring him to talk to him or someone else. The five remaining members were all mourning differently but Brad was the quietest of them, shutting himself down from everyone which made them worried.

Mike suggested a roadtrip if he wanted to or whatever felt right but got no answer. His friend was stuck in a mutism. He really had wanted to say something at the end of the concert to the fans, to thank them for coming but didn’t because since Chester’s passing he doesn’t know what to say to people. He’s just been following whatever his bandmates decided to do. His wife and kids were his rock but at the moment he didn’t feel like he was a very good husband and father. He was probably going to miss Halloween too as it would remind him of the missing vocalist, one more time.

He looked up to Mike, as he finally got the courage to say something, so he thanked him for being there. He then asked if the others were angry at him, Mike laughed, asking how he could ask something so silly. Of course not, they were all worried about him as he had just rushed home just after the concert ended without saying a word to anyone except his wife.

He bent his head; took a deep breath, he couldn’t look at Mike in the eyes anymore and showed the scars curved in his skin that he had hidden under a hoody till now. When he looked up, he saw the horrified look on Mike’s face as he realized what had happened, blaming himself for missing that. Brad began crying louder and Mike held him tighter. Mike reassured him, telling him he would not leave his side, to pack a bag as they were going away for a few days hoping Elisa would be fine with this decision. And she probably would, as she was the one calling Mike imploring him to come check on the guitarist.

One hour later the singer and guitarist were in Mikes car on their way to one of their vacations house that each of them earned. They would stay a few days away from the world and it would hopefully do good to both of them.

Another breakdown

Brad wasn’t feeling well. His head was killing him, he had trouble breathing, and he wanted to scream his lungs out but he just couldn’t as it was the middle of the night and didn’t want to wake up his family.

He felt alone again, and guilty. Why didn’t he call Chester that evening, why didn’t he invite him for dinner? Why hadn’t the singer said something?

He began sobbing, sitting in the sofa alone as the darkness was taking over him on the outside and inside.

He didn’t feel like fighting anymore, he didn’t want to. He wanted to see the singer again, hugging him, tell him how sorry he is for not managing to save him this time, for not being there.

But he couldn’t just let go, could he?

Everyone was in pain, he told himself that he couldn’t let go, he needed to be strong for his friends, his family, his fans.

And now he hates himself for thinking about leaving everyone behind. He’s so weak he thinks.

Angry tears are rolling down his face as he heads to the bathroom to get the shiny blade.

While a few miles away, Joe wakes up in panic, his guts telling him something is wrong. He gets dressed and drives to Brad as he just had a bad dream about him getting hurt. He also calls his bandmates, Dave being the first one to answer:

“mmm, Joe, it’s 3 in the morning, what could…” says the red head still sleepy.

“Dave, I have a bad feeling, we need to get to Brad immediately, Elisa isn’t answering and…” cuts Joe, screaming and talking very fast.

Dave only heard his name, bad and Brad as Joe was talking so fast and the bassist wasn’t completely awake

“Joe, slow down! I’m on my way to Brad okay? I’ll meet you there”

Dave ran to his car and when he arrived, Joe was already there. There was no answer when they knocked so they let themselves in with the key they had for emergencies.

Elisa woke up when she heard people running in her house and when she got up to see what was happening with her baseball bat, Joe and Brad screamed in fear and told her that it was only them, trying to find Brad.

She directly headed to their bathroom but it was locked. The 3 of them were all banging the door, pleading Brad to open the door but after they got no answer, they decided it was probably better to pick the lock.

As they manage to get in, they gasp in horror at the scene in front of them.

The guitarist was laying on the floor, his left arm in a pool of blood that wad becoming bigger as the seconds pass.

Elisa screams and grabs a towel to put on her husband’s arm, Joe grabs the emergency kit and Dave immediately calls 911.

They beg him to stay with them, that he’s going to be okay and will make it. Elisa feels guilty for not waking up. She wouldn’t forgive herself if he didn’t make it. She was kicking herself mentally and was trying really hard not to cry in front of her friends.

Dave went to check on the kids to make sure they were asleep but Jonah wasn’t and he has to reassure the boy that everything is going to be okay, eventhough he doesn’t believe it himself right now. The young boy wants to see his parents and begins crying when Dave tells him that right now is not the time and he should try to fall back asleep. He assures him that Elisa will come soon.

As the ambulance arrives, Dave tells Elisa and Joe he can keep an eye on the kids and will take care of them in the morning if they aren’t back. He watches his friend being taken by the paramedic and truly hopes he’ll make it. He doesn’t want to lose another friend right now.

The Delson’s children are a bit surprised as they get awaken by their dad’s friend and begin to ask to many questions about their parents so he simply tells them they had to be somewhere early.

Once he’s sure his sisters won’t hear him, Jonah asks him if it has something to do with the ambulance he heard last night and the bassist can’t brace himself to lie anymore and tells him that yes, it is but that his dad is fine. And it’s true, he got a call from Joe earlier saying that Brad was stable. He got stiches and would stay in the hospital under observation. He also hadn’t awoke yet but would be in a few hours.

Mike and Rob were also at the hospital, waiting for news, trying to comfort Elisa who was still blaming herself for letting that happen. What was she going to tell the kids if he didn’t make it? That she didn’t hear him get up, cry not did she hear her phone when Joe tried to call her? But her phone was on silent, how could she have heard it? She’s grateful for Joe for having trusted his guts and came directly to their home. Brad’s parents have been notified about what had happened and are waiting for news too.

As soon as Phoenix had arrived, Elisa had asked him about her kids and he reassured her that they were fine, at school but that Jonah knew his dad was at the hospital.

At 9am, a doctor finally told them Brad was awake but still weak and was refusing to talk. They are told that only relatives are allowed to go see him, and to that, Elisa explains quite angrily that the other members of Linkin Park are like brothers to her husband so they should be allowed to see him too. The doctor doesn’t seem to want to argue and accepts but they need to go one at a time and shouldn’t rush him. She thanks him and asks Joe and Dave to go in first to check on him, she doesn’t want to face him now as she’s scared of his reaction.

Joe goes first, try to lay a hand on his right arm but Brad pushes him away and refuses to look at him. But the DJ knows he’s listening so he still talks to him. He promises him that thing can be okay, that no one is angry and they are all happy that he’s still among them. He also reassures him that this won’t go public as he knows how much the guitarist loves his private life. But he got no response, even when he tells him his family and friends are here and he asks who he wants to let in first. The younger man just staring away, biting his lips and he can see that the he’s holding his tears. Joe is now contemplating living to let someone else in or stay by his side to make him realise that he’s always going to be there. So he tells him that he wishes he could stay longer but others want to see him and the doctors don’t want more than one visitor at a time. Then he goes out of the room.

In the corridor, he’s met by anxious looks, all waiting for the DJ to say something, but there is nothing to tell, he repeats what the doctor said, that he doesn’t talk and doesn’t want to be touched.

Brad’s mother decides to go inside to see her son but as soon as the door is closed she looks at him without saying anything, hoping he would at least acknowledge her but he doesn’t, he keeps staring out of the window.

After a while, they decide to show Brad they care so they all enter the room at once not caring about what the doctors had said earlier and now Brad’s room is full of people looking at him, they are all around him, which means, he can’t look away, there is always someone in sight.

He realises how many people he would have hurt and as much as he loves them, he doesn’t want them here right now, so for the first time since he woke up, he actually says something, he asks them to get out and let him be for now as he needs to think, when no one moves, he yells at them to get out, alarming nurses that make sure everyone leaves the guitar-player in peace.

Once calmer, he realises that he didn’t see Dave or Elisa among the visitors so he asks the doctor if they were here. As he gets a positive response, he asks for them and the doctor happily obliged, it’s a sign that he’ll get better he thinks.

As soon as both enter the room, he lifts his arm for Elisa to come closer and get a hug.

“Brad I’m so sorry, I should have woken up and be there for you” she says. But Brad tells her that at that moment he didn’t want to wake her up and none of this was her fault, he apologises for scaring them, and swears that he hadn’t tried to end it and that it was an accident, he had just wanted to let the pain go away for a while but he failed and cut to deep.

Dave is also by his side now, holding him, happy that his friend is alive and talking. He tells him that they are going to make sure he gets better now and they need to throw away the blade.

Brad wants to go home but the doctor refuses, he’s told that they want to keep him under observation till the next day. At that moment he begins to panic, what about his children? He wants to be with them tonight but there is no discussion, he will stay and now, he got into mutism again. Dave tells him he’ll take the kids to his place for a night-over and will drive them to school the day after. But Brad doesn’t seem very happy at all about the situation, but then, if he hadn’t been so stupid and had woken up his wife to talk, he wouldn’t be there. He feels so stupid and hates himself.

He’s given medications and will have to go to therapy a few times a week

A few weeks later

Again, he couldn’t sleep. Every time he closed his eyes he was seeing the singers dead body being taken away. He was tired of this, all he wanted was to get better and move forward but it was so hard.

They had group therapy to talk about what had happened together. He was grateful to have them; he didn’t know what he would have done without them or how he would have gone through this by himself.

He got up to get some fresh air, texted his friends to know if one of them was up but he didn’t immediately get a response. After all, it was 3am, normal people sleep at that hour. But wasn’t he normal? He might be playing in one of the biggest band of the world, but he was still a human being grieving one of his best friends.

He sat outside, listening to the silent of the night until he felt his phone vibrating; it was Rob telling him he’d be there in 20 minutes.

When he arrived, they both sat in the kitchen drinking coffee and doing some small talk until the drummer finally found some courage to begin the discussion and ask him why he was awake at that hour.

The guitarist told him about his nightmares, how scary they were and that it was one of the reasons he was afraid of falling back asleep because every time he saw Chester, he’d wake up in tears, having trouble to sleep and feeling like someone was crushing his heart in pieces.

He said he wished he was stronger and apologised for waking the drummer up. Rob reassured him, telling him it was okay, that he was there for him.

“Why is it so hard?” Brad asks, without really wanting an answer, all he wanted was a bit of closure.

When he’s not in the studio making music and writing songs, he coaches his son’s basketball team or plays with his daughters. He was getting lost in his though until he heard his friend calling his name, telling him not to overthink, that it wasn’t his fault nor anyone else’s fault and that he has to stop beating himself up.

“We can’t undo the past, you have to let him go and move forward” says the drummer, “I know it’s hard, but you have to, for me, for the band, the fans, your family. Please Brad, you have to. You’re not the same Brad anymore, we miss you. We already lost Chester; we don’t want to lose you too. Please. We love you so much, you have to fight those demons back, they talk bullshit, don’t listen to them. You’re a wonderful friend and guitarist. You’re needed in the band, your wife and kids need you, the fans need you. I know that you’re in the middle of the storm, but those don’t last. The sun will set for you, remember?” he waited a while before asking if he was even listening, shaking Brad’s shoulder, asking him to answer him. All he got was a punch in the face. That when Elisa decided to step up. She had listened quietly to the discussion but now she was angry, Rob had come in the middle of the night to help and now Brad punched him, how dared he?

“Brad! Are you crazy? It’s 4:30am. So now I want you to apologise to him and listen to what he said because it’s the truth, you have to handle it! I know you are going through a hard time, we all are and it’s not a reason to be violent. Especially NOT in my house!”

“What if I don’t want to” he screamed and left them in the kitchen dumbfounded. They didn’t have much time to react before they heard the front door open and close itself.

He took his car and drove without thinking about a destination. Till he realised he was on his way to Dave.

Once he arrives, he knocks on the door until Linsey opens the door, wondering who’s there at 5am. When she sees Brad, in tears, devastated, saying that he screwed up again, apologising for waking them up and that everyone hates him now, she takes him in his arms and guide him to the living room, makes him sit down, goes wake up Dave telling him his friend is there that he’s not fine and goes make some hot tea while keeping an eye on Brad.

The guitarist is still crying when Dave comes down and wonders what happened. Brad explains, while still sobbing what Rob told him and briefly what had happened.

The couple make sure to make Brad understand that no one hates him and that Rob is fine, he might have a black eye tomorrow but he’ll be okay. After all he is the one doing the remixes for the One More Light Live album, he’s the one who spends hours listening to their music to make a live album for the fans so that the can have an idea of how it was being on stage. How amazing the experience had been.

He apologises again for waking them up too and that he’s such a burden. All he wants is the pain to go away. 4 arms go around his waist and hug him tightly and they tell him comforting words. Slowly the crying stops and they try to make him fall asleep and it happens after a while. The 3 of them are asleep on the couch until next morning when they are awoken by someone knocking on their door again. This time it’s Rob and Elisa, worried, hoping Brad is there because they had already tried Mike and Joe and he wasn’t there. The guitarist makes himself seen, looks at them both ashamed and apologise for his actions. His wife gives him a hug and tells him that it’s okay and wants him to come home now and asks if she wants her to stay with him.

“I’ll be fine” he says, not wanting to be more of a burden as he already feels that he is.

Rob hasn’t looked at him yet, when Brad had tried to catch his eyes, he had looked away. Brad could understand though, he had been the one punching him a few hours ago.

The drummer looked angry and desperate while driving back to the Delson’s. The guitarist had tried to talk to him but he had been ignored so the trip remained silent. Once home, Rob had taken back his car and driven directly to his place while Elisa drove to work after having made sure that Brad would be okay by himself.

After an hour of sitting on the couch, staring at the wall, He got a visit from an angry Mike. The emcee had heard what had happened and he was furious, and exasperated. He did understand his friend, they were going through the same thing, but it was not a reason to punch his friends and he made sure his childhood friend understood that. Brad was listening, not daring looking up, playing with his shirt that had become much more interesting than the wall.

“Look at me when I speak!” said Mike, but he was ignored “ Come on, Brad, I know you can hear me, stop ignoring me! I could be in my bed right now, but Rob called me and…”

“Well then go back to bed! I don’t care” yelled the guitarist before leaving him alone standing there.

The emcee ran after him, grabbing Brad’s arm, to make him slow down and turn him to face him.

“Brad, can you listen to me now? Please? I’m sorry for yelling, okay? But you can’t use violence, Chester wouldn’t want that.”

They were glancing at each other, no words needed. He could see how much hurt and fear were in his friends eyes, they were all scared about the future, there was something else in Brads eyes, and Mike would probably never know what it really was. He knew that Brad and Chester were very close, they weren’t as much together as Chester and Mike but their friendship was one of the strongest things he had ever witnessed. They didn’t need to be together, nor talk, they would just look at each other, and they knew what the other was thinking. They would see something funny and send it to the other, because they knew it would make them laugh. They had those weird private jokes that no one else really understood, except, maybe, Mike. So he could get why he was blaming himself so much. But he shouldn’t, he wanted him to understand that it was no one’s fault, they couldn’t have known. Brad asked if Rob was really angry, to which Mike said that he was pissed for being punched and needed a day or two to cool down.

He tells him he needs to find occupations, spending entire days in the studio, remixing the OML album isn’t going to make him feel better, he needs to spend time away from Chester. He tells him that he shouldn’t stop, that he’s doing a great job but that maybe, he could spend more hours outside. He should be doing other things too. But Brad wants to finish it for the fans, so they can have something to listen too, because so many didn’t get to hear him live. It was the last live album he could put together with Chester’s voice and he wanted it to be perfect.

Best friends again?

It’s been a few days since the confrontation with Rob and since he hasn’t returned his calls, Brad decides to go pay him a visit. He’s needs to apologise and talk to him. He had call Joe after Mike’s visit. The DJ had tried to remain neutral during the whole discussion, but at the end, he had also told the guitarist that he had to stop with this attitude; he couldn’t shut everyone out and then hurt them when they tried to help.

Once he arrives in front of Rob’s house, he’s still insecure about what he’s going to say.

“Bradford, what do you want?” Asks Rob when he opens the door.

Okay, thinks the guitarist, this begins well; he never calls me by my full name.

“I needed to talk to you, I… I wanted to apologise for punching you, I shouldn’t have, I’m so sorry, please, you have to forgive me” he begs

“I know, it doesn’t excuse your actions Brad, you act like you’re the only one hurting, you text us for help, don’t get me wrong, it’s totally okay to do that, we are here for eachother, but then, you can’t punch us for being there, you might not have liked what I said, but it’s the truth and you know it!” said the drummer, still bitter about their last talk.

The guitarist was stunned, not knowing what to respond to that. He could either turn around and walk away or stay and face Rob.

“I don’t totally agree with you but you are indeed right, I shouldn’t have punched you, it was stupid and very immature.”

“You’re one of my best friend and it feels like I’m losing you, I miss you, you know, god, I miss our movie nights, our escapes from hotels in the middle of the night to go visit cities we were playing in, it was just you and me and it was so fun, I miss the times when you would just listen to what I have to say, without judging me, when I was having breakdowns, or falling back to bad habits. You saved me from myself and now I feel like I can’t return the favour, because I don’t know how to do it. I feel like I’m talking to myself, you know, there are like walls around you and there is no getting through you. I can’t reach you anymore Brad, It’s like nobody’s home, and nobody’s listening. I fucking miss you. I feel so alone. I want my friend back, please, you have to come back, we all miss you so much!”

Brad was speechless, he really had no idea what to respond, he knew he had not been there for anyone lately, some weeks, he was even spending more time in the studio than with his family, he didn’t feel great about that but it had become a place where his mind would stop racing, where he could still listen to Chester and pretend he wasn’t gone forever.

Rob cuts him out of his thought and looked at him, with pain and worry in his eyes, the guitarist made a step forward and took the drummer in his arms apologising over and over again, promising him that he was there for him, that he didn’t mean to make him feel like he was being left out.

It was going to be alright after all. Time will heal the wounds, they will move forward with their lives and make the best of it. Chester will still be in everyone’s heart forever, he won’t be forgotten. He’s a legend, a hero, a fighter and now, an angel looking down over all of us. As Mike said, he would want each and everyone of us to be okay.

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