Hatred Kills …

I have an uncanny ability, to see dead people. For the whole of my life, every family member, in my family, who has passed on, has come back to me, specifically. I’ve spoken about this many times before. But it bears repeating for this entry.

I was born to a couple, who, in the 1960’s were avid Catholics, who towed the party line when it came to sex and procreation. Be fruitful and multiply the church said. No Birth Control. No Premarital Sex. So Forth and So On.

My parents did not heed those words very carefully, and I think that if the local priest found out about the Premarital Sex, they would have been in hot water, so to speak. But eventually the church would catch up to them many years later when my brother was born, and the doctors told my mother that she could not have any more children. With that said, doctors performed a tubiligation. A No No when it comes to religion.

My parents were summarily EXCOMMUNICATED from the church.

So, I was born. And we were off to the races. For the whole of my life my parents beat into me a trinity of vitriol. The main point was this:

“You were a mistake and should never have been born.”

They kept that line going for more than fifty years. FIFTY YEARS.

The last time I saw my parents alive, and in person, was on New Years Day January 1st, 2001. Almost a year, till the day I got sober again, on December 9th, 2001. But I was stone cold SOBER the day we had a very abbreviated visit. Little did they know what would happen over the next calendar year for me and for them.

Being legally Gay was nail number ONE. Legally changing my name to protect my body and soul from defilement by my parents who hated me, was nail number TWO. Then jumping the border in April of 2002, was nail number THREE.

They were not happy I jumped the border, in order to survive and to get a life I thought was mine for the taking, since nobody was interested in being family, or better yet, being my friend. My brother included.

To this day, I am a mistake. I am the cause of all my families problems. And as my mother told me the last time I spoke to her in person, that litany was repeated, with another piece of information, she dug deep into my heart, because she is a stone cold bitch… “If I die, nobody is going to call you.”

My father came back, a couple of weeks after he died to say he was “sorry.” My mother had visited me prior to this a number of years ago. This time she appeared and stayed here for two days and nights. Repeating the litany of vitriol and telling me she was dead. Kind of odd, that in person she said just the opposite to me, in person. And now that she was supposedly DEAD, she came back to rub it in my face.

I wonder if God had anything to do with this skullduggery ???

I cannot for the life of me reconcile how parents can create a child then spend its entire life, telling him that he was a mistake and should never have been born, and hating on me so hard.

Well, I know how they do it. Because both my brother and myself lived in the same house they did when they copped resentments and dug in for the kill, with shutting off family light switches for LIFE !

If they hated, the kids were to hate. If they did not like someone, the kids would not like them either. In obedience of my father’s hateful edicts and rules. Summarily, I did not agree with blanket hatred, but my brother was eager to please. And my father bred my brother and trained him very well, in the fine art of spiteful hatred, just BECAUSE.

When my father died, nobody called. I learned of his death from my cousin, who lives in B.C. who sent me a death notice on my Face Book account. That was a shit show. For it only took three day for my brother to deign to call me back after the horrid message I left him.

He did not want to hear anything from me, nor wanted to hear my side of any story at all. With that he hung up and that was the last time I spoke to him, on January 10th, 2018.

So my mother shows up and tells me it’s over. Nobody called, and to this day not one person in the family I speak to, nor anyone else, can corroborate this news FROM my mother in spirit form, to me in HUMAN form.

FUCK ME !

The Big Book tells us that “Resentments are the number one offender for an alcoholic.” We do not have the luxury of justified anger nor resentment, lest it drags us back to drink, or better yet DEATH.

My parents feed off anger and resentment, Like Good Alcoholics will. So I should forgive them and let it go right? WRONG!

I did not get my day in court. I did not get to speak my mind to anyone. Because if anyone allowed me to speak my mind, that would legitimize my existence, and they would be forced to listen to me speak about my EXPERIENCE.

My parents and brother are all about DE-LEGITIMIZING my existence. Because if they allowed me my voice to speak, they would have to accept my existence and my experience as valid and worthy of attention.

Not So Fast Grasshopper …

The delusion, well, the Utopian delusion, that I believe that in every human there is a kernel of compassion, and goodness. If they choose to tap it. And I woefully believed that one day we would all grow up, and come to the table and reconcile and sing Kumbaya together …

Well, that delusion is now smashed !!!

I haven’t seen my brother in probably thirty odd years. When I was sick and dying he NEVER called, nor did he ever visit me. Not ONCE. Never called to see where I was, or why I left, and what the real story was, because he was defiled by my parents, because he was the one who STAYED.

I was the one who LEFT. Because over my lifetime, I knew what they were thinking, because I spent a lifetime listening to them talk between themselves and others, about social, sexual, and political topics.

GAY and AIDS were at the top of that list, not to mention Blacks, Jews, and Homosexuals.

(These are the politically correct terminologies, the words my father actually used, should never be spoken in public)

My parent could quote you Bible verse and scripture, when in reality, they had a Bible, but never tapped it in my presence. They usually stuck to the seven phrases, Evangelical Christians use against all things homosexual.

Funny that.

So my brother is eternally mad at me, saying that I chose not to be part of the family, what he lacks is the WHY I chose to walk away, and who forced me to walk away, with variants of hatred and death coming from their mouths.

When people tell you shit like “you’re a mistake,” and when you are going to die, to try and hasten your death, by asking you to “Just Die Already,” something is wrong with that picture, don’t you think?

I had every right to protect myself from people who, I knew, that if I died they would be next of kin, and could come in and take me where ever they figured they thought I should spend eternity, by myself, in some unmarked grave somewhere, or better yet a box, stuffed in a closet, God Forbid !!

They would never have had an urn of my ashes in their house… No way Jose.

So I took those matters into my own hands to prevent that from ever happening. Then I jumped the border, much to their consternation.

I am damned if I do and I am damned if I don’t.

How do you reconcile this dilemma? I have no idea.

A wise friend told me tonight that:

“And yet…you’re here, and not a day goes by that you don’t cast your own light on the lives of others, including mine. In spite of your founding environment, you succeeded in pursuing a life of purpose and kindness to others. I hope you never lose sight of the good, my friend Jeremy, because there’s so much of it in you.”

I love my friends …

Nuff said …


Sunday Sundries: Visitation

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My father died over a month ago, on January 7th. I have not dreampt about him, or even thought about seeing him return to me, in one form or another. I am the seer in the family. Most of my relatives have come back to me.

My father, on the other hand, is a different story.

However …

For the past few nights, I’ve felt an oppressive dark pall hovering in the apartment. I could not quite figure out what it was, but it was weighing me down. I could feel it, so it had to be there. Since I had not spiritually summoned my father to visit me, I did not think he would make the effort to visit.

I have posed the thoughts to the universe about all those questions I did have about him in posts, already written. Last night, as I went to bed, and closed my eyes, I was not feeling myself. My ears were ringing and I had a headache that would not go away. I took some Tylenol before crawling into bed. I could feel that darkness hanging in the room.

I realized that my father had been hanging around. He would not show himself to me, I could not see him, like I have seen other family who returned. But I figured that he was there. It would be just like him to hang about in the shadows and not really allowing for me to see him properly. So in the dark, he remained in the dark, to my eyes.

As I closed my eyes to sleep, I said to him, in my heart and mind, that I knew he was here and that I felt his presence. I told him that he needed to go … That he had no place returning and haunting me. I forgave him and told him not to return to my home ever again. That I did not need to see him, nor did he need to see me.

Yet he came anyways. Why did he want to see me now, when in his life, he had no desire to see me or acknowledge my existence? Did he need some spiritual forgiveness from me that I actually speak those words to him now, in his present form?

As soon as I had that conversation in my mind’s eye to him, the energy began to dissipate and I went to sleep. This morning I got up and the energy was gone. It would have been nice to see him corporeally, but he was here, nonetheless.

This is the only photo I have of my father, from his Face Book Account.

Forgiveness is about freeing us of the pain that others have done to us. In that forgiveness, it does not absolve the “other” of what they have done to us, but forgiveness allows us to move on with our lives, no longer carrying that old pain around like rocks in a sack, hanging over our shoulders.

There is a story about a woman, who survives the Holocaust. She lived in Berlin, after the war. One day she was walking down the street and a strange man approached her and spoke to he quite confidently …

Corrie, do you not recognize me ?

After a few moments of contemplation, she did …

The man was a guard in the concentration camp she was sent to. He had killed her mother and other family members in front of her. She knew who he was …

He begged her forgiveness.

In that moment, she denied him forgiveness, and sent him away from her, not so gently.

In the ensuing months, our woman found Faith, God and the Savior.

It happened a second time, that those two humans met on the street.

Our woman had found forgiveness. In her new-found faith, she realized the gift of forgiveness, in the end, she did forgive that man, so she could go on with her life, no longer carrying around that rock of pain around her neck.

At some point, we need to Sink Into God. And to allow Him to help us become the men and women we are meant to be. One cannot be faithful to God, and keep that part of us that feels pain, in the darkness, from God.

Turning it over, is a 100% proposition.

If you only allow light to be shed on part of you and not all of you, then why bother, if you aren’t willing to bring to the light, all of you?

I am all about The Light.

See the Light, Be the Light.

I’ve spent my life, studying family and I’ve been visited several times over by my grandmothers, and my grandfather. They all returned to me. I have concrete proof of their visitations. I know within myself that they exist on the spiritual plane.

I don’t know where that gift came from, or from whom it came from, but I have the eyes to see it. Because I would not be able to speak about it if it did not happen.

We all have gifts, spiritual gifts, we just need to open that eye to see them.

Thursday: Sinking into God …

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I wrote this letter to my Spiritual Director the other night. It is pertinent to my life today, because it reflects my growth in certain areas of my life at the moment.

I hope that things have gotten a bit better than they were a few days ago. Sometimes it’s a bitch having to recite and accept those pesky slogans …

They might come in handy when necessary, but when they become prayer mantras, that’s the worst, because you know, you have to totally “Turn it over, right ?”

How many times had I heard, Stick with the Winners, and Stay until the Miracle happens, and This Too Shall Pass … UGH

I thought about you last night, while at my Monday haunt. I was talking to a young man of my acquaintance, his name is John. He has quite the story, in summary though, he got to the bitter end and his marriage was in the toilet.

He came to us, and has stayed. The marriage is a work in progress. They are better for the ware and tear that took place. He’s in our rooms, and she is in Alanon …

A couple of weeks ago, John told me that he had found gainful employment finally, after his crash and burn. Starting off at ground level, he found a job as a manual laborer. In a school.

Answer: He’s a janitor.

Sweeping, mopping and shoveling snow… menial tasks but labor nonetheless. He started this week. And seems to be at peace with it.

He has found the meditative art in the quiet. His saving grace, it seems.

His wife is working in a kitchen preparing food for the restaurant, working with a friend of hers who took her under her wing so to speak. She seems to like that small quaint space. The Kitchen. It suits her well.

They got through the holidays, this year, just barely. John was one of the grouping from Monday night, we worked very hard at keeping sober over those two weeks. Everybody is still sober. Thanks be to God.

I had told John, before the meeting about my relationship with the man who saved my life, when it was most needed. Todd kept me focused and on point while at work.

He had a saying that stuck and worked miracles for me. He said early on that I could trust him, and I did, implicitly. I thought tonight, that I have not trusted anyone to that extent before or since. Now or before.

He said that as I approached the building we worked in, whatever was on my heart and worrying me, that I needed to leave it outside the doors, and once I crossed the threshold, the only thing I needed to worry about was the work I had to do each shift.

That pin point focus saved my life in the end.

So with my friend John, with all that is going on in his life right now, I shared that thought with him, that while he was IN the building, the only thing he needed to focus on was work, and not what had been going on in his head upon the approach.
Hopefully that piece of advice will stick and keep him on the beam, so to speak.

Then a God moment happened for all of us. The chair introduced for discussion, Step Three, in the Big Book, Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.
How appropriate.

And here I just told the story about turning my will and my life over to the care of TODD, (read: GOD) as I understood Him.

If there is a God, I met Him in the flesh, all those years ago, and I am still alive to speak about Him to others.

Which bring me round to you … A while back, at one point, you said to me that I could not bullshit God that whatever I was holding back, needed to see the light. hence, I heard you say that and I took that last step into God.

But it wasn’t until I tell this little story to my friends that God makes perfect sense, in that, I knew without a doubt what it felt like to sink into Todd, (read: God) with complete abandon. I knew it, because I had practiced it. over and over.

With my father’s death, I have written about him. And lately I focus on his generosity when it came, and his goodness when it showed. and that when my father was good, he could do no wrong. Even if he tried.

I’m not sure that all the goodness in the world, when it came to abuses, if that cleared his good points off the score board. I’ve been trying to dream about him at night. No success there. I’m not sure he would think to come to me now. Too much water under the bridge I think.

I wonder how he died, if he was at peace, my brother was there, and the day he called me he asked me if I had had any questions about my father’s passing, at that time I said no, because there was too much anger on the dashboard to think clearly and have a lucid conversation about death. But I wonder now.

I wonder what God said to him, after this life he lived, and the manner he chose to live it in, including my mother, because I am sure she is going to have that same conversation with God He did, at some point.

I believe that they both want peace on the other side, after the lives they chose to live, and the way they chose to live them. I believe God would have wanted that for them finally. And I muse about the fact that my sainted grand mother was waiting for him when he finally got there, she was an amazing women who loved deeply.

I hope the three of them are there together, where ever that may be. My mother will have the same cheering squad when she goes, because Memere was all-powerful and saintly. She had the 1-800 number to God for the whole of my life. When she died, she came back to me for a long while.

In fact, all of my grandparents came back to me, in specific form, we all knew them when they showed up because we all saw them and interacted with them. When I was sick and going to die. grammy used to come and visit my home.

I know this because I slept with my bedroom door closed. And every morning I would get up to scattered magazines on the floor and the painting on the wall tilted. A friend who was a seer came to my home not long after and grammy was there, waiting for us.

She told him to tell me not to close the bedroom door, for some reason she could not find her way through the door closed. hence I never slept with a closed-door again. She comes to visit often and stands at the foot of my bed. But I see her. If she has that power to come back, then maybe she will share it with my father at some point, and he will find his way back to me eventually.

Sadly, my father has not made the journey back across to see me. That kind of bums me, I kind of wonder if he thinks about me there, and if he sees me from where he is. That is quite a question I have.

I kind of know what redemption feels like because I am still alive. I’ve felt the true power of God in motion. Here on earth. Very few people harness that kind of energy for me. Todd was one of them. The only one for what he was able to do for me.

Surely, if that were God, then I know. I believe that we all have One redeeming Quality, deep within. Deep in my father’s heart there was goodness, kindness and love. It just got buried with all that abuse and crap he went through.

If I know God, like I think I know God, my father was redeemed. And was forgiven. In keeping with thoughts of how good he was, I can forgive him as well. Because God would want that from us, right ?

I know how to turn it over to the care of God as I understand Him, implicitly. Been there, Done that.

Every time I know I am in deep water, spiritually, all I have to do is close my eyes and see Todd in my mind’s eye, and I know God loves me, and all of us.

So I sink into God fully and completely. Without reservation.

Thursday: Every Day, a Different Emotion

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Several days have passed since my father died. Two days ago, the eight page letter I sent my brother, was received. And he texted me to tell me that he got my letter, and that I should stop spending money trying to reach him. He does not want to hear from me and that he then tossed the letter in the trash, UNREAD.

I spoke to my aunt that evening and she believes in high numbers that my brother would NOT have trashed that letter without at least reading, in her vernacular “What that fucker had to say…” Curiosity would have gotten the best of him.

My husband has been less than helpful and none too compassionate. He doesn’t want to hear anything any more, he’s tired of listening to me talk to my friends. He told me that I just need to leave my brother alone. Just fucking shut up already.

I’m at a loss emotionally. And every day it is something different. Emotions come and tears fall from my eyes, whenever I talk to my friends. And I can’t help it.

There is a young lady, who is sticking close to the rooms, having survived her first holiday sober, and she is sticking close. Tonight, on my way out of the church she stopped me, and offered her condolences again, and she hugged me and smiled.

I said to her that, “we are both sober tonight, and that’s all that matters.” She agreed with me. I worked very hard at keeping her in the room over the holiday. I worked hard to keep all of our kids, in the room, Sober. That was a success.

My young lady in her own way, gave it back in a simple hug.

I don’t understand many things. I don’t understand what makes people sick, what makes them bitter and what makes them so crazy that they can fuck off and abandon their children and go to their graves with corrosive hatred coursing through their veins.

I don’t understand how a couple can go from the altar professing all those virtues and platitudes of being married, to ending up in separate hospitals, sick, not talking to each other, and at some point in time, fuck off on their vows, leaving my father in a hospice, ALONE to die ALONE.

And that man, who hated me so hard, and in that hatred took two hostages. My mother and my brother. I was the one who got away, and God damned me that I chose to get away and get a life and live that life fully.

I don’t understand how blood of my blood and body of my body, turned away from me and went to his grave never knowing the man I became and never allowing me the privilege of showing him just how well I grew up.

I am nothing like him. I will never be like him ever.

And on the way home I saw Juan and Nadia, coming home from a wedding appointment, and during our conversation I let loose some of my pain, telling them the truth and what I know and what I hope they NEVER do to each other, or their children one day.

I am emotional. I am sad. Angry in a way, and thinking over dinner, stewing …

It was not like anyone in my family to ask … Well, how do you feel ? Nobody seemed to care. Nobody came to ask, or inquire. In all the years after I got sick, they came to visit, together TWICE. In twenty-five years. My father was more forthright in his visits. Because every time he came to visit, he had an agenda.

He wanted to make sure I would die, and sooner than later. His only goal in his visits was to impress on me how important it was to him that I just DIE ALREADY.

My mother never said that to me, but they were a sick couple and whatever line my father took, she was in on the deal, because she married him.

They made a mockery of marriage. Truly, fifty years on, I know what that marriage looked like at every stage of the game. I know every secret they kept, every lie that they told. And those secrets and lies destroyed the fabric of this family.

Knowing the truth afforded me certain abilities that my brother did not have. The truth afforded me certain freedoms that my brother had not. And choosing to use those lies to my advantage, left me at a Disadvantage, because the nexus of Red Blooded American, die for your country, its my way or the highway, was just blown out of the water, and made me persona non-Grata to my parents.

I pissed them off. Resentments that already existed against me, were just made deeper and wider.

And now my father went to his grave, hating me as hard as he did.

And I will never know what was going on in his head before he died, because my mother’s curse that if one or both of them got sick or died, that nobody would call me, well she got what she wanted, that evil CUNT.

And my brother is just as sick as she is, because he hates me as hard as they hate me.

Was it because I left and left him there in that mess ?

Was it because I dishonored my father by choosing the life that I chose to live ?

That I was Gay, that I live with AIDS, that I live in Canada ?

Is he angry or jealous, or does he ever wonder who I am, and why I made the decisions I made? If he read that letter, he knows now.

All I can do now, is feel my feelings, write than down and wait him out.

Eventually that CUNT is going to die, hopefully sooner than later. She doesn’t want me, and hasn’t wanted me for a lifetime. She turned her love of her first-born child into loving a man who taught her to hate her own son.

Hopefully when she spits her last breath, she will remember who I am, and beg God for forgiveness.

Sometimes I wish I had the money and the will to do stupid things, just to prove a point. And thank God I don’t have that privilege. Because I’d seriously fuck some people up.

Because they hate me so hard, for no Godly reason, but for pure hatred.

God forgive me.

Monday Over night.

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My best friend said WRITE. So I am writing.

When we all came to Face Book, it was a necessary tool, for us to gather, catch up, and care for Moose. But it became a double edged sword. For all the good Face Book is, it is also one of the most painful, evil places for me to be.

I learned early on that not all family, will ever be family. And I learned in Real Time, what it meant to be eternally blocked from contact from my blood relatives, namely my parents and my brother. That was the bitterest of pills to swallow, knowing they were here, but didn’t want ANY contact with me. And I had to deal with this awful truth in Real Time.

I knew when I moved to Montreal in 2002, that I had committed the second gravest sin to my parents. I left the United States and emigrated to Canada. Not long after that move I spoke to my mother who said to me and I quote:

“IF EITHER MYSELF OR YOUR FATHER GET SICK OR DIE, NOBODY WILL CALL AND TELL YOU.” She also added from her litany of vitriol, “YOU WERE A MISTAKE AND SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN BORN.”

That threat had been laid on the table and it was the truth. I knew that possibility may happen, and I had no idea when it would happen. but I waited it out. Sixteen years and a month passed, and Sunday it came to happen.

I love the family that are here. And I know this medium is a useful tool. And that is how we use it mostly. But I have to say that, upon final thoughts, I would rather have had someone call me on the phone, in person, in their voice, tell me “Jeremy your father is dead.” rather than leave me a message in a box for me to find, when I signed into Face Book.

There are only two truths. Death and Taxes.

My mother’s curse came to pass. She is on her final go at whatever semblance of life she has left in her, in my brothers home. And she probably told my brother NOT to Call Me. And he listened to her, instead of thinking for himself and making the call he needed to make as a man and my brother. That is his failing. I called the number I have for him twice now. The rest is up to God now. My phone will ring, or my phone won’t ring. I don’t chase people, ever.

No More Bad news in a box… EVER !!!

When the final nail goes into the coffin and my mother finally dies, all bets are off. If nobody calls, and she goes to her grave without a word, my world will be crushed.

She is free now of that monster she called her husband. and MANY years ago, when Todd moved to California he asked me to follow, and I told him no, that I had to stay behind hoping against all hope that the monster would have died a long time ago, and i would reclaim my mother and go to her and care for her for the rest of my life. Obviously, God had other plans for me.

She is finally free, but she is old, bitter and angry.

Is she angry I left her and my brother to fend for themselves? That I left home never to return. Are they angry I made an executive decision on my own behalf to change my name and move North? Were taking back my life and making a life preservation decision, not mine to make ? Should I have caved and kept a name from a family that all wanted me dead?

And I wonder why, in twenty years, my brother never came looking for me. Never called to see if was still alive, never cared to let go his childish resentments and become a brother and a man in my life ?

Nobody called. And my mother is next. If she goes and nobody calls me, like I said, All Bets Are Off …

The person who decides to leave the next death notice for me here, is going to pay dearly. DEARLY !!! Because I will loose my fucking mind …

Fair warning … Goodnight.

Sunday: 4:15 p.m. My Father is Dead

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It had been a normal quiet Sunday. I had shopped for the weekend, so I did not have to venture out into the cold for anything, so I rested.

I got up around 6 because my phone had been ringing off the hook for hours, and I had ignored it. Only to wake up and sign into Face Book, and my cousin informed me that my mother had had a massive coronary and was very sick. As the story unfolded over the next few hours, both my parents were drinking heavily, daily.

There was a rift at home, to the point that my parents were no longer communicating, and my father had esophageal cancer and was very sick. At one point she refused to take him to chemo, so he took himself, until she had her coronary and ended up in hospital.

My mother was in hospital through Christmas, last. My brother had returned to Sarasota to take her back home with him, leaving my father in hospice. Over the weekend, the hospice called my brother to tell him my father would not make it through the weekend, and today at 4:15 my father died of Cancer.

This is the only picture I have of my father. Sitting in his office at their house.

What you all need to know is this …

From the story I was told tonight, my parents were very sick. My father had cancer and was dying. My mother had a massive coronary. She was hospitalized and was later transferred to my brothers home in Virginia.

My father died ALONE.

They had no friends to speak of. Nobody but my brother. I have not spoken to my brother in over twenty years. I do not know him and he does not know me. The only things about me he knows is what my parents fed him, from their bitter, vengeful and hateful hearts.

My brother will not make the call. So I rely on outside contact with extended family that my brother deigns to speak to. Even when they tell him that he should call me, he says that he will not call me.

So fuck me.

Eternal Rest grant him and may perpetual light shine upon him.

Linkin Park Loss: Chester Bennington is dead … Oh My Freaking God !!!

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I cannot begin to tell you what Chester’s death means to my life. Linkin Park has been the sound track of my life for more than a decade. I have every album on my phone. I listen to them constantly. Chester is my voice of rage, anger and angst.

I love this band. I love Chester Bennington more than any other artist on my playlist. This is a HUGE loss for the music industry and his band. It is a HUGE, SAD, loss for me. They were supposed to play here this summer.

There will NEVER be another Chester Bennington.

Nobody comes close to the artistry and voice that Chester had. He was unique and totally and completely a fine artist and singer.

I will miss you terribly Chester. May God Bless you and Keep you forever.

Goodbye Chester …

My heart is broken into pieces.

**** **** ****

Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington has died aged 41, LA County Coroner says.

The coroner said Bennington apparently hanged himself. His body was found at a private home in the county at 09:00 local time (17:00 GMT) on Thursday.

Bennington was said to be close to Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell, who took his own life in May.

Formed in 1996, Linkin Park has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide and has two Grammy Awards.

The band had a string of hits including Faint, In The End and Crawling, and collaborated with the rapper Jay-Z.

Its album Meteora topped the Billboard 200 chart in 2003 and is regarded as one of the biggest indie rock records of all time.

Bennington leaves a wife, and six children from two marriages.

He is said to have struggled for years with alcohol and drug abuse, and has talked in the past about suicide as a result of being a victim of abuse as a child.