Today would have been Soundgarden’s singer Chris Cornell 53rd birthday, except that he died in May this year in an apparent suicide that shocked and saddened music lovers all over the world. Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington died earlier today in another suspected case of suicide. Now, some are speculating there might be a link between Bennington’s death and Cornell’s birth anniversary today, given the closeness of the two musicians.
There are suicide experts who believe that momentous occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries can serve as “triggers” of intense emotions for people who have lost loved ones and even close friends to suicide- increasing the affected persons’ own risk to suicide.
American Association of Suicidology President Julie Cerel said: “Anniversaries bring up the fact that the person isn’t with us anymore. It becomes a time of risk for people who are hopeless and hurting. “
Bennington and Cornell became close friends when they toured together in the late 2000s. Bennington performed a heartfelt rendition of Leonard Cohen song ‘Hallelujah’ at Cornell’s memorial service. He also gave a touching tribute to his friend on Twitter with a letter where he said: “I can’t imagine a world without you in it.”
Bennington had also previously spoken openly about his own struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts.
There is no official word, however, that links Bennington’s death today to the birthday of Cornell.
Cerel advises people who have lost loved ones to suicide to plan in advance important dates that may also trigger painful memories like birthdays so they can somehow try to make an awful day a little bit more bearable, in the company of those who care for them.
She wants everyone to remember that no matter the present challenges and hardships, and “no matter how your heroes may have died”, everyone’s life is important.