Category Linkin Park

Heavy by ValentineShinoda


When I close my eyes all I see is the scenes playing over and over underneath my closed eyelids. The scenes were full of horror and hurt. I walked out to the other room in the hotel to see nobody there. I went back to the other room and turned on the television. Before I realized it a few friends came over and we had pizza and watched more tv. My friends tried to get me to speak but I tried and couldn’t get a sound out. The band came by after they left because they were worried about their other singer.

The band is currently a mess because our lead singer was killed and I was the eyewitness. In my opinion being an eyewitness to something deep as I have is like having a scene of a horror movie play when you close your eyes. I think so much that I pass out and wake up in a hospital room.

I also see people that I know with expressions of sadness but at the same time, they knew that I went through some very deep things. A nurse gave me a piece of paper and a pencil with the instructions to just draw. What I drew made me feel like I was letting my mind free. The nurse quickly called a therapy nurse because I was opening up when nobody thought that I would. When the nurse came in she gave me a sketchbook that my friend dropped off and supplies that I was familiar with.

The therapy nurse made sure I was familiar with the art supplies because she said that seeing familiar things will help me recover but the only thing that is stopping me from talking is not knowing who did this to him. I see the person that did this to him because the person is all I can think about. When my paint brush hit the paper I let my mind roam free and I painted what seemed to me like a painting of the victim. The nurse was at a loss for words and got someone to get in contact with the authorities because I had some idea who the victim was. The victim was caught but I still couldn’t be myself. A doctor came to see me, this wasn’t unnormal. This time was different because usually just tries to get me to open up but this time he took his time with me. The first thing he asked me was my name and I managed to speak with a stutter,


The doctor writes on a clipboard and tells me how good I am doing. He notices the stutter and tries to give me an opportunity to say something else to see if the stutter was in my voice or it was because of not using my voice for a period of time. He got me to say a number of sentences and the stuttering didn’t happen then he did a few more sentences and I only stuttered once or twice. The doctor called one of my friends and asked if I ever stuttered before and the friend told him that I stuttered before. I know this because I could hear the doctors and nurses talking outside my door, they were talking normally and a hospital room is quiet so I could hear the voices clearly. I got released on a Friday being told to have a sketchbook with me at all times. I was at a bandmates house and forgot my sketchbook and ended up having a breakdown. One my friends got me the sketchbook I left there but I just stare at the things that I drew and got the emotions that I was confused about then but I got now from looking at how my art expressed them. The band gave me the space that I needed and one day they came in and I was playing the piano. I never touched something related to music since this all happened. Music is a thing that attaches emotional meaning to almost everything so when something emotional happens touching strings or keys is almost a natural thing to do. When I touched the piano again it felt like I haven’t touched it in years and there was dust on it. The piano didn’t have dust on it but for me, I didn’t touch an instrument since because it reminded me of everything but it turns out music was something I needed but it just didn’t feel the same. I play the piano for a little while then I go home. When I pull into the driveway I see four people in the window just waiting for me to come home. When I open the door my wife kisses me holding our three-week old daughter. My son hugs me and my two older daughters do the same, I still feel empty but I have a family that needs me so I hug my family tighter. My wife sees my red eyes and asks me what happened. I tell her that I need to talk to her. I go to the kitchen and tell her what I have gone through and why I didn’t come home. When I told her she hugged me tighter and said that she loved me. The kids came to the kitchen and seen their father crying. They didn’t ask why because they were taught not to ask questions like this. I went in my studio and locked the door. When I touched a key it was like my voice knew what to do because I started to sing something that I haven’t in awhile, a song that I wrote for him. He didn’t hear it because I was going to play it for him when I thought it was good enough for anyone to hear. I sang loudly and I got carried away then I heard the locked door open. The only people that have keys for the studio are me and the band. I look at the door while continuing to sing and see nobody there but instead I hear his voice. I do what my mind told me to do and sing along with him. My wife came to the door frame with a small smile because she never thought I would go from small words to singing this fast but she knew the power of the strings and the keys. I asked her if she unlocked the door and she said that she didn’t know that I locked it. I looked in the handle of the door and seen the key that I gave to him. I was at a loss for words because he only told me where he put them so the kids couldn’t have unlocked it because it was somewhere they wouldn’t look. On the key was a note that said that music was the one thing that never changes in this world. He is trying to talk to me and give me signs that he is here but I keep on thinking someone else is doing the things that his spirit is doing. A few days went by and the spirit wasn’t showing any signs of being present so I knew that the signs were either mistaken for spirits or he was just giving me signs every once in awhile. A week later I decided to go back to the studio to see if I could put my mind on paper like I learned how to do a little while ago. When I started writing I couldn’t stop myself from writing, this was a relief for me because I found my voice again and now I found my writing voice again. When the band came by they were relieved to see me with a pen and paper. I gave them the notebook and they were looking at me with tears streaming down their faces. They all went to their instruments and I went to my keyboard. The band believed in me because I was doing what I loved to do. What they didn’t know was that he was with me, not by flesh but in my heart. When I sang the words I felt like I was set free and that he was singing with me.

A month after he passed I started to feel the same way and started to lose control, I did some things that I am not proud of as an attempt to gain back the self control that I lost. The thing that made me gain back the control that I lost was going on tour in memory of him. When I went on stage for the first time I never felt my scars. We clearly weren’t ourselves but this is the only way we thought to honor him. I quickly gained the control I lost because I knew in my heart that I honored him. I arrived home to my wife and children with a fixed self confidence and scars that I am not proud of yet. My wife knows that I am trying to recover for her and the kids but I know that the main reason should be for me. I still see the scenes playing over and over under my closed eyelids but I try to take some time to release my feelings. I still break down sometimes but everyone has that kind of days. What is different for me one day feels like multiple days so sometimes I have multiple breakdowns and then I feel alright, when I have multiple breakdowns in a day I feel like days have passed by but it hasn’t. My children have forced me out of a breakdown or two. My second youngest daughter, October once took me to the kitchen and we baked cookies together and this forced me out of my own head for a bit because sometimes my flashbacks get the best of me but I guess he wanted me to bake cookies with October. After me and my daughter baked the cookies we took some to his wife and kids. His wife enjoyed seeing me and October. She invited us in and she knew that I was having a rough time. I seen a guitar and told her that I wrote a song for him that I never got to sing to him. I sang it for her and she was in tears. She told me that it was beautiful. We were all in tears and October was confused and I said,

“October these tears are because I sang a song that meant a lot”.

She understood me and hugged me so tight that I thought that she thought that she was going to lose me, my scars started to ache but I never told her to let go. I saw my scars as a selfish decision so if October is hugging me tightly and making my scars hurt I don’t tell her to let go because I shouldn’t let my selfish decision keep my daughter from loving her father. When we leave his wife's house she asks me to come back soon and I told her that I would. When me and October came back home my oldest son asked where we were and I told him that me and October went to see someone. I asked him if he cleaned the kitchen because me and October left the kitchen in a little bit of a mess. He said that he came home from school an hour ago and the kitchen was clean as can be and that mom was asleep in the bedroom. We watched the cameras and they blurred then the kitchen was clean. My wife said to me that it was the spirit of him. I went to the home studio and October followed. This was the time my youngest daughter began to cry so I went to her nursery and picked her up because my wife was asleep. I pick her up and go to the at home studio and play the piano to calm my newborn daughter. When I look at Oakley I feel so irresponsible of a small life. I feel this way because I let someone take his life so easily and here I am holding another life in my arms. I play piano with one hand while staring at my newborn daughter. When Oakley fell asleep I put her back in her crib.

When I walk out of her nursery I see my wife walk out of our bedroom. She asks me what I did today and I said,

“Me and October baked cookies then we went to visit his wife and then I came home and then me and October went to into the home studio and I heard Oakley crying and I put her to sleep”.

My wife kissed me and we went to see what October was up to. When we were eating supper I started to feel the weirdest I have ever felt since all this happened. I felt like I was responsible for too many things and lives. I felt like I am going to lose control any second. A few minutes into the meal I get up from the table and go to my at home studio and got out my sketchbook and drew till I couldn’t anymore. When I woke up I felt like I completely lost control of my life. My wife asks me to go get Oakley and I felt like I was going to hurt her. I stay quiet and my wife asked me if I was alright and I nodded and headed towards Oakley’s nursery and went in and picked her up and walked slowly to where my wife was and gave her Oakley. I didn’t show that I was scared that I would drop my newborn daughter but everyone has the fear of dropping a baby. The one thing that makes me different is that Oakley is my fourth child and normally the fear of dropping the baby is fear that parents have with their first child. I don’t remember having these feeling with October but at the same time, my mind is so much of a mess that I don’t know what I am supposed to feel anymore. With October I was calm and with Oakley I am anxious. I pick up my sketchbook and turn to a new page and draw on the page. After I drew the picture I had the feeling that I was losing control again so I go to my keyboard and sit in front of the keys. I play for a good bit of time then I get a text to go to the studio so I get in my car and go. When I get to the studio I rush to my keyboard because the only thing I want to do when I lose control is to play piano, but when I fall down in front of my keyboard the guys know that I had a long day one of the guys ask me what happened today and I said,

“When I woke up my wife asked me to get Oakley and I was afraid that I was going to drop her and I did get the baby for her”.

Another one of the guys asked me was I okay. I said yes because everyone has the fear of dropping a baby. I make my way to the keyboard and played a melody that I haven’t played before. I was just playing something to play not to get it right. I played because I needed to because my mind was driving me crazy.

I get a text from my wife with a picture of her, Oakley and October. When I see the photo my world stops because I feel like I am the most selfish person in the world because I am always drawing or playing music. I leave the studio without a word to anyone and on my way home I buy my wife roses. When I get home I give my wife the roses with an I’m sorry for being selfish. I said that I was sorry for being selfish because I was slowly losing my mind. I fell asleep on the couch after I cried myself to sleep. I woke up to my wife shaking me. When I woke up she asked me why I thought that I was being selfish and I told her that I felt like I wasn’t at home enough because in my opinion I always look like I am overthinking everything. All my wife does is hug me because she knows how hard this is to be living with. I fall asleep again because tiredness meets me when I least expect it. When I wake up all I hear is October calling out to her Daddy. I go to her and she just wanted me to lay with her. I do of course but when she fell asleep I went to the home studio. I went to the home studio because I needed to play something and if I don’t I will go insane. Before I started to play Oakley woke up. I watched the baby monitor and pressed the voice button and said,

“It’s okay Oakley”.

She closed her brown eyes and went back to sleep and I pressed a few keys. I looked over my shoulder to see my son. He hugged me and asked me if I was doing okay. I looked him in the eye and said,

“Music is the one thing that never changes”.

He looked at me and told me that my words were true. I asked him to check Oakley and my oldest son Otis checked on his one-month-old sister and she was perfectly okay. After a few minutes, Oakley started to cry. I asked Otis to get her and pass her to me. I held her close for a few minutes then put her into her carrier and walked to the studio. When I arrived the guys were working on some guitar.

When the guys noticed that I was in the studio they asked me if I was ready to record some piano tracks. I unzipped my coat to reveal an awake Oakley. The guys quickly came to me not talking to me but talking about how cute Oakley is. This was the first time in awhile I felt like I was on the edge but I was still somehow holding on. I seem to have mastered the holding on thing for months now but the truth is I am as clueless about holding on as the person that is asking me how do I hold on. In the end, I did get my piano tracks done and I did walk home with the baby and my wife was happy that she had the chance spend some time with Dad at one of his favorite places. The studio is one of my favorite places but at the same time, the studio holds some emotional things like the place we recorded a few albums and the last place he recorded a track.

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