a tribute: to Kim Jonghyun
I'm still in shock.
We just lost Kim Jonghyun, a talented vocalist and compassionate human being.
He committed suicide.
SHINee was one of the first groups that drew me into K-pop. Imagining them with one less person is heartbreaking; imagining what his family and loved ones are going through is devastating. I haven't followed SHINee closely the past few years. I've never met Jonghyun, never known him personally, yet he's been (if peripherally) present in my life for the past decade. He's an irreplaceable presence to his fans.
He's only 27.
It's difficult to swallow. But the truth is, the most beautiful of us are often the ones that hurt the most.
I can't claim that he's perfect, but he's always been honest about who he is. Because regardless of who he is to the public, whether he is known as an idol or DJ; he's only human. We all get hurt and disappointed, and I've never understood why being a public figure exempts you from feeling.
So. No one will ever know what made him give up today. There's no knowing if it is harsh criticism, career pressures, build up of dissatisfactions, or a host of other reasons that he sought peace by leaving the world.
But let this be a wake-up call.
Idol, artist, public figure... even simply the people around you - don't add onto their hurt. If you think "well, they've got their own army supporting them, what will one negative word from me do", think again. Sometimes love isn't enough to drown out insecurities and doubts.
If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all. If someone comes to you with concerns, listen to them. Be patient. If someone wants to start a conversation with you about mental health, take them seriously. Even better, don't wait until you see someone suffering to do something about it. Praise them. Let them know they're appreciated. Thank them for the small things. Do little gestures.
It's time we talk about mental health. Acknowledge that it exists - depression, anxiety... it's real. Start by being considerate to people around you. Just because someone smiles all the time doesn't mean things are okay. Pay attention to what they say and do, and try to understand what drives them. If we cared a little more, maybe we wouldn't feel so alone.
to antis, haters, even some fans: remember that these idols are also human beings. if you can't do the decent thing and play nice, go on with your life and leave them alone. as for fans, remember that everyone has flaws. they also have feelings. respect is something disappearing from fan culture the recent years - respect your own idols, respect other idols. respect that everyone has their own preferences. respect that the person we see is their public face and that they deserve some space too. respect that everyone struggles.
My condolences to everyone who is mourning the loss of such a brilliant artist. While the hurting has just begun for all those who love him, I hope he has found peace.