I have pondered and spent hours thinking about the events that led to the tragedy fans of Korean pop music experienced on the 18th of December this year. It has been a difficult time for a lot of us, and we have all grieved differently. I for one, never knew I had become so attached to this music industry and the people in it that I would mourn the loss for so many days. However, I vowed to start healing once Jong Hyun was laid to rest yesterday.
Jong Hyun’s loss is great, not just because of him being a part of SHINee, or being a famous celebrity. The young man, only 27 of age oozed so much talent, from a voice that was almost reminiscent of Michael Jackson, to his charismatic dancing, the warmth that his face exuded, both on stage and off stage, his smile, bright, shining eyes, and the gentleness of his voice when he spoke. For a fan of Korean pop, an artist is not just what is packaged to us by all of these fancy agencies that we hear about all the time. The relationship between these idols and their fans is so deep and so profound that most of us have probably been told to grow up and not grieve for this loss, because it’s not like we ever knew him; he was just a celebrity. Just a celebrity. Wasn’t he a human before that? Aren’t we, as humans programmed to empathize? The connection we have with ‘just these celebrities’ is so deep that fans from across the world have grieved together. There’s obviously some bond that idols are able to establish as humans with us, the ‘common people’. And they always make us realize that we are not alone, that they feel just like us and the relationship forged is inescapable.
Coming back to the sad affair that has happened recently, to relate to someone at their lowest point has proved to be harrowing for me, personally. The fact that so many people are going through the same things, and then being able to come together on its basis, to grieve makes you feel like you belong somewhere. Despite it all, the emptiness that most of feel but tend to ignore, has me gaping right down it after this incident. The lessons I have learned from this absolutely devastating affair is that we all have to, and must look out for each other at all costs. Any psychological trauma is no joke, that we can just brush it under the rug. We must face our demons. Look them in the eye. Deal with depression by doing something about it. The fact that Jong Hyun had ‘tried everything’ and then resorted to his final decision is such a scary thought, but it also makes you think that it could quite possibly be you too. So, we can at least try to do all in our power to stop ourselves and stop such thoughts from occurring by taking such conditions seriously and doing something about them.
Jong Hyun may have gone from this world, but he has left his fans so many good memories, of a gentle and loving soul. His smiling face will never be forgotten, neither his iconic vocal range. He was a true gem, one of the biggest figures of the second generation of Korean pop. He was sure he wanted to do things the way he did, and that makes me want to make sure his death was not in vain. Continue to support his members, continue to support the group. Continue to support each other. So that we can tell ourselves and everyone around us, everyday, that we, have done well. We have led a great life, and we need each other, always. I wish Jong Hyun’s message of love is spread everywhere, and we treasure the people in our lives a little more. Be they famous idols, or our friends and family. Let his loss not be in vain. That 10,000 public turnout on the funeral was nothing. If all of the fans could have travelled to wish him goodbye, I believe it would have been 100,000 people there to show him their love. Kim Jong Hyun, you will be dearly dearly missed by the hundreds and thousands of people who’s lives you affected. 수고했어요. 고생했어요. 잘했어요.