This week has been a tough one for kpop fans, as one of the most popular boybands' main vocalist passed away on Monday. SHINee's Jonghyun was found unconscious in an apartment and later declared death, which believed to have committed suicide by burning coal briquettes. I was so surprised when I saw the news, as I knew SHINee was still active at the moment. SM is known to be one of the big 3 music companies and has many of the most successful groups in kpop history. You named it: TVXQ, Super Junior, SNSD, SHINee, EXO. Who would know one day one of their singers would die in such a young age by commiting suicide? SHINee was the only SM groups with complete original members till now and no legal battle dramas, except for Onew who had a scandal recently. What makes me even more surprised is that I've been watching them since they debutted in 2008 as it's at the same time when TVXQ released their most popular albums Mirotic. It's like watching the babies grew and then boom, something happened. As a kpop fan myself, I can relate how gloomy and sad the fandom is right now. Jonghyun have just had his concert in December 10. Nobody knew that all these times depression has been killing him inside. My thesis for undergraduate degree was about depression; this is why I always have a soft spot for this topic. He left a suicide note and you could see how desperate he was to end his life because he wanted to be free. Depression is a silent killer. You wont know because a depressed person tends to not telling others about what or how they feel. In this case, he has searched for a psychiatrist but it didnt help him either. He chose to end his life. Even until today, I still cant believe that he's gone.
Below is the suicide note Jonghyun left to his friend, Dear Cloud's 9, originally in Korean and has been translated to English as accurately as possible.
Please dont read this if you are easily triggered.
The depression that slowly gnawed away at me has finally swallowed me whole.
And I could not defeat it.
I detested myself.
I grabbed my disjointed memories and yelled at them to pull themselves together but was met with no response.
If I can’t help myself breathe properly it’s better to stop breathing at all.
I asked myself who was responsible for me.
I was utterly alone.
It’s easy to talk about the end.
It’s hard to actually end.
I lived until now because of that difficulty.
I told myself I wanted to run.
Yes, I wanted to run.
I asked who was there.
It was me. It was me again. And it was me yet again.
I asked why I kept losing my memories. It was because of my personality. I see. So It’s all my fault in the end. I wanted people to notice but no one did. They’ve never even met me so of course they don’t know I exist.
I asked why they live. They just live, just live on.
If you ask why I die I would answer I am exhausted.
I have suffered and pondered. I never learned how to turn this exhausting pain into bliss.
Pain is just that, pain.
They scolded me not to do this.
Why? Why can’t I even end things the way I want to?
They told me to find out why I hurt.
I know too well. I hurt because of me. It’s all my fault and all because I’m lacking.
Doctor, is this what you wanted to hear?
No. I have done nothing wrong.
When the gentle voice blamed my personality I thought, ‘damn being a doctor is easy.’
It’s so odd that it hurts so much. People who have it worse than me live fine, people who are weaker than me carry on fine. Maybe that’s not true. There’s no one alive that’s got it worse than me or is weaker than me.
But I should live on anyway.
I keep asking myself why I should hundreds of times and it’s not for my own good. It’s for yours. Please don’t say a word if you don’t understand.
Find out why I’m hurting? I told you why. Is it so wrong to hurt so much because of that, do I need to have a more dramatic reason? A more specific reason?
I told you already. Were you not listening? Things you can overcome don’t scar you for life.
Clashing with the world was never meant for me.
The life of fame was never meant for me.
That’s all the reason why it hurts. Because I’m famous. Why did I choose this. It’s so funny.
It’s a wonder I lasted so long.
What can I say. Just tell me I’ve done well. That this is good enough.
That I’ve worked hard. Even if you can’t smile don’t fault me on my way.
You did well, you worked hard. Goodbye.
— SHINee’s Jonghyun
You did well, Jonghyun. Rest in peace.