Rest in Peace

I know I haven’t blogged for more than two months, and I’m sorry about that, but I needed to drop in today. This won’t be a well-structured or well-written post, but I needed to process my thoughts and feelings.

As I am sure you all know by now, Jonghyun from SHINee is dead. He committed suicide yesterday. SHINee has been my favorite band for 8 years, and during that whole time Jonghyun was my favorite member. For almost 8 years now, Jonghyun has been the celebrity, among all the celebrities in the world, that I considered myself the biggest fan of. I loved his look, his voice, his stage presence, his lyrics, his humor, his supportive nature and his willingness to go against the kpop norm and speak out for the things he believed in.

I first met Jonghyun at age 13, and now I am almost 21. He was a strong presence for all of my teen years. During some parts of my life he was an almost constant presence, as I spent almost every free moment watching, reading, listening to and fantasizing about SHINee-related things.

As someone who has a family member who committed suicide, I know what his friends and family are going through. I know the emptiness, the anger, and the immense pain they must feel. A pain so bad all you want to do is cut it out of your chest. So I in no way want to insinuate that what I’m feeling is anywhere close to what they must feel, but I do feel a massive loss.

Even as my relationship with kpop has changed over the last 2-3 years, as I grew up and entered my first truly serious relationship, I still held on. Seeing SHINee perform live was a huge dream of mine, and dreaming of meeting Jonghyun in person was still something I’d do from time to time. All that is gone now. And all that he was is gone. We’ll never hear a new song he wrote ever again. We’ll never see him stand on stage ever again. And all that hurts. I can only imagine how badly much he must have hurt. How broken he must have been. I’ve seen it happen, and it breaks my heart that anyone, especially someone as gentle and good as I am confident he truly was, had to go through that.

I definitely feel like I am in a state of denial. I start getting into doing something and then I forget he truly is gone. Then I remember and think “what? no. ofc he’s not dead.”. But then I remember that I’ve read his suicide note, that I’ve seen photos of his portrait at the funeral, that I’ve seen other kpop stars enter, all dressed in black. And then it hits me all over again.

I loved this man, from afar. Sometimes as an obsessed fangirl, enthralled with his good looks and charm; sometimes as a proud mama, happy to see him do so well; and sometimes as a distant friend, happy to share the world with him, even if we’d probably never ever meet. I’ll try to focus on the good things. I’ll try to think of all the joy he brought me. I’ll try to listen to the songs he wrote and sang and smile. I will truly try.

We have lost one of the best. An excellent singer, a wonderful performer and a lovely person. I can’t even say he’s in a better place now, because I can’t persuade myself to think that’s true. He is gone. And what hurts me the most is that he didn’t know that one simple fact, so, even though I know he won’t, can’t, see this, I’ll say it now: Jonghyun, you did well.

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