Jonghyun: Rest in Peace Beautiful Soul

Image result for jonghyun

I debated writing a post about this and ultimately decided to just write. With the news breaking of the passing of Jonghyun this morning I’ve been in a sort of fog. And when things are confusing I process by writing. And this blog was created as an outlet to discuss things I love and sadly, today, one of the things I loved broke. And personally, I think its important to write about why the passing of one of my favorite artists hurt so much. Tv shows, films, books, authors, musicians, painters – they all have a way of affecting us and I started this blog to analyze why that is. Why do certain books speak to us? Why is art so heavy? Why, when our favorite artists break, do we sometimes break too?

I first started listening to Kpop when I was a freshman in high school. One of the first groups I listened to was SHINee. Their dances were the first thing I noticed. This group created amazing music but their dances were incredible, I had seen nothing like it before. It was creativity at its finest. SHINee excelled in their ability to make art out of every aspect of their music from the beats, the lyrics, the dance choreography, their fashion, and their music videos. These were some hardworking talented artists at their best. I had no idea what they were singing but the music was good so I always jammed to them and thus the Kpop fan in me was born.

I remember plugging in my Ipod to the car radio and making my mom listen to SHINee in the car. And the best thing happened, my mom ended up liking their music as well. For the first time, my mom and I bonded over music. I had always been private about my love for Kpop and it was through SHINee that I allowed my mom into a piece of my world.

Music bonds us. It heals us. It allows us to escape, which is why it is utterly heartbreaking knowing that one of my favorite artist growing up could not escape from his own demons. The past year we have lost amazing artists and some, like Jonghyun, we have lost to mental health. At 27 years old the artist who brought me great joy during some hard times, lost his battle with depression.

I saw the news this morning and started to tear up. Why is that? I never met him. Don’t know him. And yet the same thing happened when Chester Bennington lost his battle with depression earlier in the year. Utter sadness and heartbreak for people I never personally knew.

Maybe it’s because art always affects us. Artists share their vulnerability with us. They create a safe place for us to connect with others who are experiencing hardship and despair. And through their vulnerability, through the art they create, we heal. Which is why when our favorite artists lose, we lose as well. It hurts when someone loses their battle with mental health because many of us have been there. We know that pain. Even if you don’t struggle with mental health, we all know what pain feels like. With the passing of Jonghyun, and Chester Bennington, it was like witnessing a hero completely shatter. It was like watching a star lose its light.

Even though it may feel that way, that is absolutely not true. Jonghyun was outspoken about his battle with depression. He spoke out against the stigma behind mental health and he fought with every ounce of his being against the dark shadow of depression. He created music for those suffering from mental health, through the lyrics he wrote he comforted them, reassured them, and restored them. He was a shining star on stage and he is now a shining star in the sky.

Artists are incredibly brave. They share parts of themselves with strangers across the world. They share their fears, their battles, and their weaknesses and by doing so, they allow us to find comfort in knowing that we all go through hardships. We all have our own fears, battles, and weaknesses. There is a certain strength that comes with knowing we aren’t alone.

Art provides us with a space to come to terms with where we are in life. Especially music. Music allows us to dance with happiness when we are at our best but it also gives us a moment to process when times are difficult. Happy songs, dance songs, sad songs, all the music in the world has the power to heal us.

I urge each and every one of you who may be suffering from mental health to seek assistance. You are not alone. You will never be alone. There are days when you feel like there is no peace but I promise you, if you keep breathing, if you keep going, peace will find you. And for each day you fight, I am proud of you. You’re doing good. Keep going.

I will end this post with a song Jonghyun wrote. Breathe by Lee Hi written by Jonghyun.

 

It’s alright if you run out of breath
No one will blame you
It’s okay to make mistakes sometimes
Because anyone can do so
Although comforting by saying it’s alright
Are just words

Someone’s breath. That heavy breath
How can I see through that?
Though I can’t understand your breath
It’s alright I’ll hold you

Even if others think your sigh
Takes out energy and strength
I already know
That you had a day that’s hard enough
To let out even a small sigh
Now don’t think of anything else
Let out a deep sigh
Just let it out like that

Someone’s breath. That heavy breath
How can I see through that?
Though I can’t understand your breath
It’s alright I’ll hold you
You really did a good job

Rest in peace Jonghyun. I’m a believer and I truly pray you’re now in God’s arms free of hurt. Free of pain. You live on through your music and the joy your music brings.

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