Today has been a dark one for the k-pop fandom. This morning, fans learned that SHINee’s main vocalist was found unconscious and rushed to a local hospital by medical personnel. Reports confirmed Jonghyun was then declared dead upon arrival, leading the fandom to mourn the sudden loss.
Over on Instagram, a close friend of Jonghyun’s is now trying to give fans closure by releasing his parting words. Dear Cloud’s singer Nine9 was sent a suicide note by Jonghyun, and she has since posted the letter after conferring with the late idol’s family.
The letter, which can be found in full here, is a difficult one to read. Fans should be warned that its material can be considered triggering. In the note, Jonghyun explains why he made the decision to take his own life.
“I am damaged from the inside. The depression that has been slowly eating away at me has completely swallowed me, and I couldn't win over it,” the idol wrote.
“I hated myself. I tried to hold on to breaking memories and yelled at myself to get a grip, but there was no answer.”
The letter’s final words sees Jonghyun ask for forgiveness and to be let go peacefully.
“What more can I say? Just tell me I worked hard. That it was good of me to come this far. That I worked hard. Even if you can't smile as you let me go, please don't blame me. I worked hard. I really did work hard. Good bye.”
According to Nine9, Jonghyun had spoken with her about his depression, and she alerted his family about her concerns. The singer went on to say Jonghyun had asked her to share this letter with the world once he was gone. Nine9 said she felt Jonghyun asked her to release his words for a reason even if they did cause a controversy, and his family agreed the letter should be made public.
The heart-wrenching letter comes not long after the Berkley Political Review confirmed nearly 40 people in South Korea commit suicide each day. Suicide is the fourth-most common cause of death within the country, and it is one of the only developed countries to see those rates climb following the 1990s. Conservative views towards mental health and grueling social expectations have made it increasingly difficult for Koreans to find de-stigmatized treatment for on-going mental health crises.
If you need to speak with anyone about suicide prevention, the U.S has a national hotline which can be called at any time. You can reach out at 1-800-273-8255. Our thoughts are with the singer's loved ones at this time.