Thoughts on the anniversary of Jonghyun's death

When I heard about Jonghyun's death, it hit me hard.  Probably harder than some people would say it should have:  I was fairly new to K-pop fandom, and Jonghyun was one of many artists I hadn't discovered yet. 

Despite him being a complete stranger to me, though, his death hit me really hard.  Here was a guy who was younger than I am, but who had accomplished things that I could/would never accomplish, and he still couldn't find enough reasons to stay in this world.  I felt like if he couldn't find a reason to stay here, what chance did the rest of us, and me in particular, have?

But I kept coming to AFF, because that's what I do:  Every day, several times a day, I'm here.  I talked to people who had been fans of Jonghyun, and I put my pain aside and tried to help them, because I felt like their pain was more "worthy" than mine was.  And as I listened to them, and dispensed what comfort I was able to, I started feeling better.  Helping people through their pain helped me through mine.  By working through my feelings about Jonghyun's death, I was able to fully mourn some people close to me who had died recently and to process some feelings about going forward in life.  Even though we can't all be famous, that doesn't mean we're less important.  And just because some people are famous, that doesn't mean they don't have problems.  We're all here, doing the best we can.

I'm not going to try to make some claim here about Jonghyun's life or his death serving some bigger purpose, because the truth is I don't know.  I don't know if there's a god, I don't know if they have a plan, and I don't believe anyone who claims to know those things.  If believing there is a god who has a plan helps you, go for it.  On the other hand, if believing there is no god and we're just random bundles of atoms who somehow achieve consciousness for a time helps you, then go with that.  Either we'll someday find out the actual truth or we won't, but either way no one who's gone before has been able to come back to tell us.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is this:  You matter.  You, just the way you are, are important.  Every day you're touching dozens of lives in small ways.  And maybe whatever you have to offer is what one of those people needs to make it through the day.  So let's all hang in there and keep going together.  If you need to talk to someone, I'm here to listen, and there a lot of people in this post who are willing to listen.  And if you don't want to talk to any of us, or feel like your problems are beyond what we can handle, here is an international list of suicide hotlines.


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