Kim Jonghyun, born on April 8, 1990, was found unconscious in his apartment around 6 PM on December 18. He was rushed to a nearby hospital but passed away soon after.
According to Allkpop, police found a frying pan with coal briquette in Kim’s residence. Investigators report he committed suicide through carbon monoxide poisoning.
Soon after S.M. Entertainment’s confirmation of the young singer-songwriter’s death, a two-day mortuary was held at the Asan Medical Center in Seoul. Fellow K-pop stars laid him to rest at a private funeral service the day after.
The remaining members of SHINee, Onew, Key, Taemin, and Minho, cancelled personal schedules and took position as chief mourners.
As the main vocalist of the boy group SHINee that debuted in 2008 with the song Replay, Jonghyun brought happiness to many through his passion and sincere love for music.
“I wasn’t an extreme fan, but I’ve loved the group and its music since I was a kid,” said junior Joanna Yoo from International School in Bellevue, Washington. “Jonghyun’s death felt like part of my childhood disappeared.”
Fans, relatives, and celebrities grieved over the sudden tragedy. Many are shocked by the suicide notes Kim left behind as well as the numerous hints of depression Kim showed while alive.
According to CNN, a few of Kim’s suicide notes stated the following: “I’m broken from inside. The blues that slowly ate at me has finally swallowed me whole. I couldn’t overcome… There was no answer. If I can’t breathe, it’s better to stop.”
With the global shock of Kim’s passing, suicide prevention has also risen to the center of attention.
“Both death and suicide are equally as bad,” said Yoo. “However, the fact that it was a suicide brought it to a whole new level, like it could have been prevented but it wasn’t. I’m so pained to think how much pain and loneliness he must have gone through to make this decision.”
The American Psychology Association defines suicide as the act of killing yourself, most often due to depression or other mental illnesses. One holds complete control over death. Suicide has also controversially been considered “death with dignity,” although some do argue that no form of death is justifiable.
In the eyes of the person who commits suicide, however, he could’ve had a perfectly valid and deeply considered reason for doing so. That, however, does not mean these deaths should continue.
Numerous movements now support for the complete prevention of suicide. While death may seem the only way out in certain situations, no one knows what the future beholds. The teens who end their lives are so bright and determine the future of this world. Suicide prevention is vital for allowing the talented youth a chance to explore their potentials.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) is available 24 hours every day to assure everyone that he is not alone.
“[Jonghyun’s] death really opened my eyes to the ignorance and indifference people have toward each other and the importance of relationships,” said Yoo. “It makes me think, if just ONE person could’ve been there for him, he might still be alive. Thus, I really hope his death opens up a way for people to talk more about mental illnesses and understand that we all have our own struggles.”
Rest in peace, Jonghyun. Thank you for sharing your musical talent and genuine joy with the world. Thank you for teaching us the value of communication and support. #RosesforJonghyun