🌟💖 to jonghyun: my sun, my moon, my stars, someone who i'll love forever 💖🌟
i don’t know how to start this properly so i’ll do so by saying i’m coping the best i can be given the circumstances but it still feels like there’s this void in my chest.
when i first started listening to k-pop i figured it’d just be a fun pasttime for me and, for the most part, it has been. i just didn’t think i’d get as attached as i did to an idol as i did jonghyun because i’d never been the type to get super attached to celebrities to begin with but i was really drawn to him from the get go. i remember the first time i saw him in the “lucifer” mv. i was like: ”wow, who is that dude“ so i started looking into him and grew to like him quickly. this was before he started to show more of himself to shawols / the world. after that point he made his twitter and began to interact more with fans by showing how clever, intelligent, fun loving and socially conscious he was. and his sense of humor was so strange - which was something that i could relate to. that’s probably when i knew he was going to be my ult for a long time.
i remember when he supported kang eun ha back in late 2013 and i was so relieved because i was just starting to really come to terms with the fact that i was queer and it was comforting to know that my ult would accept me for that. in the short time that followed we were able to see him grow and develop as a person. he started to bare his soul to the world through blue night, always more than he was obligated to, and he was always graceful and thoughtful in doing so.
i remember at shinee’s fifth anniversary party when he debuted “beautiful tonight” to shawols. i was so proud of him because i knew that it’d always been his dream to make his own music and that was the FIRST time that he was able to share something with us that was completely his.
when it comes to shinee .. i haven’t been here since the beginning. i became a fan during the summer of 2011 but i’ve always felt like i was present during the timeline that was the most pertinent in his growing as a human being.
blue night was always so special to me because it opened us up to a side of him that he had been careful to share before then. people had these fixed stereotypes about him and, while some have lingered on, he was able to blow most out of the water through the show. without blue night we wouldn’t have been able to hear a large percentage of his beautiful solo work. looking back i can see that this was a burden to him and it makes me ache knowing something he loved became such a weight for him but i’ll always cherish the work that he gave to us.
he was always trying so hard. it doesn’t take what happened to know that. he never shied away from telling us when he felt lost or lonely or upset and he never made fans feel as if they were wrong to feel that way either. honestly he never made fans feel like they were in the wrong for anything. he’d support them through even their most ridiculous (and some of the funnier stories he got on blue night were proof of that) and the love he had for us was undeniable. you could see it in his eyes whenever he was given the chance to be face-to-face with us: at events with shinee, for blue night, for himself. it always looked like he was … ridiculously content just breathing the same air as his fans. this extended to international fans as well. he didn’t speak up on it often but it was obvious he knew about the disconnect / distance that we’ve always felt in being so far away from him and shinee. we got “selene 6.23” to show for that one.
it was also thanks to jonghyun and the rest of shinee that i was able to make most of the close friends that i have today. that, and they were also so charming that i was able to have my older friends become a fan of them as well. they also gave me a reason to be able to travel twice in the last year and a half: once to chicago and another time to los angeles. i’ll always be grateful that i was able to see them twice - that i was able to see him twice.
i’m starting to feel too introspective so i’m going to switch over and talk about a few of my favorite things about him:
1) he wasn’t perfect. he made mistakes but he always apologized and tried to make amends for them in the end. he was constantly trying to better himself and become education / sensitive to a variety of issues. i feel he excelled there, really.
2) his love for roo. i think it goes without saying that a good deal of the funnier content involving him was related back to roo. and remember the time she photobombed minho taking a picture of jjong with his music show trophies? yeah.
3) how much of his life he dedicated to making his mom and sodam feel loved and appreciated. i really don’t know what else to add here that isn’t obvious already.
4) he wasn’t afraid to show the world the side of himself that was what most would regard as being “childish” or in geeking out about things that made him happy like naruto or how much he had fallen in love with (and been touched by) kimi no na wa.
5) when he wanted to cry he cried and he made sure that others were aware that it was alright to cry too, to be weak sometimes because to be “weak” is to really be strong.
6) he was such a great and caring friend. he just … was. there’s no denying that. he was always nonjudgmental and willing to be there for his friends at the drop of a hat when they needed him (like when he drove two hours to pick up dongwoo when he needed a ride home from a random location).
7) jinki. he was always a pillar of strength for him and this worked both ways. he took the spotlight for him when he wasn’t able to do it himself and he was always the first to understand his strange jokes and puns and play off of them.
8) kibum. he was kibum’s first friend when they became trainees. we’ll never know what kind of connection they had in full but it was obvious it was something special that went beyond words.
9) minho. minho is probably his biggest fan. he could read him like an open book and he was always the first to be there when he needed him most and it’s obvious that hasn’t changed even now.
10) taemin. he was HIS biggest fan. we all know that. he wasn’t just his friend and brother but his baby and you could see how proud he was to see him develop as both an artist and person. i’m glad he got to see up to now even though it hurts me he won’t see all he is capable of achieving.
11) the relationship he had with his blue night family - listeners included. they helped him so much. they gave him stories to use that helped broaden his work as a singer-songwriter and he developed meaningful friendships with both regular guests and pds.
12) taeyeon, suho, yoona, krystal, heechul, donghae, jungmo. all the friends that he made within sm when they began training who he knew for just as long as the other members of shinee. and all of those who have left sm since that were close to and meant a lot to him at a point as well, like luhan, jessica and tao. plus those that he became and stayed close to after debut. yeri, lee jonghyun, hongki, crush, zion.t, jung joon young, younha, tablo, wheesung, minkyung, gray, zico. i know they’re all hurting too.
13) he wrote a beautiful book where he used all main characters as a template to show different sides of himself to readers. he was writing another book too and i’m glad he was at least able to share his idea for it with us.
14) he was able to release four amazing solo albums in such a short amount of time and i honestly feel like he helped to break some of the bias sm had toward allowing their artists to release their own work.
15) he wasn’t afraid to gush over other men that he found attractive. looking back on his fanboying over gong yoo is always going to make me laugh.
16) i really loved how much he loved the moon and stars and space and mythology and all that whimsical stuff because he could be pretty whimsical himself at times.
17) how much of a dork he was for poetry. remember when he sent that wreath to wheesung with that bertolt brecht poem? iconic.
18) he really admired and looked up to prince. you could see his influence in both the sound and styling of his solo work and that makes the stereotypical minnesotan in me happy.
19) more of a random anecdote but how excited he was when he was dying his hair pink for “she is” promotions. the story about how he’d kept on showing the other members a photo of the shade he was trying for excitedly will always be one of my faves.
20) he was the kazoo king.
21) random little physical traits of his like his blingspot and all his pretty moles and birthmarks, his bottom teeth, how his legs were bowed.
22) how he pretty much laughed with his entire body and how his nose scrunched up when doing so. how expressive he was. how you could pretty much see every emotion he was trying to convey in his eyes and they’d sometimes sparkle like there was an entire universe in them (i used to say that a lot).
i’ll move on from the facts from now but this is … a lot. emotionally.
(death tw, suicide tw) honestly i feel like i can’t say much else that hasn’t already been said and that i won’t be able to completely do justice to who he was as an artist, bandmate, brother, son, friend, colleagues, so on and so forth. but you can feel it at least. i guess words?? aren’t really needed always?? you can feel it in how many people have went to pay their respects to him in the last day. he was SO loved and he left such a mark on the industry, not just of his immense and unique talent but because of how kind, generous, soft and understanding he was.
i’ve said this a few times already to close friends of mine but as much as it kills me to know that he’s gone and that he was in as much pain as he was i’m also relieved that he isn’t feeling that pain anymore. what else can you really say in situations like these. he hurt more than anyone deserves to and maybe it’s cheesy to say but a part of me feels like he was too good for this world. i’ve never really been religious but i hope that if there is an afterlife that he feels content, warm, happy and comfortable for once. maybe now he’s a star, hanging around the moon, or maybe he’s a star pup. that’d be wild. he’d probably love that. or maybe he’s jamming out with his favorite musicians who’ve passed. who knows.
anyway. i think that’s all i’m gonna say for now. in the future i may revisit this post - maybe i’ll add on to it or maybe i’ll use it as a template to make a new one. who knows but the only other thing i can say before closing this off is that he’ll always have a special place in my heart and i’ll never forget him.