After Jonghyun passed away by reported suicide on Monday (Dec. 18), a friend of the SHINee member shared a post-mortem letter from the K-pop star on social media on Tuesday (Dec. 19).
The content was published on Instagram by Dear Cloud’s Nine9 (born Jang Heeyeon). The singer wrote that she had been entrusted with it by Jonghyun (born Kim Jonghyun), and had received his family’s approval to post it on social media. It’s unclear when the letter was written.
In the note, Jonghyun addressed his struggle with depression and wrote his final farewell.
“I’m broken from the inside,” wrote Jonghyun, reports Yonhap. “The depression that has slowly nibbled me away has now devoured me, and I couldn’t overcome it. I thought being a doctor was so easy when blaming it on my character in a quiet voice. It’s amazing that it hurts this much. No one alive is more tormented nor weaker than myself.”
He continued by addressing the woes of his career: “Becoming famous was probably not my life. They tell me that’s why I’m having a hard time … Why did I choose that? It’s funny that I’m able to endure this much.” The star, who was 27-years-old when he passed away, was a teenager when SHINee released its first single, “Replay,” in 2008.
“Tell me this is enough, that I did well,” the letter read in its conclusion. “Even if you can’t smile, don’t send me off blaming me. You did well, you did good. Goodbye.”
Jonghyun’s memorial service began on Tuesday in Seoul at the Asan Medical Center, with the four surviving members of SHINee joining his family as primary mourners. A separate venue was set aside by SHINee’s label, SM Entertainment, to serve as a location where fans could pay respects to the artist.
The SHINee member was found unconscious on Monday after sending his sister alarming texts, and was confirmed dead at a Seoul hospital. On Tuesday, Seoul police closed its investigation and concluded that the K-pop star had died by suicide.
A prominent singer-songwriter in the K-pop world, Jonghyun was a dominating presence in SHINee, a boy band recognized for its precise choreography and powerful music. Following his debut with the quintet in 2008, the star also pursued a solo career over the past few years; his first EP, Base, peaked at No. 1 on the World Albums chart in 2015. His most recent album, Story Op. 2, was released in April.