A month and five days after the painful announcement of his passing, Jonghyun has graced his fans with a parting gift, music was something that like with everything else he did, he put his heart and soul with, his final album ‘Poet | Artist’ which was released today on January 23.
Currently, the album has reached up to 20 #1′s on the iTunes charts including Finland, Denmark, Greece, Turkey and Ukraine and has charted in 54 countries, of which ‘Poet | Artist’ has climbed up into the Top 10 of 51 iTunes charts worldwide. In the UK, it has a peak at #5 in the UK, which is the highest charting position for a soloist.
Jonghyun’s death raised a very important issue that is normally brushed under the carpet. Mental health is just as important as physical health, neither should be neglected. People should never feel like it’s ‘their fault’ just because they have an ongoing battle with mental disorders, whether it’s depression, anxiety or an eating disorder. Rather than discouraging people to talk about themselves and their struggles, they should feel like they have a safe space to talk, regardless if it’s in a doctor’s office or within the company of a friend, with no fear of being judged.
He shared his intimate emotions with ‘Lonely‘ last year, conveying the severe feelings of the depression he had shouldered for years. But when you remember Jonghyun, don’t look back at just the sadness that he concealed from the public, remember his infectious and bubbly self, his talent as an artist, both that won over the hearts of millions over the world. Even if you were a fan of his from all the way back to ‘Replay‘ during SHINee’s debut days to his soloist promotions, it’s hard to deny that he has left a Jonghyun sized mark in the K-Pop industry and for many, many fans in the world.
You may feel like you aren’t yet ready to listen to this album and that’s okay. There’s no estimated time for healing when it comes to grief, however, when the time comes that you are, just like in his song ‘Shinin”, Jonghyun croons that he will always be with you. Even if he is gone from this life, he will never truly leave those whom he cherishes deeply. We can’t say this enough, but it’s what Jonghyun would have wanted to hear, ‘You’ve done well and we cannot thank you for everything that you offered up to the world with that ever-present smile on your face and indisputable heart of shining gold.’