A note said to have been written by Jonghyun (né Kim Jong-hyun), the lead singer of K-Pop band SHINee who died in a suspected suicide on Monday at the age of 27, revealed the young star’s battle with depression.
Hours after news of his death was first revealed by SHINee’s management, musician Nine9 — a close female friend of Jonghyun’s — shared a photo of what fans speculate is the late star’s suicide note on her Instagram account. In the photo’s caption, she explains that Jonghyun had asked her to publish the message “if he disappeared to the world,” the BBC reported.
“I am broken from inside. The depression that gnawed on me slowly has finally engulfed me entirely,” the note, written in Korean, read according to The Guardian — with Jonghyun allegedly saying that he “couldn’t defeat it anymore.”
“I was so alone,” he allegedly wrote. “The act of ending is difficult. I’ve lived until now because of that difficulty. …Please tell me I did a good job … You’ve worked hard. You’ve really gone through a lot. Goodbye.”
The message comes as thousands of grieving fans gathered at a Seoul hospital to grieve his death.
Jonghyun’s body was found unconscious at his apartment in Chungdam-Dong on Monday and was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead, SM Entertainment told fans in their press release
“We are sorry to be the bringer of such tragic, heart-breaking news,” they said, according to Koreaboo. “Our sadness cannot compare to the pain of his family, who had to say goodbye to a son and a brother. But we have spent a long time with him, and SHINee members and SM Entertainment staff are all in deep mourning and shock.”
“As per the wish of the family, the funeral will be held quietly with his relatives and company colleagues. Once again we show our deepest condolences to Jonghyun on his last journey,” the statement continued.
Police told BBC Korean Service that suicide will be investigated as a possible cause of death. South Korean news agency Yonhap reports that authorities found burned coal briquettes, which produce carbon monoxide, in a frying pan in the K-Pop star’s hotel room.
According to The Guardian, Yonhap reported that before his death Jonghyun sent text messages to his sister that read, “Please let me go. Tell me I did well. Final farewell.”
Yonhap also reported that Jonghyun’s sister was the one to alert emergency services.
SHINee, formed in 2008 by SM Entertainment, charted a string of No. 1 hits in South Korea and also became quite popular in Japan. Known for his songwriting role in the group, Jonghyun also launched a solo career in 2015.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).