One Million Roses

My heart feels sliced in half today.

I have been removed from the idol scene for a few years now, but there was a time in college and graduate school when SHINee’s music meant a lot to me. I bonded with two of my closest friends over their music; no matter how far-removed we were as fans then, it truly feels like we’ve lost something precious today.

As someone with clinical depression, just a scant few months older than Jonghyun, and as someone who has felt a similar kind of hopelessness and despair, I am truly sick with grief at how society keeps failing individuals with mental illnesses.

Take this moment to reach out to your loved ones and check in on them. The ones who smile the fiercest on the outside are often the ones who are crumbling on the inside.

I leave you with a song that Jonghyun covered on Immortal Song 2 back in 2011. To this day, it is one of my favorite performances by him.

Originally a Latvian song and popularized by Russian singer Alla Pugacheva, the Korean version 백만송의 장미 was first sung by Shim Soo-bong in 1997. Korean lyrics and English translation by me below.

백만송이 장미

미워하는 미워하는 미워하는 마음없이
아낌없이 아낌없이 사랑을 주기만 할 때
수백만송이 백만송이 백만송이 꽃은 피고
그립고 아름다운 내 별 나라로
갈 수 있다네

먼 옛날 어느 별에서
내가 세상에 나올 때
사랑을 주고 오라는
작은 음성 하나 들었지

사랑을 할 때만 피는 꽃
백만 송이 피어오라는
진실한 사랑을 할 때만
피어나는 사랑의 장미

진실한 사랑은 뭔가
괴로운 눈물 흘렸네
냉정한 사람 많았던
너무나 슬픈 세상이었기에

미워하는 미워하는 미워하는 마음없이
아낌없이 아낌없이 사랑을 주기만 할 때
수백만송이 백만송이 백만송이 꽃은 피고
그립고 아름다운 내 별 나라로
갈 수 있다네 (2x)

이젠 모두가 떠날지라도
그러나 사랑은 계속될거야
저 별에서 나를 찾아온
그토록 기다리던 이인데

미워하는 미워하는 미워하는 마음없이
아낌없이 아낌없이 사랑을 주기만 할 때
수백만송이 백만송이 백만송이 꽃은 피고
그립고 아름다운 내 별 나라로
갈 수 있다네 (2x)

수백만송이 백만송이 백만송이 꽃은 피고
그립고 아름다운 내 별 나라로
갈 수 있다네

수 많은 세월 흐른 뒤
자기의 생명까지 모두 다 준
빛처럼 홀연히 나타난
그런 사랑 나를 안았네

One Million Roses

When you love only without hate, without hate, without hate
and without reservation, without reservation
many millions, millions, millions of roses bloom
and I will be able to return to the beautiful star
that I long for

A very long time ago
when I came to this world from a star
I heard a soft voice telling me
to share my love and come back

A million flowers come to bloom
of that flower which only blooms with love
that rose of love which only blooms
with true love

What can true love be
Such painful tears fell
Because this is a very sorrowful world
filled with unfeeling people

When you love only without hate, without hate, without hate
and without reservation, without reservation
many millions, millions, millions of roses bloom
and I will be able to return to the beautiful star
that I long for (2x)

Now though everything may disappear
still my love will continue
For he has waited so long that
he has come to that star in search of me

When you love only without hate, without hate, without hate
and without reservation, without reservation
many millions, millions, millions of roses bloom
and I will be able to return to the beautiful star
that I long for (2x)

Many millions, millions, millions of roses bloom
and I will be able to return to the beautiful star
that I long for

After many an age passed,
a love that gave everything, even one’s life
like a sudden light
such a love embraced me

4 thoughts on “One Million Roses

  1. I’ve been crying for days, this is so sad and then reading the letter, like no one was there when he needed it, your statement “I am truly sick with grief at how society keeps failing individuals with mental illnesses” it’s true, we can’t continue like this

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s heartbreaking. Unpopular opinion, maybe, but even if it’s no one person’s fault when someone commits suicide; it’s kind of everyone’s fault. Everyone (society’s) fault for not making mental health a priority, for creating stigma, for not making help readily available…

      Liked by 1 person

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