January 26, 2024- Remembering Moonbin of ASTRO on his birthday

Jan. 26

*TW: This writing contains discussions of suicide- If you are sensitive to this topic- move on to the next story please :)* 

I’ve compiled a playlist of songs that remind me of Moonbin here- take a listen while reading this!: 

https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/7fvhjXB19fxCJnK5LQDBsx?utm_source=generator

Today is Moobin of ASTRO’s birthday. 

He should be celebrating with his friends and family.

Maybe he would be doing a birthday livestream where he eats cake, opens presents, and talks to AROHA. 

But today marks the first birthday without him. 

On April 19, 2023, Moonbin was found dead in his home. The Seoul Gangnam Police determined that he took his own life. He never reached his 26th birthday. 

I would like to take today to not only mourn his loss, but remember the bright shining light that he was. He was a funny and bright person who liked video games, was known as a puppycat, and had two cats. 

In an interview with Cosmopolitan, he was asked what he would do if he were an angel. His response is heartbreaking in retrospect. He told the magazine that he “would give a second chance at life to people who have committed suicide.” 

“There is always the opportunity to enjoy small moments of happiness, like thinking about what we will eat today and what we will wear tomorrow. It is sad that some people end their lives.” Reading this now, 8 months after his passing, makes us wonder what could have driven him to do this himself. Was it the overwhelming pressure to succeed in the K-Pop industry? Was it another personal issue? Was he dealing with mental health problems? We may never know why our Moonbin chose to leave us. 

Moonbin left behind friends and family in the industry- Moon Sua of Billlie was his younger sister, and he was friends with Chan of iKON, Chani of SF9, SinB of GFriend, Bang Chan, Lee Know, and Hyunjin of Stray Kids, Umji of VIVIZ, and particularly Seungkwan of SEVENTEEN. Seungkwan and Moonbin were known to be particularly close. At the 2023 MAMA Awards, SEVENTEEN had an incredible year. They took home 3 awards, including Album of the Year for FML. During Seungkwan’s acceptance speech, he thanked his friend in a speech that made the audience tear up: “I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my friend Moonbin, who’s always shown his support for all members of SEVENTEEN. He loved our team, and he’s been our greatest supporter. Thank you.” 

But the most affected are probably Moonbin’s own band members, ASTRO. While visiting Moonbin’s memorial, fellow ASTRO member MJ wrote a heartbreaking note to his member: “Moonbin, I’m here again! I didn’t see your face for two months and didn’t hear your voice. I will try to make you smile just by looking at your face like before.”

Sanha, maknae of ASTRO and fellow member of the Moonbin&Sanha subunit wrote, “Hyung, are you well? I miss you so much. Your image still lingers in front of my eyes. I know if I show such a weak side, you’ll give me a scolding, but just let me stay like this a little longer. I promise to be happy, just like you told me to. I’ll keep that promise for certain. Know that I love you a lot, and I love you.”

Additionally, member Eunwoo, who was one of Moonbin’s closest friends in the group, wrote “Bin-ah. I really miss you tonight. You bad friend. I couldn’t sleep so Sanha and I came by on a little walk. Are you getting some good sleep? All of those things I used to do with you, the most ordinary things, the most trivial things, I miss it all so much and I regret it all so much… In your moon world, be some hundred times happier. Everything you left behind, I’ll take care of it and shoulder it in your place, so don’t worry too much. You worked hard. I love you and I’m sorry, my friend.” 

Reading these messages now is just heartbreaking. I want to pay my respects to Moonbin with this post, and we should all be doing everything we can to remember him. This is only the first of many birthdays to come that his sister, and best friends have to spend, reminded of the beautiful friend that they lost. 

Moonbin, who is remembered for his beautiful smile, sparkling eyes, and bright personality, was a friend and artist that we lost too soon. 

I, sadly, only knew ASTRO after Moonbin’s passing (I came into K-Pop only recently- around a year now), but his death has still affected me. As of April last year, I was fresh and naive. I couldn’t even fathom the idea of one of these beautiful people taking their own lives. People around me were deeply affected at the time- my sister’s friend was crying while texting our group chat that Moonbin had died. Now, I have been getting into ASTRO, particularly after watching True Beauty. I realized that had I known ASTRO before, Moonbin would definitely have been my favorite, with his funny personality and his beautiful smile. Every sad song reminds me of him, every picture I see of him breaks my heart, I keep ‘remembering’ him, even though I fell in love with him after he passed. It was very confusing for me- I remember just asking myself “how can I love this music and this culture if this is what happens? If the industry is so inhumane and terrible that the artists take their own lives?” I’m still a K-Pop fan, I still consume their media, and I still fangirl over my biases. But I always remember what the industry did to Moonbin, Sulli, Jonghyun, Goo Hara, and Jung Chae-yull, who all took their own lives. We should all remember them, and speak out against the injustices in the industry.  

Moonbin, who I have grown to love,

We miss you everyday. Is it possible to miss someone when you came to know them after they left? I didn’t think so, until I heard your story. I think of you often, when I hear a sad song, or when I see a dandelion, or when I hear of another person who hurt enough to take their own life. I hope you don’t hurt anymore- I wish there were something anyone could have done to take your hurt away. I’m thinking of you today especially, as I do often. 

Is it fake for me to be writing this for you now? When I hadn’t known you before? Is it wrong for me to be so sad for you? If I had known you before, how would it have been different? Would I have been even more heartbroken? Or angry- would I have left K-Pop behind? I have all these questions, but no one can answer them for me. I’m glad we met, anyhow, even if I was too late for you. I want to see you one day- but not too soon I hope. We’ll meet one day- in the next life. But for now, I’ll see you in the stars in the sky, and in the flowers that bloom in the spring. 

Love, 

Ellie

If you or someone you know may be experiencing a mental-health crisis or contemplating suicide, call or text 988. In emergencies, call 911, or seek care from a local hospital or mental health provider.

Sources: 

https://kprofiles.com/moonbin-astro-profile/

https://www.lemonde.fr/en/culture/article/2023/04/21/death-of-tormented-k-pop-star-shakes-south-korea_6023772_30.html

https://www.allkpop.com/article/2023/04/astros-cha-eun-woo-sanha-leave-letters-for-moonbin-at-his-memorial-space

https://www.allkpop.com/article/2023/04/celebrities-pay-tribute-to-moonbin-as-k-pop-industry-mourns-loss

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *