Sunday, April 17, 2011

"I didn't have any paper, so I'm writing my suicide note on Twitter."

About two hours ago, a Korean man serving his military duty close to the DMZ in Gangwon province left a suicide note on Twitter, which naturally spread like wildfire. Though someone was able to reach him and talk him down from what he was doing, quickly enough that he's posting as I write this, others are still posting messages trying to find him before it's too late.

Tonight at 6:46, he wrote:

"I don't see the point of living. If a flower withers, it blooms again. Why won't my flower bloom? Is life supposed to be this difficult? Why is happiness always so far away? I think it'd be more better if I was dead, yeah."

정말 삶의 가치를 못느낀다. 꽃이 지면 다시 피는법인데 왜 내꽃은 피질않는걸까. 삶이라는게 원래 이렇게 힘든거였나? 행복이란것도 느끼며 불행도 느끼는건데 왜 항상 행복은 저멀리 있는걸까? 기댈사람도 없는이 세상, 차라리 죽는편이 더 편할꺼같다. 그래.

At 7:54:

"So long, world. This was hard. Sang-heon and mom, I'm sorry."

잘있어 세상아 고생했어 상헌아 미안해 엄마 미안해..

At 10:02 he posted a suicide note, from which I've taken out his name and the name of his unit:

"This is Private Lee of the such-and-such unit in Cheorwon, Gangwon-do. Please read this carefully.

Dear brother, I truly, really love you and I'm sorry.

Mom and dad, I'm sorry that I went first. Please understand. I talked back and I was disobedient, but did you know that I loved you? I love you..

Su-hyeon! I hope you see this. I pray that you get into Hanyang University. Don't fail!

Yeon-jin, Su Hyeon has my bankbook. I worked and saved some money. It was always hard for you to pay for lunch. The PIN is 1327.

I changed my number but didn't tell you (?). I'm sorry that I couldn't even text you.

I don't have any paper, so I'm writing this on Twitter. I'm terribly sorry.

Guys, I really, really love you and I'm sorry."

친형이 강원도 철원군 ㅇㅇ부대 ㅇ중대 ㅇ소대 ㅇㅇㅇ 일병이에요 잘봐주세요 너무 PX업무만 보게하지말구요
형 진짜 너무너무 사랑해 그리고 미안해
그리고 엄마아빠, 먼저가서 미안해 이해해줘.. 항상 대들고 반항했어도 사랑하는거알지? 사랑해..
내 반쪽 수현! 이글 꼭 봤음 좋겠다 너가맨날 노래하고다닌 한양대, 꼭붙도록 기도할께. 재수하지마!
연진아 내 통장 수현이한테 있어 알바해서 월급모아둔거야 너 항상 급식비때문에 고생했잖아..^^ 비밀번호 1327 이야
번호 바꼈으면 말을하지그랬니.. 문자도 못하고 좀 섭섭했어..

종이가 없어서 유서를 트윗으로 남기네요 정말 죄송합니다

애들아 너무너무 사랑했어..^^ 그리고 미안해..

He returned at 11:40 to write:

"I'm going to keep going. I'm very sorry to have caused this distress. Everyone will have a day when their flower blooms. When that day comes, the world will be a happy place. I will remember this. Once again, I'm deeply sorry.

"계속 나아가겠습니다. 이밤에 우려끼쳐드려 죄송합니다. 누구에게나 꽃이필 날이 올것이고 그날이 오면 세상 그 누구보다더 행복하다는 사실을 명심하겠습니다. 다시한번 깊이 사과드립니다.."

At 11:52

"To military personnel, the police, firefighters and my friends on Twitter, I would like to offer a deep and sincere apology."

"군관계자분들, 경찰, 소방서, 그리고 트위터 친구 여러분들에거 정말 진심으로 사과드립니다.. 정말 죄송합니다.."

Now Lee's focus is on responding to his 900 new followers and to delete his picture from the Internet.

This incident comes a week after a professor at the prestigious university KAIST committed suicide, which in turn came after a string of suicides there, and the less-publicized suicide of a graduate of Seoul National University, Korea's most prestigious university.

In the case of the SNU graduate, the weight of expectations was a factor. It was one thing for the graduate to be unemployed, but another to be unemployed as an SNU graduate, the pinnacle of academic achievement in this country. After spending a decade in training to be great, how can life possibly match up to expectations? Even if this woman had a job, could it possibly have been good enough? Expectations rather than life itself have a lot to do with why this is the most unhappy place in the developed world.

Errors in translation are, of course, many and egregious, I'm sure.

1 comment:

ArielBlack98 said...

Who would have known that from surfing the internet, that I would encounter something that would actually make me shed a tear. It is so upsetting that this stuff happens a lot too, the weight of pressure from so many expectations is a very heavy one indeed, making people feel that they are not able to fulfill those expectations. I know that for a fact as I too, am pressured by many. Family and educators that all expect me to live up to my siblings reputations. Either that I will become a druggie or a honor student, there are always those invisible expectations of either failure or success that people have.

And I know that this was more than half a year after you posted it, but I just needed to say what was on my mind while reading this.