"Kim Joo-hyuk passes away due to car accident"
How could it be? So sudden, so unexpected and so saddening.
It was just yesterday when I watched the latest episode of 1n2d on KBS World when they were giving out awards to the members, past and present, and their guests in conjunction with the 10th anniversary celebration. And they were just teasing him endlessly and referring to him affectionately by his nickname of Gutaeng Hyeong which was born out of his stint on this show. It feels like you are seeing this person right in front of you one day and the next, he's gone. Forever.
Details of his car accident are still pretty sketchy especially since his agency hasn't said much yet other than they are trying to confirm the news. However, with so many news reports on this case since the accident took place 4.30pm KST, I think that there is little likelihood that this is fake news. The agency wouldn't have let this spread like wildfire if this was untrue.
My first encounter with Gutaeng Hyeong wasn't actually through 1n2d. Years ago, I happened to come across his 2008 drama "Terroir" while channel-surfing on cable TV. Although I didn't finish watching that drama, my impression of him (partly due to his image there) was that he was suave and cool. However, I haven't seen any of his other works although he was well-known as an actor.
Of course, 1n2d showed that my initial impression of him was wrong. This show is "notorious" for unveiling the true self of whoever appears on it and that's part of the show's charm because it is such raw fun to see the cast shed their images and have fun. Although Gutaeng Hyeong was clumsy and fumbling his way through most of the time, he made an impact with his endearing nature. In particular, there was an episode when he went to the places where his parents visited in their youth and that was really moving to see him retrace their footsteps.
I know life is unpredictable. I've had people near me who just passed away all of a sudden without a chance for me to say a proper goodbye. That really hurts a lot. Even though I may not know Gutaeng Hyeong personally, it just feels sad to see someone you know, even from a distance, go away forever in such a manner. I can imagine that it must be worse for those who know him personally especially his family and girlfriend.
Suddenly, it just makes me feel that my own troubles don't seem to be that big anymore. Of course, they are still serious issues to me. Nonetheless, in the face of death and eternal separation, they probably seem so much less important. I keep reminding myself not to let the negative things in life bring me down and try to embrace each day with a positive mindset. It's easier said than done, really.
However, I really don't need to see another example of such sudden loss around me.
And I really should be counting my blessings for each day I am alive to do what I want to do.