16 September is a date that will forever be etched in my heart. A year has not washed away the love I have for you and the pain I feel whenever I think about your death.
To rememeber Kimi’s first death anniversary, I would like to share a message written by a fan’s friend that I saw on weibo. I still tear whenever I read it.
Translated: Life is full of unexpected events. I have a good friend whom I knew for ten years. She is a die-hard Kimi fan. My good feelings for Kimi Qiao was influenced by her too. She has loved Kimi sincerely for a good nine years. Her bedroom is full of his posters. Her weibo and wechat only has cats, anime and Kimi Qiao. From his talent-show days until now, she often joke that the only thing that she has persevered in is liking Kimi Qiao. She does not wish for him to be famous, but just want him to be happy being himself.
A while ago, she even specially dragged me along to watch the movie, Our Ten Years. While watching, her eyes lit up and she couldn’t stop bragging about how our Kimi is not only good in singing, but also talented in acting. This should be the first movie that Kimi is the male lead for? I remember so. She bought ten tickets and gave me five, instructing me to bring my dormmates out to watch.
I treated her to a meal. When we were leaving, she told me with a concerned look that she felt that, in the recent two years, Kimi seems to be rather unhappy. I only smiled and laughed at her for worrying too much.
After Kimi’s news was out, all our friends thought about her. She did not say anything. Did not update any of her social media. In fact, I didn’t even dare to ask her whether she was okay.
Tonight (22nd Sep), she finally updated her status. She was carrying a bouquet of pink flowers and smiling very happily. In her hands was a high speed railway ticket to Shanghai. Captioned: Nine years. I finally mustered up the courage to meet the man that, besides my dad, I like the second most in the world.
It reminds me of a comment left my a reader in my tribute to Kimi. It says “…I just saw his funeral details today and booked a local Shanghai floral shop to deliever a flower stand to the service. Along with myself and other Kimi fans, who would have thought that the first thing we buy for him would be white flowers?…”
Until today, I still find it hard to accept. He was so young, so brilliant. Suicide should have never have related to him. Once again, I urge everyone to pay more attention to and be more generous in loving the people you cherish.
Kimi’s death has also made me think deeper about the value of this blog. Kimi’s death was surrounded by so many rumours. It’s disgusting. Not the content of the rumours itself, but the fact that the media is biting on it and making it sound as scandalous as possible. It is just… wrong. He’s already dead. What more do you want? Why can’t you just let him rest in peace? Yes, he is a celebrity. He ‘has no rights to privacy’ and his life is meant to be exposed to us all. But as decent human beings, why can’t we just respect the dead?
This is also hurting his family, friends and fans a second time. As if dealing with the news of his death is not hard enough, they now have to deal with these rumours. There is doubt, judgement, negative repercussion in Kimi’s reputation… all because of something that is not even verified. I’m not a delusional fan who wants to believe that my idol can only be perfect, even though I do believe the official statement released by his manager. But really, even if these rumours were real, so what? It’s not like he did anything morally wrong or illegal. You can disagree with his life choices but now that he has passed on, can’t the discussion stop? Spare a thought for those who are mourning and grieving.
I must admit, in my early days of blogging, I got thrilled with the number of views I got. Somewhere along the way, I started feeling that I should blog more about juicy stuff so I can get more views. It doesn’t matter if it’s just gossip, after all, there’s no smoke without fire, right? But after this incident, I have decided that this blog shall maintain a certain moral standard and not slander anyone. After the news of Kimi’s passing broke, I was enraged at the number of disrespectful articles I saw. It hurt even more when some of those articles were on blogs that I personally supported and enjoyed. With such catchy headlines, I can only imagine the number of views it can rake up and the number of people that will take those gossip as the truth. Even until today, I still view those blogs with disdain. Yes, I, too, had many questions when the news broke out. The gossip-monger in me even found a few ‘areas worthy of discussion’ from the reports I read. But, I held it in. I decided some questions are better left unasked even if it means I’ll be pondering about it forever. It all boils down to respect for the dead, and respect for human decency.
With that, I promise to be an ethical blogger. I will maintain a healthy culture on this blog. While I cannot promise that I will completely not blog about my views on certain gossips or rumors because the point of the blog is to share my beliefs and thoughts, I can guarantee that when I touch on these grey areas, it is definitely not with the intention to further spread the rumour (falsely packaged as ‘news’) or slander anyone. I’ll be extra careful with the content I post and state clearly portions that are based on personal opinions and thoughts, and by no means any truth.
Another big issue that happened was morals kidnapping. Netizens were lynching celebrities. His idol, Wang Li Hong, was a victim. So was his best friend, Joe Chen. They were accused of not caring enough about Kimi because they did not update their weibo timely regarding his death. Really? Even though I did put away everything and churned out a blog post immediately after hearing of the news, I feel that sharing these thoughts on a social media platform is just… superficial. Yes, I did that. But that is only because I am merely a fan and this blog is where I feel that I can best share my feelings with people who would understand me. My friends in real life do not know or care much about Kimi as much as my blog readers, who are into chinese entertainment, so I would rather share those thoughts here.
But Kimi, to Joe Chen, was someone real. A friend. They had a two-sided relationship. I am not trying to undermine the connection that fans have with their idols here but if I put myself into Joe Chen’s shoes, posting a message on a public platform like weibo would be the last thing on my mind. In fact, I personally find such action to be slightly attention seeking. I might be doubtful about their relationship if that happens. If you really miss a person, you (could but) do not have to publicise it on a social media platform. And I would imagine, the pain and shock from finding out the truth might distract you from finding time to spend on social media. At the very least, I know that if something like that happened to a personal friend of mine, you wouldn’t be seeing me online for a long while, much less ‘giving an explanation to everyone’.
It is just ridiculous to condemn them for this. All these are too absurd. Just like Kimi’s death. Nothing is acceptable.
Kimi, dear. I’ve missed you. You’ve always been a ray of sunshine in my memory. And now, you will always be the ray of sunshine for this blog. You might be gone, but the impact you made will be remembered. Thank you for bringing me so much joy when you were alive and still teaching me how to be humane after you leave. You give me strength to be a better person. I hope you are in a better place now. Please rest in peace. I love you.
This post might be a bit more angsty and negative than it should have been. I’m sorry if that ruined the atmosphere and took away the focus but I felt that there was a need to address this issue and this was the best opportunity. I would think it would do all of some good if we could use this chance to reflect as well.
May we all be a better person.