JUNGKOOK’S FIRST DEATH ANNIVERSARY…
A year passed by quickly ever since Jungkook left us and I didn’t even realize. Guess the saying is true after all… “TIME & TIDE, WAIT FOR NONE…”
Today it’s already his first death anniversary. Ever since morning, we have been receiving calls, messages, mails expressing condolences. But one thing that touches me the most is Jungkook’s fans. A whole year felt a less painful with millions of people worldwide showering love, care, condolences on his social media account everyday. And if you’re wondering, if his social media handles are still active, yes.. I still don’t have the heart to deactivate or take down any one of it.
Taehyung has being visiting Mom Dad and me every weekend. Other members also visit us keeping us company whenever they are free. On some days all of them come and stay overnight. Mom also loves them and by now she knows what each of us likes and cooks everything whenever everybody is there. Jin hyung is always here helping here trying out new dishes every weekends. He is working on his new single and been quite busy since last 2 months. I was wondering whether he would come to the grave to offer incense and the rituals today.
An hour later, I checked my clock it was 9am and almost the time for us to go the place where we buried Jungkook. He still wasn’t there. So I left him a text asking him to go there directly.
“Mom, Dad, let’s leave. I have already messaged Taehyung to meet us there directly.” I told my parents and we got out of the house walking to the car, when suddenly 2 cars stopped at the entrance.
It wasn’t difficult to know who they were. All 6 members in black suits and everybody carrying a bouquet of Tiger Lilies stepped out of the car. A smile made it’s way on all 3 of our faces. These people have never made me feel left even after Jungkook and I am grateful. I quickly wiped my tears and ran to them and there they were standing with arms open wide. I hugged all of them, letting my tears go free for the first time in last one year.
If I remember right, the last time I cried was after we came back home from Jungkook’s funeral. I hugged Mom and cried for God knows how long that I even fell asleep on Mom’s lap and she didn’t even wake me. I felt bad later as she got a cramp and wasn’t able to straighten her leg. But this is how Moms are..
“Go on and cry as much as you want. We all know how you have been holding it all in for the last whole year. We’re all here for you, as promised.” Jin hyung said patting my back.
“Taehyung is still a cry baby. But you.. how did you keep it all in? Didn’t you feel suffocated? We were all there. But you still chose to keep quiet. Don’t you see as your brothers? I agree we can and we will never ever be as good as those two, but we still will be there for you as long as you need us and even if you don’t.. So don’t pretend to be strong in front of us. Come on, wipe your tears now. Jungkook must be waiting for us. Let’s not make him wait.” Jimin said wiping my tears and giving me a warm hug.
“Yeah, let’s go.” I said and went back to get Mom Dad.
After a 20 minute drive we all reached the place. But to our surprise, there were people who came in even before us. From the main gate to the the grave, the whole way was covered with flowers. When we reached the grave, there was incense and candles burning. So many flowers, so many letters, pictures of Jungkook from concerts, photoshoots etc were hanged around.
We purposely had chosen a place for him in between woods. We bought that place and named it “Paradise”. Jungkook has always loved quiet, calm places within the depth of nature. There was a river right behind the grave which flowed through the heart of the forest.
“Let’s start.” I told the priest and he started with the rituals.
“Please offer the incense one by one and 3 bows.” He told us and we did.
After we all were done, we all offered the flowers and then we greeted the people who were mostly, the family of the 6 member, the label mates and a few friends from America. Two hours later, after everybody left, I went to Mom Dad.
“Mom, Dad, I want to stay here for a while. I have asked the driver to take you back. Also hyungs and Taehyung will come home with you.” I told and they agreed.
“Mom, I will stay with Yugyeom. I know you are worried. Trust me I will be with him.” Taehyung came and put his arm around me and side hugged me and Mom quickly agreed.
Yes, Taehyung now calls them Mom Dad too. Because even though they weren’t married, they both proposed each other and loved each other. After all left, me and Taehyung went and sat besides Jungkook’s tombstone. It read,
“Jeon Jungkook, brother-friend-lover, Now at Peace..”
“Yugyeom-ah, how have you been?” Taehyung asked me and I looked at him.
“Yeah yeah, I know we meet almost everyday. But you also know that you never opened up about how you were feeling, whether it hurt, the absence, his empty room. He was like a daily routine for you. It all stopped suddenly, he never made you call me twice, but now it’s different. He never answers when you call. Nobody troubles you, annoys you. He was like a little boy trapped in that adult body and you were always like a father figure. You were together since kids, the bond is now no more. How do you feel? Don’t you feel empty? Doesn’t it feel like a big hole in your heart, you life? Say something… You always consoled me, comforted me, but what about you?” Taehyung asked me.
“Me? I don’t know. To be honest… I don’t know myself what I have been doing for the whole of last year. I don’t even know how I made through to here.” I replied to him.
“That is what I am asking. How did you do that? Aren’t you tired? Do you think he will be feeling well to see you like this?” Taehyung asked me and he was right.
“No, he won’t.” I replied.
“Then free yourself, you feel like crying, cry. Wana yell? Then do it. Scream, shout and even blame him, doesn’t matter. Atleast you have the right to do that since you have been together for a real long time. Don’t stop yourself. By holding yourself back, you’re holding him back. Let him go, Yugyeom. Let him go.” Taehyung said patting my back.
That last few words from him and the pat on the back finally opened up the seal which I had put on to my heart. My eyes welled up in tears and this time, I didn’t stop them. I cried… I cried.
“I miss him. I miss him very badly.. so much that I don’t even feel like living anymore. But he left our parents to me. How can I leave them? I promised hyung to take care of Jungkook. Now I promised Jungkook to take care of our parents. Yes, I do feel empty inside. It does feel like a big hole in my heart and I am sinking deep into it. Yes, my heart hurts, very bad that I feel I might die at times. But then there was you, who came to me everyday at first, I found it hard to console you. But somewhere in that I found comfort too. I had to take care of you too. After all he loved you. Apart from hyung and me, he’s never actually loved anyone. You were the first person, Even though it started bit strange, he did. I know you fell first for him, but he.. He fell harder.
Of course, we spent so much time together, Our bond was very special. And no, it’s not broken. It never will, because, he is still alive in my heart. I did wish a many things, like having him as my wing-man if I ever fell for anyone. That he would be my best man at my wedding. Him, being the most famous uncle ever for my kids. And then my partner when we both grow old and die on the same day. Because I never once thought about living without him. I was still at ease when hyung left, because I knew this idiot would be with me always. Who knew that he would leave so soon? And now I don’t want to have those things, because even if I do, there’s no more of him. And without him, all those things seem useless.
Gosh!! I wish I could tell him all these while he was alive. But even though I said things, I don’t know how much he heard because he fell asleep that day.” I said and then broke into crying again at the memory of me telling him things and how peacefully he slept on my lap.
(Well, now who would tell this poor boy, that his dear friend, his dear brother listened to every word that he said and he wasn’t asleep but just pretended????? And if he didn’t pretend to be asleep, would this boy say those words aloud??)
“Feels better?” Taehyung asked me and I nodded.
I sure did feel very light-weight and refreshed. A while later we left the place after saying bye to Jungkook.
We reached home only to see everyone so happy and smiling. All Moms along with Jin hyung were in kitchen. All Dads were at the table helping in things. Jimin was singing a song that he recently wrote. And other hyungs and sisters were on the couch listening attentively to Jimin with a smiles on their face. Taehyung and me looked at each other and smiled at the beautiful view in front of us.
“This is exactly what we have to protect, Yugyeom.” Taehyung said and I agreed with him.
Our eyes fell on Jeongukk and Jungkook’s picture which was on the table. They took it at the park and trust me when I say this, that was the last picture they took together. And it held so many feelings, emotions, pain, happiness and for us, our entire world.
“You both are gone….” I said and sighed.
“But THE HEART STILL REMEMBERS YOU!!” Taehyung completed my sentence.
That was exactly what I wanted to say………