Saturday, November 21, 2009

R.I.P. Daul Kim

As I prepared to type this post, I realized that it's been a while since I've written about death here. Though I may not have grasped how long it's been, in retrospect, wow. I have enjoyed that peace.

Death, particularly untimely death, is never a pleasant subject. But it's something that needs to be talked about, something that needs to be brought out into the light that its dark connotations can be put forth and normalized. So many suicides seem to be caused by simple disconnects in communication or by pride- pride that one not be perceived to be weak or faulty.

Daul Kim died of an apparent suicide this week. She had everything that people think are necessary for a happy life: money, beauty, success as a model, youth, even acknowledgment and admiration from her peers.

She walked the catwalks of high fashion, appeared in glossy magazines, lived in a fabulous Paris apartment ... all the things little girls dream of. Yet she was unhappy enough, discontent enough, to take her own life at the age of 20.

At 20, I had graduated from college and just started working. I had never been in love. I had never been in a bar. I had never tried a margarita on the rocks. I had never lived completely alone. I had never owned my own car. I had never been to Texas. I had never had a fight. I had never made more than $600 per week. I had never fathomed how much more life had to offer me.

Daul Kim had a blog, called "I Like To Fork Myself." It's funny and irreverent and full of her ramblings and paintings and photos. It almost seems like a stream of consciousness, rather than an obvious attempt at sitting down to write cohesive pieces.

One post, from two and a half years ago, caught my eye:
April 18, 2007

why the fork?

ok why is this blog called
"i like to fork myself"?

theme called "i like to forkmyself" .....
i like alot of things .
knives and forks,blood, brains guineapigs cereal etc etc alot.
i also like 80s kitche stupid horror groqtesque movies/things...!

say hi to my otheer paintings.



 and thanks to stupid tv show from korea ppl think i like to
torture myself and thanks to that im getting lots and lots of
suicide emails on a daily basis
but im definately not depressed, and i dont want to killmyself

i wish you all feel good about yourself and just think happy
and listen to 80's music and smile and 'dance-walk' like boy george.

AND PLEASE dont kill me.....cos i dont reply ur emails cos
i dont want to die.....

right now, im working on publishing a photo book
which will be sometime next year in korea,
and also working on doing an exhibition.

but i dont really have time. but i will get to it someday.

and if i do my first art exhitibition...

will you come ?:):):)

I don't think the post was deranged or disturbed or perturbed. I think it was the post of a normal 20-year-old girl. My definition of "normal," of course, is skewed. Because no one (and I mean no one) is "normal." Daul was just a kid in a cutthroat industry, far from home.

There's a post in her blog about how her roommates, the evil model-y types, steal her food. She was very upset that they ate the rest of a box of cereal that her mother had sent to her from Korea. Whenever she watched TV, she hugged the cereal box- it made her feel closer to her mother.

That's so quintessentially angsty and early-twenties. I still feel that way at times, and I'm now in my (gulp) late twenties.

This week hasn't been the best, as I blogged about yesterday. Everything that's happened and that I've felt has combined to form a knotty, tingly ball of stress in my respiratory system that's made me hyper emotional and ultra sensitive. Today, I read a story about someone's wedding. And I teared up. From a story. No pictures, no video- just words.

My mother left me a voicemail and as I listened to it, I missed her intensely. My throat burned. All I wanted at that moment was my mommy, so she could hug me and tell me that everything would be okay. And so that she could also give me the swift kick in the rear that Korean moms do, because after she comforts me, she always says something like, "Well. You chose to be in this business. You chose to move back in with a friend. You know what to expect, you shouldn't be surprised that this happened." And you know what? She's right. She's always right.

Most of our problems seem to be self-manufactured or self-perpetuated. If that is the case, then I suppose I understand why people commit suicide. There is no other way to escape oneself.

Still, the loss of life and the loss of potential should be mourned. I hope that Daul found what she couldn't find while here, and that her family is coping as best as they can given the circumstances.


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