A parent burying their own child will never make sense. On November 11, Korean actor Lee Ji Han’s mother posted on his Instagram account a letter to her son.
Ji Han’s mother shared many private details of their mother and son relationship, including how he didn’t want to be a burden to his mother whenever he wanted to buy something. “Ji Han would say, ‘I can make money an buy it myself,’ because you worried that it would be a burden on your mother if you wanted to buy something.
Lee Ji Han, 25 years old, was one of the casualties in the recent Itaewon tragedy on October 29. He is known for being part of Produce 101 Season 2, an idol survival program. He was working on Kkokdu’s Gye-jeol since October 2022.
His mother described him as “gentle” and even in utero, she remembers him to be a gentle child. “You were gentle even in my stomach, so I even touched it to say, ‘Is he okay?’”
She went on to describe how she is dealing with her grief. “When I fall asleep holding onto your phone with your picture by my bedside, your mom’s heart is pounding because I’m afraid of the sun rising.
“The grief that accompanies losing a child suddenly is unlike anything you will ever experience,” says Very Well Family. “It shocks your system. And while coping with the loss will not be easy, if you make a concerted effort to stick together as a family and take care of yourselves, you will make it through.”
Below is the full copy of Lee Ji Han’s mom’s open letter for her departed son published by KPop Post:
“I am Ji Han’s mother.
I wrote this letter just in case Ji Han could read this from somewhere. With this letter, I wanted to let everyone know so something like this would never have to happen to anyone ever again.
Ji Han, you had always been handsome with your sharp nose since you were born. In my belly, you were so calm that I touched you repeatedly and wondered, ‘Is he okay?’ You were so gentle and kind when I was raising you that I thought I could raise 20 more kids like you.
You have worked hard with a lot of effort before filming ‘Season of Kkok Du’. You didn’t skip even one day of exercise, and it broke my heart to see you monitoring your diet because I used to hear you ask so many times, ‘Mom, can I eat more of this?’.
And yet when it was finally time for your effort to pay off and the show was about to air—what a shocking surprise! I still cannot believe what happened. It was dumbfounding and absurd.
When I put your picture by my bedside, hug your phone, and fall asleep, my heart is pounding because I’m scared of the sun rising. My first treasure, you would always say, ‘Do you know how much I love you, Mom?’ when I came to your room, and you would also hold my hand once in a while.
How can I let you go before me?
At your funeral, when I saw the numerous and hundreds of friends, brothers, and acquaintances who loved you, the thought that ‘our Ji Han had lived well’ overwhelmed my feelings, and I lost the will to search for the meaning of life.
Will I find a way to die as well?
If I can’t, then I have to put everything together.
I wanted to lock myself up in a place no one knew and stuck myself there without taking a breath. I’m scared of the rising sun in the morning. And when I felt hungry, I sew my mouth shut at the thought of how could I put food in.
Ji Han, you would always say, ‘I can make money and buy it myself’. You were worried you would become a burden to your mother if you wanted to buy something.
I didn’t know you were doing volunteer work as well. People always say not to let your left hand knows what your right hand is doing. And you did such a wonderful thing!
My angel, Jihan, how do I let you go?
Should I be grateful when the police escorted your coffin-laden limousine? If they had escorted you well like this in the Itaewon alley, they wouldn’t have to do it on your death.
I am so furious, and I feel resentful.
I love you, Son,
I respect you, Son,
And I miss you, Son.
Good job, My Son.
Can’t we see each other again?
God, please return our Ji Han and take me instead, I beg you.
I hope you no longer feel pain and be at peace there, My Son.
Mom will follow you someday.”