Grief… It’s hard.
What do you do when what you love sharing and posting about as a creator has changed because of death?
When your comfort idol dies?
I started my blog and my content creator journey more than a decade ago as a way to achieve my dream of becoming a full-time writer.
And in 2020, I was able to take my blog full-time.
I focused on helping other creators with starting a blog and growing it. And then the pandemic hit.
I felt lost with what to do next, but still continued blogging.
But with all the anxiety and uncertainty of the pandemic, I discovered Astro because of my love for KDrama. I also only became a big KDrama fan during the pandemic.
One day I watched My ID is Gangnam Beauty and discovered Cha Eunwoo, which led me to discovering his group, Astro.
I fell in love with Astro and KPop. Astro became my source of happiness and comfort during uncertain times. When I’d get my anxiety, I would watch Astro edits or videos to distract me from my worries.
Astro is my first and ultimate KPop group. They inspired me to be better.
They inspired me to keep pursuing my dreams even if the future was so uncertain because of the pandemic.
I had so many worries.
When would the pandemic end? When could we go out again or travel again? When could we see and be with our families and friends again?
They even inspired me to finally publish a novel I’d started in High School and wanted to publish for years. I’d tried to publish it through the traditional route but couldn’t get an agent, which is a requirement for publication. Then when the pandemic hit, I hit pause on that dream.
Until I met Astro and saw that despite the pandemic, they were going after their dreams. They always looked like they loved what they were doing: performing together, trying new things together as a group.
And most importantly, I loved their bond and their friendship. It’s so genuine that it was so inspiring, so with that I decided that if I couldn’t get my book published traditionally, I would publish it on my own.
And that’s what I did.
My self-published novel, The Hush Society Presents, ranked #1 during the pre-order period and debut week. It was a shock that that had happened.
I’d met amazing Aroha friends from all over the world because of Astro. I opened a Tiktok account because of them even though I was shy being on camera and resisted being a video creator because I loved writing too much and it took so much energy to create video content.
But all that changed the more I posted about what I loved on Tiktok and I learned how much I enjoyed posting on Tiktok.
I started out posting about blogging on Tiktok, then shifted to KDrama and KPop, and that’s when it all took off.
I was selected to be a part of Nylon Manila’s first K-council and met a fellow Aroha TikTok creator there who is now one of my close friends irl.
Because of that, Tiktok Philippines saw my videos as a Nylon creator and invited me to be an official Tiktok Hallyu PH creator.
And I posted more about my love for Astro until little did I realise that Astro and the Aroha and KPop lifestyle became my focus as a creator. I loved it so much.
I’ve had so many amazing and lucky experiences as a Kpop creator and Aroha like the time Moon Bin replied to one of my tweets during his mention party for the Refuge album.
And it seemed like he replied a number of times to my messages on Universe PMs too.
And then last March, I was lucky enough to secure SVIP tickets to Moon Bin and Sanha’s fan meeting.
Eunwoo is my ultimate bias and Moon Bin was my bias wrecker.
For so long, I was resisting becoming a Moon Bin bias.
But after Diffusion in Manila, I didn’t resist any more and admitted that while Eunwoo is my ultimate bias, I am also a Moon Bin bias / stan already.
At the fan con sound check, Bin looked at me.
During the fan con, they showed Moon Bin & Sanha the Chup Chup dance challenge I made, which I was so over the moon about.
I got to meet them after the show. Although it was a few seconds only, it was a memory I’ll cherish forever. I’m glad I got to tell Bin I loved him.
Little did I know that in less than a month’s time, he would become a star in the sky.
This grief has been different.
Losing a comfort idol…
I can’t even imagine what it’s like for his family and the rest of Astro and those that knew him personally…
It’s like I lost a friend.
It hurts, and sometimes I’m still in denial.
I’m lost with how to show my love for them through my content. I’m learning to find other things that can comfort me while I’m grieving the loss of someone who made such a big impact on my life.
I can’t put it into words… even if that’s what I’m trying to do right now.
I’m still not sure where to go from here as a creator, but I do know that Bin would want me to keep doing what I love.
Bin would want Arohas to be happy and healthy.
It’s a difficult time now, but Arohas have each other to lean on and process this sudden grief together.
Non-Arohas and non-Kpop fans have also been offering their support even if it’s a simple message of “sending you love” or “stay strong”… and it makes me cry all over again. It makes me thankful for people like them.
Our feelings are valid, Arohas.
Yesterday, I told my mom I wanted to create a book of Bin’s poems and photos since I’d actually been planning to do that for his birthday as a gift but hadn’t gotten around to doing it for his birthday this year.
After I told her that she said, “You love him so much.”
And all I could say as I choked up in tears was, “I didn’t know I loved him this much.”
I still don’t exactly know where to go from here as a KPop fan, but I do know that I want to honour Bin’s memory and keep sharing my love for Astro.
But right now, I’m taking it one day at a time.
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