Spring Day, you will inevitably hear it, if you visit Korea. This song is iconic not only as one of the best loved BTS hit but also a song that has embraced a young and hurting generation.
Although BTS never overtly claimed that the song was about the Sewol ferry tragedy, most BTS army and young people have alluded the song to that event. In 2014, a Korean ferry capsized with 304 passengers on board. Most of the passengers who died were students on a school trip as they were ordered to stay in their cabins, only 172 survived. The authorities tried to hush up the incident by hiding the facts about the lax in safety and the overloading of the ferry. This served only to deepen the wounds that were inflicted by the loss.
BTS wrote Spring Day in 2017, a song capturing the trauma of losing a treasured someone. The lyrics has become the balm of healing, consoling many.
‘Passing by the edge of cold water’ – Loss
Spring Day video starts with Taehyung going to a railway, touching and almost hugging the ground. Coming to terms with the permanent loss of a loved one can be a real struggle. Sudden, unexpected loss however, can leave a person traumatised for a long time. If the experience is not processed properly, it could leave a person with deep and complicated emotional scars that could affect subsequent relationships and that person’s view about life.
A person who is a witness to a terrifying incident that involves the loss of life, even if it’s a stranger, can result in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A person suffering from PTSD may get repeated bad dreams, have trouble sleeping, problems concentrating on daily routines, feel guilty and other conflicting emotions. Sometimes, avoidance becomes a coping mechanism when ‘seeing that persons face’ or photo triggers uncontrollable emotions.
Vicarious trauma can affect people who were not actually at the scene of the tragedy. It can happen to people who were exposed visually to scenes of violence or know of victims of trauma and violence. Certain personalities may be more prone than others to feelings of heightened emotions or be traumatised. Such people are not weaker than others, it could be that they are more compassionate and sensitive to the suffering of others.
If you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD, please see a mental health professional for help.
‘I miss you, I miss you’ – Grief
Grief is a reaction to the loss of someone or something that we considered important and significant to us. It makes us human and it reflects that we have compassion and a capacity to love. When we hear about tragic situations about someone on social media or the news, we can experience very strong emotions. Such emotions can be quite confusing for some of us especially if we are not friends with that person. Our minds may argue that it’s silly to feel such feelings when we don’t know that person. But the emotions are real and it needs to be validated.
In such a situation it’s goods to show your compassion and send your condolences to the loved ones. Then it’s also good to grief and come to terms with that loss yourself. You could do this either by talking to a close friend or a caring adult.
The lyric of Spring Day reflects the complexity and confusion that one faces with the loss of a loved one. From hating the person to longing to be with that person, emotions shift senselessly from one extreme to another. It’s important to know that everyone grieves differently. Young people in particular may not show grief like how we would normally expect. Read more about young person’s grieving here.
No darkness, no season, can’t last forever – Living on
Losing a friend is never easy. Loss of any kind, whether it’s moving to another school or not being able to see a person for a time is legit loss. There is no loss that is too small and insignificant to grieve over, even the loss of a pet.
So we need to grief, to accept the loss, come to terms with life without that someone and let time ‘pass by a cold winter’. While the missing may go on for a life-time, ‘morning will come back and no darkness, no season, will last forever’. So as we focus on the good memories and treasure the time spent together, life will find a way to go on.
Watch Spring Day
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If you are hurting, here are some people you can talk to