Beautiful Endings

I only have a few favourite singers/musicians and I normally don’t pay much attention to the others – especially the boy bands and girl bands. However, a random search on YouTube turned out a tragically beautiful love story. I searched the Chinese engines to find out more and here is what I found.

This Taiwanese 2-girl group, formed in 1987, was known as 忧欢派对. It was the SHE of the 80s. The girl on the left is 蔡雨伦. The long-haired girl on the right is 于佳卉 Yu Jia Hui, better known as 欢欢, the daughter of a general in the Taiwanese army. In spite of her privileged background, Huan Huan embarked on her career as an entertainer at the tender age of 17. She later graduated from Kaoshiung University with a degree in Literature. Though 欢欢 started her career in singing, she made her mark in 9 Mandarin drama serials, capturing the hearts of many TV audiences in Chinese communities all over the world.

Not surprisingly, 欢欢 had no shortage of admirers, one of whom was singer Zhang Ke Fan. At the age of 24, she married director Zhang Xiao Zheng. With him, she had 2 children. She later accused Zhang of having an affair (which he vehemently denied) and divorced him. She then married actor Jiang Guo Bao and had a child with him. Huan Huan’s second marriage lasted only 5 years. The reason for divorce was never made public. Below is a video from a Taiwanese TV show made not long after Huan Huan’s second divorce. The hosts seemed to be trying to cheer her up by bringing her first love Zhang Ke Fan on the show.

It was almost like an unrehearsed reality show. Everyone was so spontaneous. Many were touched by Zhang’s song, but I wonder how many people noticed the awkwardness here. There was no script, but Huan Huan was acting. She was not herself. She was desperately trying to conceal something deeply troubling. They put up a good show for the audience. At the end of the show, the audience just move on to the nest show. The actors are left to face their own realities. The relationship between Zhang Ke Fan and Huan Huan never happened again and I suspect that the resistance came from both directions. He might still be the same old Zhang Ke Fan (apart from the weight gain), but she was definitely not her former self.

On the 1st of June 2014, Huan Huan was found dead in her home. She died of carbon monoxide poisoning. It was only then that it was revealed that Huan Huan had been suffering from depression. Her father’s passing in 2012 could have been the last straw.

It is a mistake to think that people suffering from depression will appear moody and withdrawn all the time. They may well behave or appear that way when they are left alone, but when given the right situation, they may exhibit immense creative energy. I wonder if Zhang Ke Fan and her ex-husbands had known about it all along.

Huan Huan died a beautiful woman. Zhang Ke Fan can go on writing his love songs, remembering how it was and imagining how it could have been. If this is how the world remembers her and their love story, then who is to say that this is not a beautiful ending?

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