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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Self-Help Expert could have used some help...

TV personality Choi Yoon-hee leaves death note 

By Park Si-soo

Choi Yoon-hee, a popular TV personality nicknamed “preacher of happiness,” and her husband were found dead in a motel in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province, Thursday, police said, Friday. She was 63 and her husband 72.

A note was found at the scene, police said. They were found at around 8:30 p.m.

Her death has sent a shockwave through society as her public lectures and publications were all about how to overcome personal ordeals and map out the road to happiness, drawing a great number of followers and media attention.

In the one-page note she left to her family members, Choi hinted that she had taken such a tragic path because of illness.

“I have suffered deteriorating health for two years and I recently found my lungs and heart were in trouble,” she wrote. “I initially planned to kill myself alone on a trip to a rural county by overdosing on sleeping pills. But the plan was foiled by my husband.”
She added, “We decided to leave together because my husband didn’t want to remain alone.”

Investigators at the scene presumed Choi’s husband choked her to death first and then hanged himself in a restroom. Many citizens showed shock and disappointment.

“It’s unbelievable that she killed herself,” said Kang Shin-young, a housewife in Seoul who overcame her private difficulties thanks largely to the deceased’s lectures.

An Internet blogger said, “Her preaching may have saved many people in trouble but not for herself.”

In an interview with The Korea Times in January, she underscored a positive mind and can-do spirit, recollecting what she called an “endless” cycle of despair, poverty and depression she endured 40 years ago.

“Under ideal conditions, everybody can obtain whatever they want,” she said in the interview. “Real happiness comes when one makes a seemingly unobtainable achievement under adverse conditions.”

Their bodies have been taken to a hospital in Ilsan and will be cremated Sunday.

Last year alone, 14,579 people took their own lives, becoming the fourth leading cause of death in South Korea after cancer, strokes and heart-related illnesses, a state report said.

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