Ladies' survival mode
I spent my weekend watching fan-cam video clips of girl group Ladies' Code's recent concert, which left me with a rush of emotions.
The surviving members of the K-pop quintet - Ashley, Zuny and Sojung - held a memorial gig at Tokyo's Shinagawa Stellar Ball on Aug 22 to honour the late RiSe and EunB , who died last September in a car crash.
Seeing the trio put on a brave front as old footage of RiSe and EunB played in a loop behind them, I felt pangs of heartbreak. RiSe was just 23 and EunB 21 when they died.
Anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one knows that coping with grief is a lengthy process of struggle.
On stage, the girls held back tears as they dedicated their new song, I'll Smile Even If It Hurts, to their departed friends. It will officially be unveiled as a single on Sept 7, the day RiSe died.
For fans, the mere fact that the threesome are singing again after a one-year hiatus presents a glimmer of hope that Ladies' Code will continue to thrive.
It will not be easy, as evident in the case of Asian bands whose careers spiralled downhill following the tragic death of their members.
For instance, Hong Kong rockers Beyond's charismatic frontman Wong Ka Kui died in 1993 after falling from a stage during a rehearsal for a Japanese game show.
Years later, the legacy he left behind was destroyed by simmering conflict between his bandmates, bassist Wong Ka Keung and guitarist Paul Wong. They have since disbanded.
I'm confident that Ladies' Code will weather the storm and emerge stronger.
Veteran host Yoo Jae Suk puts it perfectly in his tender tribute to the duo: "These children are as beautiful as flowers. At their peak of beauty, they have flown away like petals. If we let them go from our hands, we will lose them. If we lose them from our thoughts, they will be forgotten."