Is there a limit to what you can do for the ones you love? Putting them first, sacrificing your own needs and wants, letting them go to have the life they want to live? Cha Yu-ri, the main protagonist of Hi, Bye, Mama!, shows us that love is truly unconditional — not just as a parent, but also as a daughter, sibling, friend, and even as a ghostly spirit.
With the ongoing covid 19 pandemic paralyzing our daily lifestyle, it’s become common for us to slow down and have more time to reflect on what we’ve done so far in our x years of existence. Life is short, oh we know, but to someone like Yu-ri who died abruptly and was given a chance to start anew — she realized so much more than the living can adhere to.
1. Eating good food, going out or being able to hug your loved ones are actions that we can take for granted because we can do it anytime, easily. Learn to appreciate these simple acts of living and be thankful for every chance that you can do these.
No one in the world can predict their own death. Although we are told by quotes, reminded by a friend or older relative, and so on that we shouldn’t take things for granted, we can’t help but give little meaning to eating out, working, or being able to talk with friends because it’s easy. Let’s take a conscious effort to slow down and reflect on these beautiful acts of love and care.
I’ve read advice expressing that the everyday, mundane parts of life are all you need to live a good life. Let’s not wait until the certainty of these experiences become fractured — relish these moments now.
2. Even if it’s not in your presence anymore, letting your loved ones go and allowing them to find their own source of strength and hope is the best kind of love you can give.
Gang-hwa remarrying was never an issue for Yu-ri, either when she was a ghost or when she reincarnated, because she knew that she couldn’t console him any longer when she died. Seeing him get better and move on with Min Jeong was something that she will always be grateful for. Even if it meant the love of her life found somebody new, as long as he wasn’t in pain, she accepted it well.
It’s natural to think of ourselves first whenever we make decisions. But at the end of the day, it’s still easier for us to give way to someone we love because seeing them happy trumps the knowledge of them being miserable. Even to her own daughter (Seo Woo), Yu-ri never coveted the position of being her mom because she was thankful that Min Jeong took care of Seo Woo. Yu-ri was content in being able to spend time with her and know that Seo Woo liked her company as well.
3. Time can heal wounds. How long or how short can’t be determined but as long as you try, beautiful memories will replace the painful ones. Moving on with your life is something that you should strive to do when you need to.
Losing Yu-ri was a tragedy but five years gone, the people closest to Yu-ri were moving on with their lives without her. Although her mom did pray to see her once more, she still carried on with her everyday life without her eldest daughter. The unending pain that you feel will slowly dissipate with time, don’t give up. As long as you exert an effort to process the wounds, even as small as eating a meal or as big as trying to work or date again, better days will bless your presence.
As pointed out by Yu-ri, she didn’t want her loved ones to feel guilty in moving forward with their lives. We may forget about deceased family members, good friends we lost touch with through the years, or fun experiences, but we’ll never truly lose such memories because the impact they made in our lives are too significant.
Hi, Bye, Mama! kdrama was an emotional rollercoaster for me and though it had its depressing moments, the overall mood of the show aims to uplift our spirits with hope and healing. This post is long overdue, but it’s been a struggle for me to write about something positive when I myself have been feeling the ups and downs of being in quarantine.
There is no perfect formula on how to cope and move on but we can always try. Let’s be gentle with ourselves and never forget that:
Life is unpredictable. Live yours to the fullest — make sacrifices, learn from mistakes, cry, laugh to your heart’s content! It’s a wild but fulfilling journey, don’t worry, you’ll get through it😊
Determined to get rid of any ghost lurking near Seo Woo, an unlikely friendship blossoms between Yu-ri and Min Jeong as their paths cross more often now. As her days dwindle down, Yu-ri is still determined to leave but will her family, or even Gang-hwa talk some sense into her once they know the truth? A mysterious figure also appears this week that’ll rattle our ghosts’ status quo in holding off from leaving their loved ones!
Another flashback takes us to a time where Yu-ri comforted Gang-hwa whenever he went through something disstressing. For a long time after Yu-ri’s death, she knows that she can’t console him like she used to anymore. One night as he was drinking alone at a tent bar (Pojangmacha), Min Jeong joins him on a table to eat. As Yu-ri watches Gang-hwa light up from Min Jeong’s company, she smiles at the fact that this could be start of his road to recovery.
Yu-ri’s mom (Mrs. Jeon) faints from the sight of her and is taken to a hospital. When she comes to, Gang-hwa is the 1st person she sees as she recalls having seen her eldest daughter again. She sees Yu-ri behind Gang-hwa and though words can’y fully comprehend their what they must be feeling, they both sob and hug each other dearly. Her dad and sister (Yeon Ji) also see Yu-ri for the 1st time after arriving at the hospital and are dumbfounded with her presence. Since Hyeon Jeong and Yu-ri never got to finish their conversation, the former is a mess trying to process the truth of what Yu-ri has said. I can’t imagine my best friend saying that she’s willing to give up her own life because she knows that her family has moved on without her😢
Finally back home, Yu-ri’s family squeeze themselves into a bed to hug her tight and never let her go. She checks her own room and finds that her things were left as they were, even seeing some baby stuff intended for Seo Woo on top of her dresser. Before leaving the house, she sees a prescription by Gang-hwa stuck on their front gate. It’s revealed that Gang-hwa took the path of a thoracic surgeon so that he can do check-ups on her mom intending to take care of her. Aww! Even after Yu-ri’s death, he still checks up on her records even after Mrs. Jeon has switched doctors.
In other ghostly news, a famous baseball player who resides in the crematorium named Kang Bin takes the spotlight this episode as his death was ruled to be suicide. He’s all over the news for a match fixing scandal but apparently showed no signs of suicide, even Keun Sang is interviewed on TV for this because he was the one who assessed him.
It’s the 1st day on the job as Yu-ri is excited to spend the day with Seo Woo as her pick-up helper and to get rid of the ghost in the apartment. She doesn’t realize Seo Woo’s schedule though as she has a full day of attending extracurricular classes. Yu-ri is pleasantly surprised when she is given a gift: an egg with Seo Woo’s drawing on it.
It seems that Mr. Kim’s story isn’t over yet as he waits to go up with his boss, Mr. Baek. He confesses to another ahjumma ghost, Mi-Ja, that Mr. Baek was the only one who lent him money when Hye Su was a kid and needed an operation to treat a 3rd degree burn on her leg. Wow, so that’s why Mr. Kim has been so patient and understanding to him because of this! That night, Mr. Baek finally talks with Mr. Kim admitting that he’s been a bully to him all this time because he was jealous of Mr. Kim. This is because Mr. Baek’s children don’t care about him and is only concerned with his inheritance. Mr. Kim comforts him and says that he has done something good and that is give his daughter, Hye Su, a good life to live🥺
Our mama is overjoyed with the gift Seo Woo gave her, but looks a little sad when she witnesses Seo Woo giving Min Jeong an egg as well but with more details compared to hers. She doesn’t feel too bad for long though as her goal to go to the apartment is her focus. Min Jeong feels bad when she declines Yu-ri’s offer to further babysit Seo Woo at the apartment so the former in the end decides to invite her to their home. This doesn’t look good for Gang-hwa, haha! When the husband arrives at home, he immediately rushes to go out again (Probably from seeing Yu-ri inside) but is caught by Min Jeong. He makes an excuse about having a lot of work and confines himself to his study for the remainder of the night.
Unsuccessful on her first day in catching the ghost, Yu-ri insists that she can play with Seo Woo at home the next day instead of at the playground. She almost forgets to take the egg home with her and goes back to the apartment to retrieve the precious gift. Little do they know that Gang-hwa is already in the kitchen and eating the eggs as we speak, oh no!😅 He is about to finish the remaining egg as he puts it into his mouth, but gets the shock of his life when the 3 girls all simultaneously react to him eating the egg, hahaha! Yu-ri reacts the most violently and Min Jeong looks at her with an astonished expression.
On voiceover, Min Jeong recalls the time where she assures Gang-hwa that she was quitting work so she could take care of Seo Woo. She didn’t realize how challenging it would be to do so at the time and gets bothered when the nosy moms gossip about her not being Seo Woo’s real mom.
Back at the scene of the crime, Gang-hwa is forced to hurl the egg out of his mouth because of the girls’ outbursts, hahaha! Min Jeong contemplates on Yu-ri’s over-the-top reaction to him eating the egg but Gang-hwa defends her saying that he would have shouted at himself too. On the other side of town, Keun Sang is also facing an eggy situation himself as his car was thrown with eggs by Kang Bin’s fangirls. They are upset with him because they feel like he misdiagnosed the baseball player and wasn’t able to detect that he was suicidal. Keun Sang wonders what truly happened since he is adamant that he didn’t exhibit any symptoms of suicide when he went for a consultation.
Finally alone at the apartment the next day, Yu-ri commences her quest to find the local ghost. Yu-ri is hesitant to go inside the married couple’s room, feeling awkward that she’s intruding on Min Jeong and Gang-hwa’s personal space. She goes inside anyway sensing the ghost and finally catches him with the help of Mi Dong’s staff (the one with bells) but is surprised to find another ghost inside! Omo, it’s a special cameo by Kim Seul Gi who reprises her role from a previous hit kdrama Oh My Ghost, hahaha!👻 For those who haven’t watched that show, she plays a virgin ghost who tries to possess women’s bodies to sleep with men. She admits about her failed attempt to take control of Min Jeong’s body because she’s so strong-willed, hehe💋
Yu-ri finally completes her mission by getting rid of the virgin ghost with Mi Dong’s help and sending the other ghost to Pil Seung’s place, hahaha! Poor guy as he gets beaten up by the Jang family seeing him there. Yu-ri is still worried on the off chance that Seo Woo might still see ghosts after her 49 days are up and Mi Dong tells her that her child might end up as a shaman if that happens.
Unable to avoid her best friend any longer, Yu-ri finally admits that she’s been a ghost all this time and that it’s her fault that Seo Woo sees ghosts. Hyeon Jeong has a hard time processing this but it does coincide with her suspicions on why Yu-ri doesn’t want to take her place back with her family as well as knowing Min Jeong so well. Watching Min Jeong be the light of her family, it’s like Yu-ri gained a new friend who she wanted to cheer on and root for.
Before the night ends, Min Jeong, Yu-ri, along with Hyeon Jeong, end up drinking at the latter’s restaurant. It’s a weird aura with the 3 of them together but they eventually open up about how they feel with each other. Min Jeong divulges that she is curious about Yu-ri as someone who looks like Seo Woo’s mom and that she’s envious of Hyeon Jeong and Yu-ri’s friendship because she pushed away her own friends. Such an unlikely bond forms between them that it makes me happy to see Min Jeong open herself up to other people😊 She ends up getting the most drunk though and Gang-hwa is called over to the restaurant to fetch her. With Yu-ri and Min Jeong drunk, Gang-hwa is seemingly torn on who to prioritize (Poor guy!) but of course tends to his wife first. Yu-ri sobers up when Min Jeong calls Gang-hwa “My husband” but pretends to still be drunk anyway. She sneaks a longing peek as husband and wife walk away and for a brief moment, I know she must have felt a little pain seeing them leave together.
Checking on his therapy progress, Dr. Jang questions why Gang-hwa hasn’t gotten treated for his hands yet. The truth is that Gang-hwa feels guilty getting himself treated because it’s the last thing that reminds him of Yu-ri’s death. Oh damn🥺 A phone call from Yu-ri interrupts Gang-hwa’s dazed state as he hears her panicked voice and overhears another person declaring an accident has occurred. Running out of his office as if his life depended on it, he rushes to go to the emergency room to find her.
A dark figure looms over Mi Dong’s front door as he tells her that he never heard back from her. Uh oh, is this the Grim Reaper?😈 (It’s another special cameo by Yang Kyung Won from Crash Landing on You)
I can’t imagine how hard it must be for Yu-ri to let go of her right to be Seo Woo’s mom and just try to accept that Min Jeong is the mom her own child recognizes. It’s touching to see her gratefulness to the unlikeliest of people, Seo Woo’s stepmom, because it shows how mature and unselfish Yu-ri is when it comes to her family’s well-being. It’s nice to see Min Jeong being drawn to Yu-ri as well, despite having insecurities from time to time, that she welcomes her presence in her and Gang-hwa’s life. If our OG couple don’t end up together, I sincerely hope that Gang-hwa gets an affirmation from Yu-ri to truly move forward with his life and get himself treated.
Like with Seo Woo, Yu-ri is content with Gang-hwa in the arms of another woman because she knows what he had to go through without her. Again though, it must be weird to feel like an outsider in the place where you once called home and to have the love of your life avoid you like the plague when he sees you there. I just want Yu-ri to be happy, is that too much to ask?
With the introduction of the new character, I know he’ll stir up the crematorium’s ghosts and even meddle with Yu-ri’s existence. We’ll have to wait and see on whether or not he actually knocks some sense into Yu-ri to finding a way to stay alive or further solidify her belief to leave.
When someone we love dies, our world doesn’t stop. The sun will continue to shine, work doesn’t go away, and the hard question on whether or not we’ll overcome this rests on our shoulders. With Yu-ri and the other ghosts being able to see how the ones they left behind are struggling, it’s no wonder no one wants to leave Earth until they’ve helped their respective loved ones move on. In Hi, Bye, Mama! korean drama at least, a little help from beyond can go a long way🤗
Yu-ri, Min Jeong, and Seo Woo clear the air out in a coffee shop. I thought Yu-ri was finally going to tell Min Jeong the truth but it turns out that she’s answering a job ad about being Seo Woo’s pick-up helper. Although tension arises between them, Yu-ri diffuses the situation and they are both able to laugh about their wounds. As Min Jeong walks home with Seo Woo, she asks her if she likes Yu-ri. Seo Woo kisses Min Jeong’s hand and tells her that she likes her more.
The next morning, Min Jeong finally admits to Gang-hwa about having Seo Woo tested. Gang-hwa dismissed the test and tells her not to worry about it. Umm, are you crazy?!😑 This is no time to be in denial about something serious! Min Jeong also mentions that she is thinking about hiring Yu-ri as their pick-up helper for Seo Woo. This was a test to see how her husband would react and Gang-hwa did his best to put on a poker face, looking like it doesn’t matter to him, telling Min Jeong that she can decide on this matter. Once he turned his back on her though, a look of concern is evident on his face.
Two new ghosts are highlighted in these episodes: Mr. Kim, a simple family man who worked as a driver for a rich and successful Chairman, Mr. Baek. The latter keeps on bullying the former with Mr. Kim taking all of his insults in stride. Meanwhile, our other ghosts haven’t forgotten about Yu-ri’s promise as the Jang family is the 1st in line to claim their favor from her. Much to her discomfort, Yu-ri cleans Pil Seung’s filthy apartment (He’s a pilot by the way, who would’ve thought?) and Mrs. Jang admits that she would rather be a ghost who can stay by her child’s side until he grows up.
Yu-ri confesses to the Jang family that volunteering to be Seo Woo’s pick-up helper was for her to kick out the ghost that resides in their apartment. As much as her cause is for the greater good, Mr. Jang points out how stressful it’ll be for Gang-hwa to have her there. Before Yu-ri can defend her actions further, the sound of the door opening alarms the 4 of them that Pil Seung is back! Turns out he read his work schedule wrong and wasn’t supposed to work today, uh oh, this prompts Yu-ri to hide in his closet.
Seeing Pil Seung satisfyingly eat the food Yu-ri prepared brings Mrs. Jang joy to see her son finally eat a proper meal. Pil Seung decides to take a shower when he notices a hair tie on the floor. He gets suspicious and ends up clonking Yu-ri on the head with a karate stick when he opened his closet. Poor Yu-ri, hehe. She comes up with an excuse that she is the house helper and Pil Seung asks her when she’ll be back. Yu-ri is pissed with what she had to go through today and replies that it wasn’t her who actually cooked the food (She was just following Mrs. Jang’s instructions). With a huff, she leaves the apartment with the family leaving her alone (for now) as well😛
With the knowledge that Yu-ri might become Seo Woo’s pick-up helper, Gang-hwa goes to the hotel to talk to her. Finally saying his piece, he lets out his frustrations and says that they should tell Yu-ri’s family and Min Jeong the truth about her. Yu-ri figures that he’s being like this because he found out about her volunteering to become the pick-up helper. She pleads with him to let her do it and Gang-hwa, remembering how Yu-ri was bawling her eyes out on the playground with Seo Woo, gives her his permission.
A rainy day at Seoul brings Yu-ri and Min Jeong together as the former shelters the latter with an umbrella. At the same time at a convenience store, Pil Seung sneaks his way beside Gang-hwa, who has an umbrella, to get to his apartment. Yu-ri tells Min Jeong that she’s a nice person, much to the latter’s surprise given how the other moms at the daycare think of her. As they continue to joke around with each other, the 2 of them happen to run into Gang-hwa and Pil Seung along the way.
Confusion spreads across their 4 faces as Yu-ri ushers Min Jeong under Gang-hwa’s umbrella and escapes them. Pil Seung runs to share with Yu-ri’s umbrella leaving the husband and wife together. Why do I feel like he’ll develop a crush on our lovable mama?😉 haha! Gang-hwa is surprised that Min Jeong was laughing with Yu-ri and reassures her that she is a nice person. His firm gaze on her is probably the most romantic gesture that he’s ever shown, at least for me. Min Jeong ultimately decides to hire Yu-ri as their pick-up helper.
On the same night, Gang-hwa confides in Keun Sang and Hyeon Jeong about Min Jeong’s decision. Hyeon Jeong opens up that she feels like Yu-ri is hiding something because it seems like she knows Min Jeong pretty well. Both she and Gang-hwa can’t speculate any further though because they really can’t figure out her secret. Before Gang-hwa goes home, he confesses to Hyeon Jeong about Seo Woo being underdeveloped. She scolds him for telling Min Jeong not to be bothered by it but explained that he only said that so she wouldn’t think it’s her fault that Seo Woo turned out that way. Ugh, men can be so dense sometimes🤦🏻♀️
It is a small world after all as one of Mr. Kim’s daughters turns out to be a teacher at the daycare: Hye Su. The other ghosts congratulate him as she sis about to get married soon. They do wonder though why she looks so down in a time where she should be celebrating. On the other hand, Jung Gwi Soon, an ahjumma ghost in the crematorium, goes to visit her sick daughter at the hospital and feels distraught seeing her daughter in pain.
That night, Yu-ri and the rest of the daycare employees go out for dinner and drinks. Hye Su is in no mood to celebrate and starts crying her eyes out over the thought that her dad, Mr. Kim, never got the chance to enjoy his life. He worked so hard all this time and couldn’t even attend his daughter’s wedding party. As Hye Su confesses this to Yu-ri, Mr. Kim is right beside her also feeling sorry and weary for what he just heard. Meanwhile, Gwi Soon overhears her daughter confide in her husband that she tries her best to tolerate the pain of chemotherapy because of her mom. She feels guilty because she was the one who told Gwi Soon to get treatment before and the thought that it brought pain to her mom is what’s making her fight the pain now. How many tissues have you used up so far?🤧
In an effort to comfort his daughter, Mr. Kim asks a favor from Yu-ri to help him write a message for Hye Su. She finds a letter at the crematorium of Mr. Kim telling her that he was happy having worked hard for his family and that she shouldn’t worry. Hye Su cries uncontrollably while reading the letter as Mr. Kim comforts her. Yu-ri along with the other teachers, and even some ghosts at the crematorium, attends the wedding as Mr. Kim walks down the aisle with Hye Su. And with this, their story comes to a happy resolution🎉
Secrets eventually make their way into the light and Yu-ri’s mom finds several pictures of Seo Woo with her husband on the day he volunteered at the daycare. She confronts him about it and they get into an argument because Yu-ri’s mom always warned him to stay away from Seo Woo. Yu-ri’s dad bursts out his feelings that he just misses his granddaughter and of course, he has every right to feel that way. I don’t think there’s a right opinion or decision in this case since I understand Yu-ri’s mom for avoiding Seo Woo. I do think that they can build a relationship with Seo Woo and not be intrusive to Min Jeong at the same time but, I understand that it’s easier to just have no presence to them at all.
Mi Dong is worried as Yu-ri’s mom overheard her unintentionally say that her daughter was just “roaming around” implying is Yu-ri a ghost just wandering about. She meets up with Yu-ri to tell her this at Hyeon Jeong’s restaurant. Hyeon Jeong overhears Mi Dong and Yu-ri talk about her 49 day predicament when she came back to the restaurant after briefly stepping out to buy an ingredient. She confronts Yu-ri as they walk down the street about the revelation and convinces her that she can take her place back and live. Yu-ri is adamant that she doesn’t need to be Seo Woo’s mom and that Gang-hwa truly loves Min Jeong.
Falling to her knees, Yu-ri breaks down breathing hard and weeping feverishly on the street as Hyeon Jeong hugs and comforts her. Someone riding a bike notices them and gets curious: Yu-ri’s mom! She was about to pass them by but takes a peek anyway, and this causes her to fall down from her bike. She manages to get up and walks towards them. She is cautious as she notices Hyeon Jeong first, and I can only imagine that her heart was pounding loudly, as she sees her supposedly dead daughter turn around and face her.
I know that Yu-ri doesn’t want to cause a disturbance in her loved one’s lives because she’s firm in going up after the 49 days but she has to realize that that ship has sailed. It’s about time her own family discovers that she’s alive, for better or worse, I’m sure that having this 2nd chance to spend with her won’t be so bad. After some reflection, fiiinneee, I may have been too hard on Gang-hwa😏 He must feel powerless in making any big decisions because he wants to respect Yu-ri when she told them to leave her be for the time being. I just feel like he’s just been floating mindlessly and delaying doing anything until it’s too late and things blow up — this being Min Jeong finally discovering Yu-ri’s true identity.
I still don’t believe that Gang-hwa is in love with Min Jeong (Because again, all the interactions they have shown prove otherwise) but yes, he does love her in his own way. My heart broke when Yu-ri shouted those words to Hyeon Jeong and it makes me think that seeing them together over the years as a ghost, she must be right💔 It’s a quieter and respectful kind of care that he gives to Min Jeong. It’s different with Yu-ri’s but nonetheless, love is love. I do hope we get to see Gang-hwa’s feelings more clearly in the succeeding episodes, especially when he finds out about Yu-ri going away again once her 49 days are over.