By Julie Costello
Current Campaign: Pink Sonoma with Purpose | Benefiting Kim Rose | Nashville, TN | through April 30, 2017
I never met Max Rose. I wish I had. I learned about Kim's story through an old friend who connected us through Facebook. There is nothing easy about meeting someone for the first time to discuss the tragic loss of the love of her life. Our mission at Love Tea is to help people with mental illness so learning about Max's story from Kim was an absolute honor. I am so grateful that she found the strength to connect with me and I am incredibly excited to be able to help her in some small way.
On December 19, 2016 Kim's husband, Max Rose died by suicide in their home. Kim was with him when he passed.
Max was a well loved guy. Wildly funny, witty, and a smile that would stop you in your tracks. Max loved music, especially country music but also Michael Franti and Spearhead. Together Kim and Max enjoyed experiencing live music, cheering on their Chicago Cubbies, and to go wine tasting whenever they had a chance.
Max and Kim met in 2008 and began their life journey together. Like every journey, theirs was no easy one. In 2010, just weeks after being laid off from a job of seven years, Kim learned she had breast cancer. Together she and Max battled through treatments, a double mastectomy, reconstructive surgery and then during her recovery, Kim fell and shattered her ankle, resulting in two more surgeries in 2012. After surviving years of medical issues, Max and Kim finally married in 2013 and just three weeks later moved from Chicago to Nashville, a city they loved for it's live music and vibrant feel. Once relocated, the couple opened a fitness studio, The Dailey Method, where Kim and Max worked together and employed an amazing staff dedicated to improving the health and lives of people in their community. Running a business is never easy and these were difficult years in our country. Like millions of Americans they juggled mountains of medical debt and business loans. Ultimately they decided to close the business and discuss bankruptcy.
Shortly after closing the business, in May of 2016, Max’s mental health seemed to slowly erode and Kim began to worry about her husband. Her loving, joyful, loyal, trustworthy rock became persistently sad, anxious, and pessimistic. Suicide was not on her radar. He was drinking more and became more erratic but she did not fully realize the extent of Max's illness until after he was gone. Max battled demons throughout the 10 years they were together but like many couples she believed they helped to heal each other. He was her most trusted friend and stood by her through the darkest and most difficult days of her life. Max helped calm her insecurities and anxieties, she thought she could do the same for him. It was only after his death that she learned from an extended family member that Max had previously attempted suicide at a very young age.
Now Kim is the widow of a widower facing the challenge of living in a world without the love of her life. When I spoke with Kim you can feel her strength, her bravery, and her desire to get through this tragic event. But she is also sad, angry, confused and fearful of the recurring vision she has of Max's last moments and his last breath.
Losing a loved one to suicide is one of the most painful human experiences we can have. The feelings of loss, sadness, and loneliness experienced after any death of a loved one are often magnified in suicide survivors by feelings of guilt, confusion, rejection, and anger. Survivors of suicide loss are at a much higher risk of developing major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as prolonged grief. The risk of developing a mental health issue after suicide loss is twice as high among women.
Now faced with her own mental health challenges as a surviving spouse of suicide, Kim is trying to navigate bankruptcy and bereavement. She will soon lose her medical coverage through Max's employer and is faced with finding "affordable" care for her mental health, her post cancer monitoring and everyday wellness.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and nearly 45,000 people will die by suicide every year in America. On average, there are 121 suicides every day in America and nearly 50% will include the use of a firearm.
After meeting Kim I can tell you that her bravery is inspiring. Kim is a fighter and a believer and she is determined to use this tragic event to draw attention toward suicide prevention. I have no doubt that Kim Rose will use this experience to help us in our movement for mental wellness in America. But first, we need to help her.
Our April fundraiser will benefit Kim Rose but we also honor Max's memory in support of suicide awareness and prevention. Kim and Max loved wine tasting together. That is why our Pink Sonoma with Purpose is the perfect way to help us lift up Kim Rose during this difficult time. Through April 30, 2017 proceeds from the sale of "Pink Sonoma with Purpose" will benefit Kim. Your purposeful purchase will make it possible for Kim to begin to rebuild her life, find a new career, and to seek healthcare during her recovery of this devastating event.
Click here to purchase Pink Sonoma with Purpose.
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