The holidays are supposed to be times filled with happiness, laughter, and being surrounded by the ones we love the most. Instead, our dear Kim is going through the most devastating time of her life losing the love of her life, Joe AKA Road Warrior Animal.
In the photo above, you see the happiest couple having what is described by Kim as "the best day" they ever had. Little did she know that the best day, also being their wedding anniversary, would soon turn into the worst night of her life. Shortly after their wonderful day full of laughs and conversations about their future plans, their love, and their life together, Joe suffered a very sudden heart attack that Kim tried to save him from. This was a very unexpected tragedy given that Joe was in the best health for his conditions. Just 10 short days prior to this he was celebrating his 60th birthday, and then onto surprising Kim with a trip to celebrate the day they became Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Laurinaitis.
The bond shared between Kim and Joe was best described as "one of a kind". There was rarely a day they spent apart. Most people know Joe's career as a professional wrestler was very different from a normal job. He spent up to 300+ days out of the year on the road at times to provide the best life for his family that he could. Up until his death he was still being booked for personal appearances/events. After maintaining his career for 30+ years, Joe saw many friends in the business have sudden and unexpected things happen to them being alone on the road. Years ago he expressed the fear to Kim of having something happen to him while working and being far away from home, and wanted her to be with him. Kim being the devoted and loyal wife she is gave up her personal career 3 years ago to work with Joe, ease his fears of being alone, support him in anything he did to provide, and have more time together as he wished. Another reason Joe wanted Kim to be home and with their family more was Kim fighting her own battle of a rare eye cancer called Ocular Melanoma, that she is still fighting. Most people do not know that not only was nothing prepared or put in place prior to Joe's sudden passing, leaving Kim with only the money they had set aside, Joe's job did not provide him with any type of retirement fund or social security. Adding to that, due to a medical condition Joe was not eligible for any type of life insurance policy as well.
On top of dealing with her health, and now this massive loss of not only her best friend and love, Kim is dealing with an overwhelming amount of stress every single day learning to survive without Joe, trying to find purpose again, and the next steps she will take in life. Aside from grieving and processing everything she is going through, she is also planning to relocate back to Texas, following the plan her and Joe had to move back there by March of 2021, where she will be faced with downsizing, a new life without Joe, learning the lesson of always needing to be prepared, to always expect the unexpected, and trying to find a job while waiting the outcome of if she will entirely lose her vision due to effects of radiation to treat her cancer.
Our sweet Kim is suffering more than she has ever in her life. Her daughter Lindsey has expressed most days it is a great task to even get her mom out of the house. Joe took so much pride in taking care of Kim, and giving her and their family the best that he could. Joe's heart was so big, so generous, and so pure. They both were always the ones lending the helping hand, never asking for anything in return, or for any help even if it was needed, which is why shortly after his passing I was approached to start a fundraiser for her. This is the season of blessings and giving, so I thought this was the perfect time to launch this for her.
Let's all help Kim as she starts this new journey she is on, and take some of the weight off her shoulders as she puts the pieces together of her new path. Let Joe's spirit be heard through you by being Animal's Angels.