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FROM JULI FLOWERS, KYM'S MOTHER:
Kymberlee Ann Larsen was my surprise baby; born when I was 35. The youngest of my 5 children, Kym was our baby and the little sister to all of their friends.
Loved by all, she retained her sweet disposition throughout her life. Maybe because she was a bit overprotected by us, she had an innocent quality about her. Soft-spoken and kind, she endeared herself to all who knew her. She had a unique sense of style, which, combined with her gentle personality gave her an almost ethereal presence. She was truly an Angel all of her days.
Kym and I were very close and she never stopped needing her mommy nearby. Just over a year before her death, she met Evan and they quickly became a couple with a baby on the way. A child that we are so grateful to have now. They had their ups and downs, but both were determined to build their family together.
Unfortunately, the pressure of this new responsibility seems to have been too much for Evan.
The first time he became violent with her we moved her out of their place. 3 days later, he came to attack and kill her. We didn’t realize at the time that the first couple weeks of leaving a volatile relationship are the most dangerous. The rest of us survived the attack, but our hearts were forever shattered that day.
RIP sweet Kym.
FROM CHELSEA LARSEN, KYM'S SISTER: For You Network, Inc works with resource providers to reduce violence, heal trauma and support people through major life transitions. KYMfest is a family festival that brings these resources to the community for a day of learning, connection and fun.
#KindYourMind is our motto. An adaptation of Kym's name, "Kind Your Mind" reminds people to adopt kindness over violence, and have compassion and grace for everyone's healing process including your own. We promote a shift away from the judgment, blame and shame that often hinders people in seeking help and instead bringing mindfulness and love into the forefront of our way of being.
After Kym's murder, we realized the truth behind the saying, "hurt people hurt people" and decided to do what we can to break the stigmas around mental and emotional health. Evan felt hopeless, defeated and downright worthless to himself and others. He had a long history of being an outcast of his family, suffering childhood traumas, struggling with mental illness and addiction through his adult life, and his severe lack of ability to keep a job or make major life accomplishments. The stress of his new role as father to Kym's son was overwhelming. Without a network of support and community care behind him, and with the weight of his lifestyle and negative behaviors catching up to him, the stress finally broke him.
He got violent, she got out. He decided he couldn't live without her. He took her out with him in a tragic suicide mission. The aftermath of this unexpected turn of events left our family reeling and overwhelmed. But one thing I knew was that people are being pushed every day to this breaking point due to compounded stress and very little outlets. We hope to be an an avenue to a better life. Healing is not a one-size-fits-all process. We aim to meet people where they are in their journey and bridge the gap between how they can access what resources are out there. We are here to help. We are here for you!
Although we are Idaho-based right now, I hope to be able to expand this model to the broader nation and world so that everyone might gain the access and awareness to what's available to support them through major life transitions.
Here are the best ways to get involved in our nonprofit organization, For You Network, Inc. and our annual outreach event, KYMfest (aka the KindYourMind Festival) and our #KindYourMind Movement
Ways to donate: https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/kindyourmind
Any contribution, big or small helps to bring our vision into reality.
We appreciate your efforts to raise awareness on the impact of violence.
LAUREN MATTHIAS has worked as an anchor and reporter for ABC, NBC, and FOX News in East Idaho, Boise, Idaho and Salt Lake City, Utah. She recently left the reporting world to produce and edit, Hidden: A True Crime Podcast along with her husband Dr. John Matthias, a forensic psychologist.
HIDDEN: A TRUE CRIME PODCAST is: CRIMINAL PSCYHOLOGY REINVENTED. Join us on a journey into the darkest recesses of the human mind and the unconscious motivations that drive human behaviors in order to understand the world and ourselves.