I was shocked when I heard painter Thomas Kinkade had died this weekend. That's an early death I did not see coming! I'd always seen Kinkade as an incredibly successful entrepreneur with an ideal life: Beautiful homes, beautiful family, doing what he loves most for a living, and bringing millions of people joy through his paintings.
But Kinkade's death has revealed the sad truth behind the "painter of light" myth. His beautiful world was falling apart. And this morning the other shoe dropped. His death was so unexpected police are conducting an autopsy today.
Apparently Kinkade was suffering from alcoholism and had separated from his wife. In 2010 he was arrested for drunk driving. His relationship with his business partners had fallen apart -- some of the former owners of Thomas Kinkade Signature Gallery were suing him. His behavior was becoming increasingly erratic and disturbing. And, as much as it pains me to say it, he once allegedly peed on Pooh at Disneyland.
In fact, if you looked at a snapshot of Thomas Kinkade's last five years, his life would look like anything but the Christian, light-filled dream we'd always imagined.
What on earth happened? How did America's painter of light go so dark? Was the Thomas Kinkade ideal too lofty even for Thomas to fulfill? He was reportedly trying to clean up his act just before his death. It's sad that he left this world a broken man, separated from his family. I would have rather seen him grow very old, surrounded by his loved ones and enjoying his success.
Did you know Thomas Kinkade's life had taken a turn for the worse in recent years?
Image via thomaskinkadetv/YouTube