Kristoff St. John died at age 52 from heart disease, which was exacerbated by alcohol use

By Eric Todisco
February 03, 2020 01:31 PM
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Kristoff St. John’s ex-wife Mia is paying tribute to the late actor exactly one year after his death.

On Sunday, Mia, 52, shared an Instagram honoring both the Young and the Restless star and their 24-year-old son Julian, who died by suicide on Nov. 23, 2014, following a lifelong battle with mental illness.

“I’ve died twice in my life already. The day my son passed and the day #superbowlsunday last year when his father passed?,” she captioned the post, which included several photos of the late father and son.

“2020 will be my rebirth ????????For them and all the others that continue to suffer #mentalillness #addiction#depression #anxiety #ptsdawareness ??,” the five-time world boxing champion added.

Kristoff, a two-time Emmy Award winner, died at age 52 on February 3, 2019. It was later determined that his death was caused by heart disease, which was exacerbated by alcohol use.

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE in December, Mia said her upcoming book Fighting For My Life will address how the deaths of Kristoff and Julian led to her passion for spreading awareness about mental health.

20th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards
Kristoff and Mia
| Credit: Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

“I’ve been in this fight for reform of our mental health system for so Iong,” Mia said. “Kristoff and I lost our son in a mental health facility that was found guilty of neglect. Then when I uncovered a lot of the facilities in LA County, I discovered that this was going on everywhere because there have been many deaths. My son wasn’t the only one. So I’ve been on that vision.”

“When Kristoff lost his life, he was also neglected by the facility that he was put in,” she continued. “He was let go while still being suicidal. Then, my mission just completely skyrocketed. And I just want the public to be aware of what’s happening.”

Following Kristoff’s death, Mia relapsed after three decades of sobriety, she revealed in March. She also was hospitalized twice.

Mia St. John
Mia St. John

I’m out of the hospital. I’m sorry if I scared anyone,” she shared on social media. “Let’s plz focus on the wellness of his precious girls Lols & Paris.” He is survived by two daughters: Paris, with Mia, and Lola, with ex-wife Allana Nadal.

“They love their father so much, the beautiful, loving, funny soul that he was/is,” she continued, adding a green heart emoji. “#MentalHealth is all we have, nothing else is important.”

But the professional boxer said that despite her intense grief, she’s doing her best to move forward. “I’ve just been telling my daughter, that we have to go on, he’d want us to be happy and to celebrate together,” she told PEOPLE.