Troubles getting Death animation with Idle/Running/Falling

I am having issues with my character’s death animation. I have tried a few different methods but no luck getting it to work with my current set up. What needs to change?

As you can see i have the animations update initiate off the event tick like the starter content has (I have just built off that blueprint to call Water and Food reduction functions, and changed the get velocity input to X axis only so I could get Z axis specifically for the falling animation) everything seems to work fine EXCEPT, my death_animation flipbook freezes (or loops) the first frame and stays like so until the character actor is destroyed after the delay.
when i disable the delay to destroy actor nodes my character stays in the first frame of the death animation and I can run around but static first frame of death animation face palm
haha i feel like it is something simple but I just cant get it. Can someone help me get this current setup to play through the death animation?

Things I’ve tried

  • making custom events for idle/running, falling, and death so i could remove the “update animation” off the event tick.
    What that did: played the death animation flawlessly when it was supposed to, delayed, and destroyed actor after the animation. BUT now Running/Idle/Falling animations don’t play.

-reset blueprints-

  • made a function called Death that checks my health variable is <=0.0, on true is initiates Death animation. I then added a node off the event tick BEFORE the update animation to run the Death function (which does not initiate unless it gets a true reading that Health variable<=0.0.

what that did: Flickered between first frame of the death and Idle animations.
If i moved the Death function from the event tick to updateanimations custom event (initiated by event tick) the Death function freezes on first frame, or possibly looping first frame. (animation in the editor looks good, and i get a full preview in the setflipbook downdrop)

My thoughts, event tick being tied to update animations is keeping the death animation from being able to continue past first frame? water and food depletion is unaffected, health depletion works good. pick up gold nuggets fine, health from first aid kits, i’ve implemented swamp water in the game to quench thirst but drain food and health. different items give different stats. I’ve got floating platforms, elevators that start on a lever. Feeling good about my progress in the last couple weeks. I just can’t get this figured out.
Any help is appreciated!