Jimmy Hayes died suddenly on Monday, Aug. 23, just a day after his son’s second birthday. The cause of death has yet to be reported, but the 31-year-old NFL hockey player has been memorialized by those who were closest to him over the weeks following his death.
Kristen Hayes, his wife, has been especially heartbroken by her husband’s untimely passing. She wrote an emotional Instagram story titled “My Angel,” explaining that she didn’t know how she was going to go on without him. Posting photos of the family at the beach dressed in all white, she wrote, “Little did I know they would be our last photos of a family of four.”
“I have no words. I’m heartbroken. We miss you. We love you. You should be here,” Kristen Hayes said.
Beau, the couple’s first child, had just celebrated his second birthday, while their newborn, Mac, was just 3-months-old.
Alongside an Instagram video clip of Beau running towards his father at what appears to be a SkyZone trampoline park, Kristen wrote, “A week ago today. Now, a favorite memory. The music that just happens to be playing gives me chills.”
The song playing in the background was “You’ll Be In My Heart” by Phil Collins, which was written for the Disney animated film Tarzan in 1999.
“Beau has watched this video countless times w/ a smile saying ‘again,'” she said. “Today is going to be a tough one. Please give me strength. I love you the most. You should be here.”
She also posted a black-and-white photo of Jimmy Hayes and her looking up at a waterfall, calling him her “best friend.”
“Ever since I read your story I can’t stop thinking about your family,” one commenter wrote. “I can’t fathom the pain you are going through for your husband. I’ve read so much about him and watched videos. He sounded so amazing. I’m so beyond sorry and I wish I had words that could bring comfort. Just wanted to say your family has captured my heart and I’m so sorry. Sending so much love to you and your beautiful boys.”
Sharing an embrace by the water in one photo, Kristen Hayes said that Beau still runs to the door when the doorbell rings thinking that his father is home, which is heartbreaking. “Missing your arms wrapped around me extra today,” she said on Thursday, mourning the loss of her husband. “Gosh, this is hard. I miss you so much.”
Following Jimmy Hayes’ burial, Kristen posted two more photos of their boys, writing that they are “the only reason I get out of bed.”
Dressed in white and laying next to each other on the bed, the two brothers are smiling, with Kristen telling them: “I visited your daddy today. I promised him I’ll pull it together for you two. My little Jimmy’s.”
Kristen’s story has touched many people online who have been following along, especially since Jimmy Hayes’ death came so suddenly and left behind two young boys.
“I don’t even know you but honestly my heart breaks for you and ur boys,” one commenter wrote. “U have a beautiful family. No words can take away your pain. Hug those little men in ur life everyday. They will give you peace. god bless you.”
Her latest photo tribute to her husband Jimmy Hayes came yesterday. She joked as she fondly remembered his sillier side.
“Best kiss face in the game,” she said. “Those lips. Your scar. You’re perfect.”