“I love you so much. I miss you. I don’t know how I’m going to do life without you,” Kristen wrote. “You should be here. This isn’t fair.”
Her words were accompanied by a photo of Jimmy holding his two boys on the beach. His son, Beau, had just celebrated his 2nd birthday the weekend before his shocking death, and the couple’s other newborn, Mac, is just 3-months-old.
The photo was taken as part of photoshoot for Beau’s 2nd birthday announcement, with Kristen writing: “Your smile, laugh and heart are one of a kind. The sweetest soul and best big brother. You light up every room you walk into. The joy you have brought into our lives is indescribable. Thank you for making me a mother, forever my greatest accomplishment.”
At the time of her husband’s death, no cause was reported, leaving questions as to how the 31-year-old NHL player passed away so suddenly. Officers told The Boston Globe that his death was not considered suspicious, but it still left friends and family wondering what happened.
A day before his death, Kristen Hayes posted a photo of Beau and his fellow hockey friends’ sons, writing a sweet message to her husband saying, “Let’s keep making more babies. So much fun celebrating these 3 boys over the weekend.”
“The cutest lil friendships (their dads all played hockey together at BC),” she said. “Can’t wait to watch them grow up together.”
The couple reportedly met through mutual friends before exchanging wedding vows and tying the knot back in July 2018. Along with his wife and two kids, the boy’s father is survived by his fellow-NHL hockey brother Kevin, his three siblings Eileen, Genevieve, and Justin, his mother, Shelaghn, and his father, Kevin Hayes, Sr. So far, Kristen is the only member of the family to speak out about her husband’s untimely passing.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Hayes family,” wrote Boston College, where he played hockey. The Boston Bruins hockey team also offered their condolences, writing, “our thoughts are with his wife Kristen, his sons Beau and Mac, and the entire Hayes family during this very difficult time.”
During his time in the NHL, he scored 54 goals and helped Team USA win the silver medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Under-18-Years-Old Championship in Finland in 2007.
Appearing fine just the night before his death, his wife Kristen Hayes posted a photo of her husband with the two boys at the arcade on her private, personal Instagram account, wearing Patriots gear and appearing to be having a wonderful time.
“We are thinking of the Hayes family and friends during this difficult time,” the New Jersey Devils hockey team said in a statement. “His infectious personality and easygoing nature were contagious to all who spent time with him. He had a tremendous ability to make everyone feel welcome. You will be missed Jimmy.”
“Growing up in such a tight-knit hockey family, I’m sure Jimmy wanted to do exactly what he saw Keith and I were doing as he was growing up,” wrote New Jersey Devil’s general manager Tom Fitzgerald, his cousin as well as NHL’s Keith Tkachuk, who he also mentions.
“He not only did that, but he became aa true role model and inspiration,” Fitzgerald continued. “Watching him grow into the person, husband, and father he had become makes us all smile proudly. He will be greatly missed by our entire family.”