Rays prospect Blake Bivens lost his wife, child, and mother-in-law in a triple-homicide earlier this week, and since that time the Rays minor league system and surrounding baseball community have rallied to support the player and his extended family during this tragedy.
Although we are at a distance, if you follow the Rays and their players, perhaps this story has affected you too. For that reason, I’d like to share the following.
A few days removed from the horrible event, Bivens has released an emotional farewell to his slain family members on Instagram. May they always be remembered:
View this post on Instagram
Two days ago my heart was turned to ash. My life as I knew it is destroyed. The pain my family and I feel is unbearable and cannot be put into words. I shake and tremble at the thought of our future without them. Emily, my sweetheart, you are the best wife and mother this world has ever seen. You made me into the man I am today and you loved me with all of my flaws. You brought our precious baby boy into this world and made our family complete. Your love and kindness changed countless lives, including mine. My sweet little boy, dada loves you so much! I can’t breathe without you here. I finally understood what love was when you were born and I would have done anything for you. You have changed my life forever, you are my reason why. I long to hold the both of you again in heaven. I’m so glad you are with all your Great-grandmothers now, I know they are eating you up. This earth did not deserve either of you; you were just too wonderful to comprehend. Joan you were the best mother-in-law anyone could ask for. You loved your family more than anyone I’ve ever seen. You raised the most wonderful girl in the world. I’m so glad y’all are still together. You were the best Nana this world has ever seen and I will never forget you. Skip you are a wonderful father and grandfather. We will get through this together as a family. We will not let the devil win! Thank you God for giving me the most wonderful family in the world! I’ve been blessed beyond belief. Thank you to all my family and friends who have reached out to me during this time of sorrow. Thank you @raysbaseball @biscuitbaseball for your support through everything. I am comforted by all the messages and well wishes. I’m not sure what is next for me, but I do know God has a plan even though I can’t see it.
If you would like to help support the Bivens family during this difficult time, a gofundme has been set up by a player’s family association Our Baseball Life. As of publishing, the fund has surpassed it’s modest goals to reach nearly $55,000 raised.
To Blake, we offer you our collective thoughts and prayers, and wish you continued courage.
In times like these, I am reminded of the words of Philip Larkin: “we should be careful / Of each other, we should be kind / While there is still time.”
Take care, Tampa Bay fans, as Hurricane Dorian approaches — and Go Rays.
Update — For anyone who wishes to make a donation to help pay their respects, the family has released the information for two charities they would like to support. You can find that information here: