Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect Blake Bivens paid tribute to his late wife on the day she would have turned 25 years old.
Bivens’ wife, Emily; his 14-month-old son, Cullen; and his mother-in-law, Joan Bernard, were found slain in late August. Bivens’ brother-in-law has been charged with murdering all three of them.
In a touching Instagram post Thursday, Bivens wished his deceased wife a happy birthday “in heaven” and said he misses her.
“Happy 25th Birthday in heaven, baby! I thank God everyday for letting me have you for a short time. Your love and kindness has impacted so many people,” Bivens wrote.
“I miss you so much,” he added.
His message ended on something of an uplifting note, as Bivens said he understands that no matter what happens, he’ll see his wife and child again in heaven someday.
“Give our little pooh bear a kiss for me. I love you both so much and can’t wait to see you again,” he wrote.
Bivens attached two photos to his post — one of him, Emily and Cullen together and another of Emily and Cullen in front of a birthday cake.
He also posted a video in which he’s seen holding a big bunch of balloons in front of what appears to be his wife’s grave. Eventually, Bivens lets go of the balloons and watches as they float up toward the heavens.
Bivens has spoken out several times since this tragedy destroyed his family.
In a late September post, he cited a Bible verse, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, in which the apostle Paul tells the church in the Greek city of Thessalonica not to “grieve like the rest of mankind” for deceased loved ones, since Christians — thanks to Jesus Christ’s atonement — can look forward to eternal life.
“For me this is not the end but only a brief interruption,” Bivens wrote. “One day soon we will have a magnificent reunion and all of us will be with the Lord forever. Until then I will press on to the ultimate goal of spending eternity in Heaven.”
Just days after his family members died, Bivens published a heartbreaking social media post expressing his grief at the tragedy while also paying tribute to each of his slain family members.
“Two days ago my heart was turned to ash. My life as I knew it is destroyed,” Bivens wrote. “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.”
Bivens attached photos of his wife, son and mother-in-law.
“Emily, my sweetheart, you are the best wife and mother this world has ever seen,” he wrote. “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.”
Next, he addressed his son.
“My sweet little boy, dada loves you so much!” Bivens wrote. “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.”
Then, Bivens turned to Bernard, whom he characterized as “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,” he said.
Bivens, 24, was a fourth-round pick by the Rays in 2014. He spent 2019 playing for the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.