On Tuesday, the wife, child and mother-in-law of Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect Blake Bivens were killed in a triple-homicide in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. His wife’s brother, 18-year-old Matthew Thomas Bernard, was arrested and has been charged with their killings. No motive has been publicly identified.
Bivens, accompanied by his manager, Morgan Ensberg, left his minor league team to be with his family immediately upon hearing the news. Ensberg described Bivens’ obviously shocked and disbelieving state during their trip back to Virginia in this story Montgomery Advertiser. It’s a difficult read to say the least. All the credit in the world goes to Ensberg and two team staffers who accompanied him for being with Bivens. It’d be unimaginable to make that trip by oneself.
Late last night Bivens made his first public statement, in the form of an Instagram post. It too is a difficult read. That Bivens can even function right now is hard to fathom. That he can put down words as heartfelt as these at a time like these is a miracle.
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.