Tampa Bay Rays prospect Blake Bivens has lived through a tragedy not many could handle. His wife, Emily, and their 1-year-old son Cullen were slain alongside his mother-in-law in August. The alleged killer was Emily's 19-year-old brother Matthew Bernard and he is now facing three counts of first-degree murder according to PEOPLE.
But for Bivens, he's here without his young family and forced to celebrate his late wife's birthday without them. The minor league prospect posted a heartbreaking message on social media to celebrate Emily's 25th birthday.
“Happy 25th Birthday in heaven, baby! I thank God everyday for letting me have you for a short time,” Bivens captioned the photos. “Your love and kindness has impacted so many people. I miss you so much. Give our little pooh bear a kiss for me," Bivens captioned the photo. "I love you both so much and can’t wait to see you again.”
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The post also included a video of Bivens kneeling alongside their grave, still fresh, while holding a pair of balloons.
Bivens received some messages of encouragement from his fellow players and teammates on the post.
"Happy Birthday! We are all here for you Blake," Steven Ascher wrote including a red heart emoji.
"Praying for you bro!" Taylor Walls added.
Fans also added in their own thoughts alongside the professional ballplayers.
"This hurts to see. I’m so sorry dude. Sending hopes and prayers," one fan wrote.
"I am so sorry. Continued prayers for peace and comfort. I know your pain will never truly go away but I hope the lord softens the sting for you just a bit," a second fan wrote.
"So very sorry for your loss. I truly believe with all my heart you will be reunited again in Heaven," another added.
According to PEOPLE, the criminal complaint against Bernard noted he had attacked a female neighbor before shooting his mother, sister and the young infant with a rifle.
Video filmed after the incident captured the alleged suspect exiting the woods naked, running after authorities at the scene before making his way to a local church and allegedly choking an employee.
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Bivens played for the Rays Double-A affiliate in Alabama, the Montgomery Biscuits. He marked the one-month anniversary of his tragic loss to close out September, including a slew of photographs of his late wife and son.0comments
"It’s been a month since both of you went home to Paradise to be with Jesus. I spend most of my time imagining what both of you are seeing and experiencing," Bivens wrote including a quote from Thessalonians 4:13-14. "For me this is not the end but only a brief interruption. 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."
Bivens made it clear he was thankful for the assistance of Our Baseball Life, a group "resourcing, connecting, and supporting pro baseball families since 2010" according to their Instagram. He also singled out the Tampa Bay Rays for their support, thanking all on behalf of his family.