Jimmy Hayes' wife, Kristen Hayes, posted a touching tribute to her husband on social media following his unexpected passing.
The 31-year-old was pronounced dead on Monday, August 23, at his home in Boston. The former NHL player's cause of death has not been disclosed.
Kristen shared a series of images of the family at the beach on Instagram on Tuesday, August 24. "On Wednesday we took family photos. Little did I know they would be our last photos of a family of four. I have no words. I’m heartbroken. We miss you. We love you. You should be here," she wrote.
Fans took to the comment section to offer their condolences.
"Life is unbelievably cruel and unfair sometimes. I'm no one, but I'm thinking of you and your boys and sending love ❤️," one fan wrote.
"My heart aches for all of you. I am so sorry. A life taken way too soon. Such a beautiful family. Sending you strength and prayers," another commented.
"I don't even know you and my heart breaks for you," a third fan responded.
Kristen also shared a photo of her husband holding their two sons, Mac and Beau, in a since-removed Instagram Story. "My angel I love you so much," she captioned the Story. "I miss you. I don't know how I'm going to do life without you. You should be here. This isn't fair."
The family celebrated Beau’s second birthday on Sunday, August 22. The couple welcomed Mac in May.
Jimmy played seven seasons in the NHL. He was first drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2008 before he made his NHL debut with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2011. The athlete also played with the Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins and the New Jersey Devils.
Fellow NHL players, Calgary Flames' Matthew Tkachuk and Ottawa Senators' Brady Tkachuk, are reportedly Jimmy's cousins.
"Completely speechless and heartbroken!" Matthew tweeted after the sad news broke. "Wish I had the chance to tell Jimmy how much Brady and I looked up to him and Kevin throughout all the years, I know that Beau and Mac will grow up with the same larger-than-life and loving personality that he had! Rest easy!"
"So devastated," Brady wrote on Twitter. "Jimmy was not only a role model to me but also to so many young hockey players in Boston. All my love to Kristen, Beau, Mac and the entire Hayes family."