Jimmy Hayes’ Widow Gives Emotional Eulogy At NHL Star’s Funeral

A week after NHL star Jimmy Hayes was pronounced dead in his Milton, Massachusetts home, hundreds gathered at St. Ann’s Church in Dorchester to pay tribute to the fallen athlete.

On Monday morning, friends and family met at the church to honor their hometown hero, with young athletes in Dorchester Youth Hockey jerseys lining up for a passionate procession outside the venue. The 31-year-old’s widow, Kristen, was in attendance but the couple’s children, Beau, 2, and Mac, 3-months-old, were not at the funeral.

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According to People, ahead of the 90-minute ceremony, the hockey player’s casket was carried into the building as a bagpiper played on the steps. The hymns included Amazing Grace, How Great Thou Art, and Battle Hymn of the Republic. Once inside, Kristen delivered a tear-jerking eulogy to her “best friend,” resting her hand on his wooden casket (which was covered with a white funeral pall) before expressing:

“My dearest Jimmy, I cannot believe I am standing here a month after our three-year wedding anniversary. You were simply the best. There’s no other way to put it.”

During a lighter moment of the difficult speech, she teased:

“The boys and I were your whole world. Every morning you would wake me up with ‘Hi big momma’ or ‘Big momma looking hot.’ You said you felt bad that the boys will have the hot mom in the pickup line at school.”

The momma was also grateful for Jimmy’s “heart of gold” and his “infectious” smile. Heartbreakingly, she added:

“It was so fun becoming a parent with you.”

Giving a peek insider their home life, the mourning wife explained what she’ll miss most about parenting with the former Boston Bruins player, adding:

“[It’s] the little things I will miss most, like the sound of your voice… and the high-five at 8 p.m. after the kids were in bed.”

Thinking of their little ones, she continued:

“I will try my best to fill your shoes, but I know it’s nearly impossible.”

Reflecting on their time as a family of four and looking ahead to the future, Kristen shared her favorite and least favorite qualities of the right-winger, joking:

“Your hugs and kisses were one of a kind. Your dance moves? Let’s hope they don’t get those.”

Hah! Love that she still has a sense of humor, and you can tell how loved Jimmy was and always will be. Addressing the impact this unexpected loss has had on her little ones, Kristen emotionally described what bedtime now looks like for her 2-year-old, Beau:

“Beau looks at the background of my phone [with a picture of Jimmy] before he goes to bed and says, ‘Goodnight daddy. I love you.’ You were my soulmate and the best dad to Beau and Mac. I will make sure they know our love story.”

She concluded:

“Heaven has gained an angel.”

Hayes was found dead at home the morning after celebrating his toddler’s birthday with family and friends last week. It has not been announced what caused his death, but a spokesperson for the medical examiner’s office in the east coast state told People that an autopsy was already completed. The statement continued:

“The cause and manner of death remain pending and an update is not expected for several weeks when toxicology testing comes back.”

Jimmy’s younger brother and other half, Kevin Hayes, who currently plays for the Philadelphia Flyers, also gave a touching speech at the service. Reflecting sentiments shared in an Instagram post last week, the sports star told attendees:

“He made me the best version of myself.”

Despite gaining fame while playing in the NHL, Kevin insisted:

“My brother treated everyone the same way.”

To prove this point, he shared that the family had received flowers from all kinds of people and businesses, including high school teachers, local restaurants, and even the Dunkin’ Donuts Jimmy regularly visited. Amazing!

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The alternate captain went on to describe his older brother as a “caring, loving, generous, loyal and determined,” person, adding:

“As a brother, he built us up every way he could. He brought joy and laughter into every interaction.”

U.S. Secretary of Labor and the former mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh, was even in attendance at the “wonderful tribute to Jimmy.” As a resident of Dorchester, the politician had a lot of kind things to say about the Hayes family and the sad event, describing the church as “full of love today,” telling the outlet:

“Everyone knows Jimmy. It was always Jimmy and Kevin. The two of them did great things. They were always giving back to the community.”

A look at the Bruin’s latest social media post honoring their late player shows just how much Jimmy cared about his community, especially when working with up-and-coming athletes! Check it out (below)!

Wow… We need some tissues after watching that. These speeches combined with that video just prove how special this man was to those he encountered. It’s so tragic that he was taken so unexpectedly and at the start of his young kids’ lives. To see more from this heart-wrenching funeral, check out other photos here:

Sending our love to the Hayes family as they continue to grieve this unimaginable loss.

[Image via P.K. Subban/Kristen Hayes/Instagram]

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