Back in August, Blake Bivens was a pitcher with the Tampa Bay Rays’ Double-A Montgomery team when his life turned completely upside down after news got to him that his wife Emily, 14-month-old son Cullen and mother-in-law Joan Bernard were killed.
The pitcher recently spoke publicly about their deaths for the first time over the weekend and revealed he knew his family was dead by a Facebook post that he saw.
“First headline I see is two females and a small child were gone,” Bivens said, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. “I immediately knew that was them. I found out my family was gone over a Facebook headline. I just immediately began to scream in the middle of the airport.”
Bivens’ brother-in-law, Matthew Bernard, is still awaiting trial but was arrested and charged with the three murders.
“That was the worst moment in my life,” Bivens said of walking into his son’s bedroom for the first time after flying home. “Nothing ever will come to being, to feeling the way I felt at that moment. Then again, I know I will see him again one day, and it won’t be long.”
Bivens did thank the Rays organization for providing him with so much help in the wake of the tragic deaths.
“The only thing I really remember from the whole plane ride is I just went through periods, I just stared at the back of the seat the whole time, trying to get my mind to wrap around what I’m hearing.
“It’s almost kind of like, ‘This isn’t really happening.’ I was more in a state of shock. I would go through periods of shaking. Then I would start to lose it a little bit and break down and cry. It was kind of like a circle. The plane rides just seemed like they took forever.”
Bivens reported to spring training this season before everything was shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.