Almost three months after the passing of former NHL player Jimmy Hayes, his widow Kristen Hayes is opening up about having to adjust to life after the tragedy.
During a Q&A session with her social media followers on Nov. 30, Kristen responded to a message shared to her Instagram Stories that read, "I really hope you're doing okay. Grief is a crazy ride," to which Kristen wrote, "It's beyond awful. Doing the best I can. Working out helps me a lot. And wine. And family + friends. In no particular order."
During their marriage, Kristen and Jimmy welcomed two sons, Beau, 2, and 6-month-old Mac, and his passing came just days after celebrating his eldest son's birthday. Kristen later responded to another message from an Instagram follower who asked her about the "hardest part" of life after losing her husband.
"It's [lonely]," Kristen responded. "Not being able to talk to him is the hardest part for me. just want to see his face as both Beau and Mac grow. Every time they do something new or funny, I'm like, Jimmy would be loving this. Kills me."
Law enforcement and first responders rushed to Jimmy's home in Milton, Mass. in the early morning hours of Aug. 23, where the former Boston Bruins player was pronounced dead. On Oct. 17, the Massachusetts state medical examiner confirmed to E! News that Jimmy died of "acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl and cocaine." The death was ruled to be accidental.
In an interview with the Boston Globe, Kristen expressed shock after learning the official cause of death.
"I was so certain that it had nothing to do with drugs," she told the publication. "I really thought it was a heart attack or anything that wasn't that...It didn't make any sense, so it was hard. I was hoping to get a different phone call when they called. I was hoping to get some clarity and I was shocked to hear that it was that.... He never showed any signs of a struggle at home.''
In a personal statement later shared to social media, Kristen expressed that she would continue to commemorate Jimmy's memory.
"Though we are shocked and heartbroken beyond words, I choose to remember my husband and the boys' father by the enormous love and joy he brought us and so many others," she wrote to her followers on Oct. 18. "This battle does not define him, and I will still tell my boys every day to #BeLikeJimmy."