While she was answering fan questions on Tuesday, November 30, one Instagram follower sent condolences to Kristen, noting that “grief is a crazy ride.” In her reply, the hockey athlete’s widow shared how she’s been coping.
“It’s beyond awful,” Kristen wrote in an Instagram Story. “Doing the best I can. Working out helps me a lot. And wine. And family [and] friends. In no particular order.”
In a separate Instagram Story, Kristen reflected on the “hardest part” about adjusting to life without her husband by her side.
“It’s lonley [sic],” she explained. “Not being able to talk to him is the hardest part for me. I just want to see his face as [our sons] Beau and Mac grow. Every time they do something new or funny I’m like Jimmy would be lovin this. Kills me.”
The Boston Bruins player was found dead in his Massachusetts home on August 23. Two months later, the state’s medical examiner confirmed Jimmy’s cause of death was “acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl and cocaine,” ruling it an accident. The news came as a major surprise to his loved ones.
“I was so certain that it had nothing to do with drugs,” Kristen told The Boston Globe in October. “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.”
One month later, she marked what would have been the former Toronto Maple Leaves player’s 32nd birthday. “Happy heavenly birthday to my hot hubby, best friend, baby daddy and now 👼🏼,” she wrote via Instagram on November 21 alongside a throwback photo from the pair’s 2018 wedding. “There will never to be right words to express how much the boys and I miss you. I know your love will continue to shine through them forever. In the words of beau ‘I love daddy so, so much’ ..me too beau, me too 🎈❤️ happy birthday Angel.”
After losing her partner, Kristen has been leaning on friends and family for support. While celebrating her first Thanksgiving since the tragedy, she posed with sons Beau, 2, and Mac, 6 months, in front of festive holiday decor.
“So thankful for them,” she captioned the carousel of Instagram photos with her little ones.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).