DANVILLE, Va. — Minor League Baseball player Blake Bivens wrote a heartfelt message to his wife, son and mother-in-law, who were found dead in a home in Virginia.
The bodies of Joan Denise Jefferson Bernard, 62, Emily Bernard Bivens, 25, and Cullen Micah Bivens, 14 months, were discovered Tuesday morning.
Matthew Thomas Bernard, the brother of Bivens’ wife, has been arrested and charged with three counts of first-degree murder, authorities said.
Bivens spoke out about the loss in an Instagram post Thursday.
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Two days ago my heart was turned to ash. My life as I knew it is destroyed. The pain my family and I feel is unbearable and cannot be put into words. I shake and tremble at the thought of our future without them. Emily, my sweetheart, you are the best wife and mother this world has ever seen. You made me into the man I am today and you loved me with all of my flaws. You brought our precious baby boy into this world and made our family complete. Your love and kindness changed countless lives, including mine. My sweet little boy, dada loves you so much! I can’t breathe without you here. I finally understood what love was when you were born and I would have done anything for you. You have changed my life forever, you are my reason why. I long to hold the both of you again in heaven. I’m so glad you are with all your Great-grandmothers now, I know they are eating you up. This earth did not deserve either of you; you were just too wonderful to comprehend. Joan you were the best mother-in-law anyone could ask for. You loved your family more than anyone I’ve ever seen. You raised the most wonderful girl in the world. I’m so glad y’all are still together. You were the best Nana this world has ever seen and I will never forget you. Skip you are a wonderful father and grandfather. We will get through this together as a family. We will not let the devil win! Thank you God for giving me the most wonderful family in the world! I’ve been blessed beyond belief. Thank you to all my family and friends who have reached out to me during this time of sorrow. Thank you @raysbaseball @biscuitbaseball for your support through everything. I am comforted by all the messages and well wishes. I’m not sure what is next for me, but I do know God has a plan even though I can’t see it.
“Two days ago my heart was turned to ash. My life as I knew it is destroyed,” he said. He posted a series of photos and spoke to each of his slain family members in the caption.
“Emily, my sweetheart, you are the best wife and mother this world has ever seen,” he said. “Your love and kindness changed countless lives, including mine.”
To his son, Cullen, Bivens said he couldn’t breathe without him. “I finally understood what love was when you were born and I would have done anything for you,” he said.
To his mother-in-law, Bivens expressed gratitude for the love she had for her family and the woman she raised. He said he was glad that if she and his wife were gone, at least they were still together.
A first court appearance has not been scheduled for Bernard.
Bernard’s uncle, Bryant Bernard, said the killings were unlike the church-going nephew he knew. He said something changed in Bernard over a short period of time. “Unless you know someone, you don’t know what happened. We don’t know what happened and it’s our own family,” he said.