Jun 26, 2024 | In Memoriam

 

I wrote this about my nephew the day after his celebration of life. It was the first day of life without him. We said our goodbyes, had our tears, and drowned in our grief.

Love and support filled Tyson’s life, despite it being cut short. His life was good, a set of
supportive parents that taught their kids the value of hard work. Tyson’s life doesn’t make any bestseller list, but to his family, he was everything you wanted in a son and a brother. Human interest is a funny thing. Sometimes, people will click on a headline about a recovering drug addicted rock star or indulge themselves in gossip about some celebrity doing something stupid. This story is different. It’s about love, hard work, compassion, sports, and a person who
touched so many lives without even knowing it. No clicks needed!

I want to be honest…I’m Pi#@%* off; God took the wrong player for his team. Like so many other families struck with unbelievable tragedy, we are left searching the universe for an answer. Why? At just 18, Tyson’s lifeline was taken away from him.

I’m confused…It’s been almost a year… Although my feelings stay strong from that day, my emotions have focused on remembering Tyson and the forever lasting impression he left on myself and others. With an attendance of over a thousand people that day, police directing traffic, and an entire community packing the local arena, it was clear Tyson touched the hearts of not only his community but the sports world as well.

I remember seeing his junior hockey team bus parking at the front entrance, his team captain leading the march into the hall, a very emotional and quiet bunch of young adults, a team that just lost one of their own. Waiting already in the hall was Tyson’s Lacrosse team, a group of local athletes that were all Tyson’s childhood friends and warriors of the game. In the back were the athlete’s parents, devastated by the sadness of their children and wondering how they would cope with this sudden onset of grief! As you have guessed, Tyson was a seemingly healthy elite athlete, literally cut down during the best years of his life. We are a very close family and Tyson was one of a handful of my nieces and nephews. The evening before July 23, 2023, Tyson came over to my house where his parents, my wife, and I were having dinner. He had just finished working at the golf course and was hinting around for something to eat. Tyson wouldn’t turn down a steak or, for that matter, any food. He was very excited about the next day. He was going to meet his billets for lunch and then check out his coach’s new dog, whose name was “Tyson” yes…after Tyson. That’s the impact he made on people! We chatted about his plans with hockey and some goals he wanted to achieve with the new season approaching. We chipped some golf balls in my yard and I fist pumped him. Good luck tomorrow!

That was the last time I saw him…. The next morning changed our lives forever…because Tyson had passed away in the early morning hours. Now almost a year to his 1st anniversary of his “sunset” I still struggle to find words to express the grief and emptiness our family feels. There really are no words. Instead, we find a small bit of healing power in remembering Tyson in so many ways. Since that day in July, there have been:

*Banners of Tyson hung from the rafters of his arenas.

*A community donated park bench in Tyson’s name.

*A mural painted in Tyson’s memory supporting his lacrosse number 26 in the team dressing room.

*A news paper article

*Multiple memorial awards were created for both sports and one from his local high school awarded to the student who best exemplifies his motto “You don’t need to be the best; you just need to give your best” AKA- The humble and kind award.

*Hundreds of wristbands with Tysons signature and motto inscribed on them.

*Mugs, T-shirts, jerseys and hats with his motto.

*A star named after him.

*A candlelight walk with his friends and family on his 19th birthday.

*The first annual “Give your best” Memorial Golf Tournament planned for July 18th , 2024

A postmortem discovered Tyson had a positive hereditary gene, MYH7, which was likely the cause of his sudden cardiac arrest. There were no signs or symptoms prior to his passing. As I write this, his immediate family is undergoing clinical and genetic testing to see if they are also carriers of the gene. There is not a day that goes by where I’m not thinking about him. Often I see the signs that he is with us: dragonflies, hawks and the numbers 66, 26 and 92. July 23, 2023 is frozen in time for me and it’s hard to imagine life without Tyson. I will close with this… the response and support Tyson’s family has received is truly a testament to the compassion people have. Much like Tyson, his actions always spoke louder than words and was grounded by his parent’s advice “Always stay Humble and Kind” Thank you!

Submitted by Shawn Krueger, Tyson’s Uncle

His parents wrote:
A true competitor through and through, he reached all his goals with true grit and determination. He practiced hard and played even harder. Tyson had the greatest passion for hockey, golf and lacrosse. Whatever greater power took you without notice, Ty, it had to have been a fierce silent power that you didn’t see coming because you would never have lost a fair fight.
A special thanks to Pam Husband from The Canadian SADS Foundation. Your support and knowledge so far during this journey has been very helpful. The compassion you have for our family shows just how important your voice is to families that need your foundation.
“Love Mom, Dad, Gavin and all who loved you so deeply!”

The first annual “Give Your Best” Memorial Golf Tournament is planned for July 18th, 2024