TT 16

So I’ll try to write this without a tear falling but I know it will be impossible, which is unfortunate for everyone at ESPN because I’m the ugliest crier in the game.

You know those moments when you meet someone and you can see their beauty of their heart shine through? That’s what I felt when I met one of my best friends, Skye Cieszlak. Never had I had a friend who made me want to be a better person. She is the first person to pick you up when you’re down and whoever made you feel down will be getting their ass kicked. Yet she’s the sweetest friend I have had as well. God was a blessing when she gave me her as a friend.

Now when I first met Skye she was dating Terry Trafford. I could go on for days about the kind of man Terry was, is, and will forever remain. His smile could light up a room and I’m not even kidding when I say his smile was more than contagious. Never did I see Terry unhappy, unless Skye got her way, which we knew she always did. 🙂 But man, did he love that girl. We spent every Saturday watching Terry play hockey for the Saginaw Spirit. He was always the first one to give Skye a wink and make sure we weren’t getting out of hand dancing in the stands.Terry was a great friend to me, always joking about hooking me up with his friends and spending time with Terry and Skye together was even better. They were a power couple, just the two of them always made me feel so comfortable especially when its seven am on a Sunday and we were all jamming to Free Fallin’ together, making up words but being confident as hell thinking we knew it.

Terry was one hell of a guy, a great friend, a great boyfriend to Skye but even a better hockey player.

Google Terry’s hockey videos and I already know you’ll have a smile of on your face watching him beat the hell out of someone and helping them up after. Because that’s the type of person Terry was and is in all of our hearts. You’ll find scouts all over the internet talking about Terry’s NHL speed and I’m not kidding, sometimes we thought Terry had wings because he was so damn fast. Terry held this charisma that just made you want to be around him. An all around amazing guy, anyone will tell you that.

He played 221 games with the Spirit, scoring 29 goals with 49 assists.

Terry was missing for eight days until his body was found the afternoon of March 11th, 2014.

Terry Trafford took his own life.

I watched my best friend, Skye, break. The love of her life is now gone from her world. Skye was 21 years old when she had to identify his body because his family was still in Toronto. She was 21 years old when her innocence was taken as she experienced the worst moment of her life and memory and had to confirm that the body that was found, was in fact Terry’s.

Days following we headed to Toronto Canada for his funeral. Tears flowed like waterfalls, they played Drink A Beer By Luke Bryan, the team stood outside the church with their sticks in the air and we followed Skye out of the church. Not a dry eye remained. Terry was the most loved man I have ever seen. I’ve said it 16 times and I’ll say it 16 more, Terry would’ve been proud as hell to see Skye being so strong for him.

I won’t go into the details of Terry’s death, but I will say this. Hockey takes a toll on you and your mental state. Terry suffered from depression as well, so if anyone thinks depression is a joke, it’s something that needs to be taken seriously everyday. People don’t realize the lasting effects suicide has on the people that are left behind. If you know someone suffering from depression, reach out. Reach out like hell. If anyone reading this didn’t know Terry, don’t think he was a kid who was sad and depressed and hung his head every second, because he wasn’t. Depression puts you in a place where sometimes you cant escape from. We will never fully understand why, or know what he was thinking in that moment, but maybe we can all find some peace knowing he is no longer hurting.

I wish we could go back in time. I wish Terry was still apart of my life and everyone else’s as well. That’s another reason why I look up to Skye as much as I do. She is so strong and carries such a grace and presence with her and it’s comforting to know Terry is with her everyday.

TT 16 always in our hearts.<3

Check out this BEAUTIFUL video on Terry:


About ashleyvanochten

Intern for ESPN 100.9
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One Response to TT 16

  1. Nancy VanOchten says:

    That made my eyes water; very special


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