Bring your brokenness, and I’ll bring mine.

Bring your brokenness and I’ll bring mine. 

I have always felt like music has the power to comfort and heal and a song by Francesca Battistelli titled, If We’re Honest, has been powerful these last few years. 

Throughout my life I have found there is great tension between being completely vulnerable with life’s events yet trying to guard yourself from the judgements of others.  Maybe it’s because I grew up in an alcoholic home, those secrets couldn’t easily be hidden when your dad’s name was in the legal section of the local paper next to the letters, DWI.  Thankfully, through those painful experiences and a father that openly admitted he (and we) were all broken, now celebrates 25 years of recovery.  But that didn’t come with hiding our pain, it was out there, and we had to own it.  That pain has brought great purpose and wisdom throughout my 37 years of life, and for that I am grateful. 

The lyrics that impact me most in the song are, bring your brokenness and I’ll bring mine.  You see, the truth is, we all are broken.  We just live in a world that stresses that we need to live as if our lives need to be captured with the perfect picture (and filter), our response needs to worthy of ‘likes’, all of our things needs to be shiny, and the path to success should be straight.

Well friends, it’s not.  And if we strive for that, we have missed what truly is important in this life.  This blog was created (almost 5 years ago) to share our journey and it brought vulnerability and healing when life brings about unexpected events. 

So I’m bringing my brokenness and I invite you to bring yours.  I do not wish this pain on anyone.  Never.  Ever.  Ever.   But we will speak truth into the darkness.  We will not let this define anyone. 

Last Saturday, we received a call that my brother-in-law, Andrew, was on life support in a Chicago hospital and not looking like he will survive.  I was getting ready for a college roommate breakfast reunion when I saw Chris’ Jeep pull back into the driveway.  Why wasn’t he at practice?

“My mom called me and told me that Andrew had been in an accident at the airport and was not expected to live.”  A detective from the county had knocked on their front door at 8:30 am and asked them to sit down, going over the little details they knew at that time. 

The airport? That doesn’t make sense.  He had just flown into the airport Friday night and was excited to spend the weekend with some friends, along with visiting his former Stampede billet family, and attend a Chicago Blackhawks game.  He was so excited for the weekend.  Why was he at the airport in the early morning hours on Saturday?  I don’t understand. 

After frantically calling our babysitter and my parents to cover the kids, my in-laws, Chris and I drove the 6 excruciating hours to Chicago.  It was the longest trip we had ever taken.  The doctor greeted us along with his friends that were in complete shock of what happened and they helped replay everything that had occurred the evening before. 

When Andrew and his buddy landed at the airport Friday evening, they grabbed something to eat, and walked around Wrigley Ville.  His friends said that he was starting to act a little weird and they decided to go back to his friend’s place.  We asked if he had been drinking, yet knowing he wasn’t a drinker, but at this point we were desperate for answers to how this could have happened.  They told us he wasn’t drinking. 

After they got to their friend’s apartment he started having what looked like a panic attack.  They explained that they had never seen him like that before.  While trying to get him to calm down, Andrew got up and said he had to go home, he had to get back to Minnesota.  He grabbed his bag and headed out the door.  One of his friends followed him a little after he walked out, and he was gone. 

Andrew got on a train and took it to the Chicago O’Hare Airport.  He purchased a ticket to depart at 7 am to come home.  Instead of walking to the departure gate, he walked out the door to an overpass and climbed over the railing, turned around, and let go. 

He let go.  He fell 60 feet. 

“We are deeply heartbroken to share of the loss of Andrew Carroll, an amazing brother, son, uncle, nephew, cousin, teammate, mentor, and friend who died tragically after a fall at the Chicago O’Hare Airport. We are deeply grieving but have the assurance that he is in the loving arms of Jesus because of his decision to accept Christ. At this difficult time, what also gives us comfort is that his life meant so much to so many people and he was able to give the gift of hope by donating his heart and organs so that others might have life. May his love for Jesus and others live through each of us. We are in the process of making arrangements for his celebration of life and hope you can join us as we honor Andrew.” With love, the Carroll Family

So, let’s be honest. 

Yes, I wrote he fell.  That was the best way for me to describe it.  Forgive me, I’m not good at communicating the most devastating news to ever share about an incredible man that was loved so deeply by his family and friends…and just about everyone that knew him.  We were (and are) in complete shock and honestly still can’t understand it all.  A guy that devoted his life to ‘seeing’ people, getting to know them, and making them feel important and loved.  Which is why this is so very hard.  Never in our minds did we ever imagine that he would do this, and he would NEVER want us or anyone to experience so much pain. 

Hindsight is always 20/20, replaying conversations.  He was trying to figure out what car to buy, where he was going to live this summer, what he wanted to do full time, etc.  Not something you take your life over.  You can read more about who he was herehereherehere…or ask anyone that called him family, friend, teammate, teacher, coach, classmate, roommate, and neighbor.  Which confirms that all of us are in complete disbelief.  

We sat in a room, the doctor and nurse, Andrew’s parents, my husband and I, and listened to the doctor say that it was only a matter of time before he would pass away.  We walked into an ICU of 16 beds, most of which were filled with people waiting to die.  And here we were watching a ventilator push breath into the chest of one of the strongest guys I know.  I watched as my husband, kneeled on the floor, sobbing saying goodbye to his only brother.  I listened to my in-laws cry out their love for their son and watched as they walked away with a small box that held the message that his organs would be a gift of hope to another.  Never ever, ever, would I wish this experience on anyone and again never ever, would Andrew want us to be in so much pain.

My heart hurts for my kids.  They won’t grow up with this amazing uncle that gave so much of himself to others.  A role model, a leader, an encourager, another strong guy that loved Jesus.  Luke went to school the next day after we told him that Uncle Andrew was in Heaven and not coming back.  He never said anything to me that morning about his feelings but I could tell he wasn’t himself through the struggle it was to get him out the door.  He told a friend that he was sad today because he wanted his Uncle Andrew to come skate in his backyard last night and he couldn’t because he was dead.  Heartache.  So much heartache.  The week leading up to his death he was at our house every single night.  He was Jack’s biggest fan and advocate, always was doing exercises with him to make him stronger.  Jack’s been working on his words and after they gave a tribute to Andrew at the UMD Bulldog hockey game, during the moment of silence, Jack whispered, “Andrew.”  My heart.  Oh and Tay Tay, she had him wrapped around her finger and she melted him every single time.  Our daily lives will never, ever be the same.

He loved Jesus and shared Him with others.  He didn’t always do it in the most obvious ways, which might have been the most impactful.  Because of his love, he made time for people, and showed up for them.  Volunteering at Hockey Ministries International camp, in the backyard playing whiffle ball, at the school where he taught, at church in the kids’ programs, coaching and mentoring kids, in his bible study, and with his friends and family. You see, Andrew was everyone’s biggest fan.  He would be late to everything (which drove me completely crazy), but it was because he was showing up at someone’s practice or game, play performance, stopping to get something thoughtful for the person he was meeting, or was sitting around a kitchen table asking  questions about what was going on in their lives.  He gave of his time to invest in people.

“Love ya! Ma Dad Chris Carissa Luker Jacko Tay Tay.”

That was the last text he sent, to Chris, around 3am Saturday morning.  My heart breaks knowing he was alone.  He was trying to make it back home.  And out of an act of desperation, he is gone.  The pain is so deep and brings intense sorrow.  I so wish we would have known the pain he was experiencing, his brokenness that he was battling.  As I stated earlier, we will not let this define him and are not ashamed.  It has brought great light to mental illness which carries a stigma.  It has compelled us to give to others so that we can help prevent others that might be struggling.  Our family also choose to have Andrew’s brain donated to research at Boston University for CTE, based on the amount of concussions and head trauma he experienced throughout his hockey career.  If we can help someone else, we will do it.  Chris was interviewed and you can see that here.

My prayer from the very beginning is that there would be purpose from this pain.  That God would reveal how light can come from the darkness in the midst of this deep, deep pain.  My prayer is that Andrew’s life can continue to impact others for His Kingdom.  He is and will be faithful.  We find great comfort in hearing the stories of how God used Andrew’s life to bring joy and life to others. We hope you can join us at his celebration of life memorial service on Friday, February 2nd, 2pm, at Eagle Brook Church in Blaine.  A visitation will be on Thursday evening from 4-7pm (Friday at 1pm) at the same location. We will move to the Super Rink at the National Sports Center Welcome Center to continue the celebration and share stories about the amazing guy he was.  Bring your brokenness, and we’ll bring ours. 

As we were getting closer to the hospital in Chicago we looked down the street at all these beautiful homes, what most people covet and strive for in the world.  And here we were just longing for another moment with Andrew.  Because we realized it’s not the things that we need in this life, it’s who we need in this life. 

Tell someone you love them, and really love them.  Take the time to ask someone a question about their life, invest in them.  What I wouldn’t give for him to sneak in the front door, leave his stinky shoes outside, take a nap on the floor next to our three wild kids, and strap his skates on and head to the backyard.  Lord, we need you. 

We were made for relationship; we were made to be in community.  We were made to be in brokenness together.  Because let’s be honest, we can do this, together. 

We love and miss ya,  AC, AC#20, Ace, Bubbs, ACtheKiiD.  

*an update to this blog post with the results of Andrew’s brain scan can be read here.

Thank you for the prayers and amazing support we have received from so many of you.  The peace comes in waves, yet the grief hits you and brings you back to where we belong, on our knees.  Please continue to pray for us as we navigate life without him.

Be strong and courageous, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God goes with you, wherever you go.  Joshua 1:9


  • Sara Vortherms

    Carissa you write so eloquently, and bring only truth to your writing. I hope and pray that the Lord brings you and your family comfort during this difficult time. I hope and pray for your children to remember their uncle with only love. I hope and pray that someone else that is alone can find the strength from your blog to ask for help. I hope and pray that they can help others that may suffer from CTE. I hope and pray that the recipients of his organs go on to live a life of for the betterment of this broken society. I pray that the Lord holds you all in the Palm of his hands.

  • Emily Hilstrom

    Our thoughts and prayers and with you, the Carroll family and others who are struggling with pain or brokenness.
    Carissa- you have a wonderful gift in writing and you will touch many hearts with this post.

  • Kelly McMahon

    There are no words for the sympathy I am sending your family’s way. Your transparency of the brokenness of life can help so many others who feel broken yet thought they were alone.
    Andrew felt pain and was trying to get back to the best place he knew, home.
    May you find comfort knowing he is now in eternal peace and home with the Lord. What I know is this, he could not have been part of a better family with the love provided to him, and especially the manner in which you are honoring him now by sharing his life story with all. May his gift of life provide his passion and strength to his recipients, and may his brain provide answers to the science behind this tragedy to help many, many others in the years to come. I never knew Andrew, but through these tears, I willl remember him always. Thank you very much for sharing this tribute to his precious life. May God Bless you and your family, today and always. ~❤️~

  • Jean

    I’ve followed your blog for a while now. I don’t follow many blogs but came across this one, was impressed by your candor, and thought I could learn something about a journey I’ve never undertaken. But this. Your current journey. I’ve been there. My son hung himself in his closet in 2010. My heart aches for you. May your journey be a gentle one.

  • Lynn Pelach

    Chris was a childhood friend of my nephew Beej. I never met Andrew but can imagine him from what I knew of Chris. My son worshipped Beej and Chris. Being several years younger he was their shadow and the older boys always included him. Like I’m sure Andrew would have. You are so right. We are all broken in some way. It is synonymous with being human. Thank you for sharing your honest and real experience. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make this different. Take even a fraction of your pain away. But instead I must sit in your life and bring it’s pearls to my life. Your words remind and inspire me. May God’s promises and grace surround all of you. I feel for you all deeply.

  • Karol Hayes

    This is so absolutely amazingly heartfilled, sad, beautiful, and oh so true! God bless your family through this difficult time.

  • Jackie Gloden

    My heart is breaking for you & your family as I read this but at the same time, I am so amazed by your strength at this difficult time. While you are all going through every emotion imaginable, you still have enough strength to think of others by making sure others benefit from his organs as well as his brain to science in hopes to help & bring understanding to mental illness.
    It’s a very hard subject to talk about but it is very real. I want to thank you for sharing & thinking of others who not only benefit from his organs but maybe get a step closer to understanding mental illness. While I know this had to be very difficult to write, it has impacted me more than anyone will ever know. The way you think of others & the strength it took for you to explain what happened & included mental illness took more strength & courage because of the stigma of it. Not only is Andrew helping others live but you are as well by bringing awareness to the reality of mental illness & I would like to thank you for that. My deepest thoughts and prayers are with you & yor family. He certainly sounds like he was an amazing young man💔

  • Chris Johnson

    I knew Andrew when he played with the Greenville Road Warriors. He was a great guy. Always strong no matter how he felt inside. I love Jesus with all my heart. Andrew was one of the players that invted me to the hockey ministrie meeting everytime they had one. It was great to hear the word and bond with him. and the other players that attended. I suffer from a brain tumor. I have depresion and panic attacks daily. I know a little of what Andrew was going through, just from my own experiance. I spoke to Andrew about this and he asked if he could pray for me, so we prayed. He touched me to know he cared enough to listen to my story and help me. I just wish I could have did the same for him. He will be truely missed by many. The best gift we can give him is to share his story to others. GOD bless his family and friends. Until we meet agian Andrew Carroll, you may be gone but you will never be forgotten… #AC20

  • Selena

    This was the most amazing blog I have read in a very long time. I hate to say this but I know your pain. I lost my boyfriend to suicide in July, he completed it in front of me. If you ever want to talk I am here you can find me on Facebook. My name is Selena Eva. I can put you in touch with some amazing support groups in your area that will help. The most important thing at this time is to process, talk, see a therapist and deal with this horrible tragedy head on. I went to high school with Chris and Andrew. I was a year older than Andrew and I believe 2 years younger than Chris. I know nothing makes sense and I am so sorry. Please smdont hesitate to reach out. 602-622-5005

  • Guy Hanson

    Amazing, powerful words. Best, heartfelt and timely words that I’ve read in my 40-plus years as a full-time columnist.

  • Carlie Anderson

    Sending love and healing prayers to a family that I do not know. This could easily happen to anyone’s loved one and I cannot imagine how much this loss hurts your hearts. May God hold you all in his healing hands and comfort you as you move forward without your precious Andrew. <3

  • Mary Kubes

    My heart is breaking as I read every word you have written. I am so sad for your loss and the loss of this incredible man.

  • Amy Morrow

    Praying for healing for you and your family. He played hockey for our team in Greenville for short time. All around person he was. I lost my brother as well. He was broken inside and hid it well from all of us. Again praying and asking if anyone needs help, please let someone know.

  • carol miller


  • Matt Clune

    I knew Andrew through hockey and I too am heartbroken for your loss but know he was an amazing guy who brought a smile to everyone’s face and inspired others – including me – to remain steadfast in their faith in the Lord. My deepest sympathies and be assured the purpose of his passing will bring us closer in our relationship with the Lord. Peace be with you Andrew – missing you and grateful for the little time we share together. The Clune Brothers – Matt Clune and Rich Clune.

  • Roy Geesey

    I am so sorry that you and your family are having to go through this. We are and will be praying for you, now and in the days to come. I had the great privilege of getting to know and spend time with Andrew while he was in Greenville SC. I was the team chaplain and Carroll was part of a special group of guys that were here that season. We had many awesome dinners, nights spent talking about Jesus and life with Him, and lots of laughs.

    Our kids loved him, and would keep him down in the basement playing long after everyone else was done. Andrew never was never too busy for anyone, now matter how small, no one was overlooked. Everyone that spent time with him felt as though they were the most important person, because, at that moment, to Andrew, they were.

    He had amazing child like faith, simple and total love for God, and an infectious smile. He modeled the gospel of laying down his life for others, and loved people so well. We are so thankful for the time we got to spend with him, and so thankful that because of new life in Christ, it won’t be long before we see him again. Hurting with you, and praying for you… Roy & Patti Geesey with Jaxon and Aliah

  • Sandy Talbert

    I am so sorry for your loss. Andrew played for the Idaho Steelheads here in Idaho. As a booster, I was able to get to know him and a player and and really great young man. Andrew always had a smile on his face and was always willing to go that extra mile when someone needed something. A really terrific man was lost, but rest assure our memories will never be lost. RIP Andrew, you were loved here in Idaho

  • Michele Swingle

    Praying for you and your family as you go through this tragic loss. I do not know you but I am sad over your loss, your children’s loss and family’s loss. Your openness and vulnerability touched me also. As believers we need more of it so we can suffer with our fellow believers instead of "looking good" as if we have it all together. I am asking the Lord to bring you to mind so I can pray for you in the coming days.

  • Bill

    Thank you Carissa! An absolute beautiful tribute to a beautiful man! I am so proud of Andrew and his faith in Jesus! I am blessed and honored to be able to call him FRIEND. I love him like a son! Billy B

  • Sara Tarnowski

    Oh, my heart aches for you and your family!!!! So much heartache… the deeper the love and appreciation of the wonder of the person…the deeper the grief!!! It’s a sign of the gift he was and IS in Christ! I think is Christ, he can still hear you…he is just holding His other pierced hand. Let the bearhug of Jesus hold you all close in your grief.

    Later, much later, when it is appropriate, look into the research on the EHT brain supplement that is helping many with concussions. Concussions are so difficult to navigate and recover from. So many of my family and friends have dealt with brain trauma. EHT has also helped my daughter who has DS, especially with speech.

    Blessings and comfort to your family. The grief will one day be replaced fully with joy, but for now it is part of the memory and honor of Andrew. Wear it without apology!

  • Delores Steinert

    Thank you so much for writing this. What a tribute to Andrew. He played here in Bakersfield for a short time but he became part of the family here. He was a true blessing. I got to feed him after many games and he always came into the room with a smile. He would come in caring his green concoction drink, oh and he was usually was the last one to come in. We always waited for him. We loved him here. He and Gary Steffes spoke at our Faith and Family night. He truly Loved the Lord. His legacy will carry on. Prayers and comfort to you and the family.

  • Wendy Ralph

    This news devastated our family as well and I’ve not been the same since. My husband played with Andrew and then, later, coached him. The two maintained a relationship over the years and when Brad finished one of his long conversations with Andrew, he never failed to comment on the quality of man Andrew was. I knew Andrew only in passing and from a distance, but there are those rare individuals that make an impression on us. Andrew was one such person. We don’t always realize why at the moment, but people like Andrew stand out because they are different. Because they look into our eyes when they speak to us. They truly listen. They ask questions that matter because they’re not just making small talk. They care. Andrew cared. And from the stories I’ve heard since his passing, he cared for absolutely everyone and deeply. The world needs more Andrews, not less. It pains us to know that Andrew was hurting so badly. It seems so cruel that a man so deeply loved was suffering alone instead of drawing strength from the love that he fostered and nurtured with so many people. It is difficult for men who are taught to hide so much and that must change. It has to change. We would like to thank Andrew’s parents for raising such a remarkable man. We can only imagine how deeply the loss had affected the entire family. May God comfort you all and give you strength as you attempt to navigate the pain. We mourn with you and for you. Rest In Peace, Andrew. The peace you deserve. —Wendy Ralph

  • Debbie Smith

    Let me say how very sorry I am for your loss. My family has had its share of this depression & sad endings.
    I didn’t know Andrew but had watched a few games of Idaho when I could get them in Augusta,GA.
    I know one thing, if Brad Ralph had him in his team it wasn’t just for the hockey, it would be for the MAN inside. Everything I have read about over this past week tells me Andrew was just that MAN. My heart breaks for you all & yes we do have to bring all our brokenness to God. My thoughts & prayers are with you all as you heal your broken hearts . ♥️

  • Angie Counsell

    The news of Andrew’s passing absolutely devastated me. I met Andrew through the Steelheads and Matt Case. They volunteered at my school and worked with me on the incentive program at the alternative high school, encouraging kids to come to school and achieve grades to enable them to graduate. The time he spent with the kids was invaluable. He listened and talked with them, which a lot of people in their lives had never done. He was definitely a favorite around school. Even when he played on a different team, he made it a point to come up to the school and visit when he was in town.

    Andrew’s caring nature and his willingness to give if himself to anyone in need will be some of what I will always remember about him….that and his lopsided grin. God bless you and all of your family.

  • Crystal Sauvola

    We were so sorry to hear about Andrew and are lifting your entire family in prayer! We got to know him through The hockey and church here in Greenville SC. We spent many nights visiting, worshipping, eating, having bible study, playing games, cooking out, cheering him on at the games! We enjoyed him, and truly felt his love for others! He felt like family, along with many of the others from the team that joined us st Outreach. He shared the love of the Father so well and He will be missed! Lord surround his family and fill them with your unending peace!
    Rest In Peace Andrew,
    Love Merle, Crystal, and Cohen Sauvola

  • Mona

    My prayers are with you all.

    I’d love to be there for you when you are ready to talk, cry, laugh. I don’t want to fill your feed with the same words we offer.

    Thank you for sharing your struggles, the honesty. I too am a believer and struggle with depression. (Short version)

    I’d be honored to keep you all in my prayers. If you ever need someone to talk with, cry with, listen, laugh, I volunteer. I can provide contact info when you are ready.

    Know you are loved and we do have the hope of seeing Andrew again.

    With love and prayers,


  • Sarah Arthur

    So sorry for your loss. The hockey community in South Carolina has been thinking and praying about your family.

  • Lisa Anderson

    Prayers up for all of your family. Thank you for your beautiful honesty. May God lift you all in the days and years ahead. Andrew sits with the heavenly Angels. One day, you will all reunite.

  • Sandy Manning

    I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for your honesty and openness sharing this raw, painful wound. It will prove helpful to someone. I’m an Allen Americans fan and heard about this from a couple of our former players (Aaron Gens, Gary Steffes). I saw Andrew play in Allen. I too am a Christian and will be praying for your family. This is heartbreaking and life-changing. I pray the comfort only Christ can give will sustain you all. It is so difficult to process this kind of loss and at the end of it, when life is this dark, we have to just rest in the sovereignty of God. I know it is easy to say that and much harder to live it. My husband and I have been going through some deep waters for a couple of years and it has driven both of us to Scripture in a way that only suffering does. I pray you all will cling to that as well. I have been reading the Psalms over and over again. It does give words to some of the anguish in our souls. I am so sorry for your loss here on earth. I would imagine the distance between heaven and earth seems much less now. May the Lord give you comfort and hope in your grief. "But we do not want you to be uniformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope." 1 Thessalonians 4:13

  • Pinsey Christensen

    Broken myself, I read the story. I’m a wife, a mother to three grown sons, and Grandma to six. I suffer from Winter Depression, and have dealt with anxiety issues my entire life. I can identify with Andrew. When we least expect it, we fall on our faces and wallow in thoughts that are normally dealt with in passing. Thoughts of being unworthy, abandoned, unloved. Many moments I see myself as "invisible". I am currently fighting through my day here in cold and snowy Minnesota. Longing to be working in my gardens, taking my dog for a walk, and just waking up and looking forward to my day. There are "MANY" Andrews that deal with the same issues every day. My prayers are with his family. Somehow though, we can all make a huge difference in those people fighting with anxiety and other Mental Health Issues. When our friends "act out, begin acting strangely, do things we haven’t seen before", that’s when we step up to the plate and address the issue. "Are you okay?", "dear friend, it seems like something is on your mind, and you seem a little out of it", "I’m here for you, tell me what you need," "I love you and care about you."……don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. HUG the person, hold their hand, put your arm around them, spend some time listening and being interested. Let’s ALL start paying attention….say SOMETHING, do SOMETHING, be PRESENT, make the PHONE CALL, take TIME….put the phone down from trivial personal pursuits, turn the tv off, be a good friend, a good mom,dad, brother, sister. We ALL can make a difference in another’s happiness. We can ALL prevent someone from committing suicide. Yes, it’s preventable. OFFER A SMILE AND AN EAR.

  • Johnna Antongiovanni

    I am deeply sorry to hear of Andrew’s passing. I live in Bakersfield and teach 1st grade. I had Condors coach Troy Mann’s daughter in my class and met Andrew when he and a few Condors players volunteered to read and do literacy centers with my students. Andrew visited my class about 3 times and was terrific with my students. I appreciated the time he donated to my class and students. What a great guy! I have some photos of Andrew working with my students that I’d love to share with you. You can contact me Sending thoughts and prayers to your family.

  • Christine

    Thank You for sharing your thoughts, feelings and emotions. God is already using your words to touch lives, heal some of the pain and share more of Andrew’s testimony with everyone. We can’t even know what you all are going through at this time, but we do know that there are people all over this world lifting you all up in their prayers.
    A mutual friend, Brad Cole, connected us with Andrew two years ago when he was here in Alaska playing against the Aces. He and Kyle Jean took the time to meet with our boys, visit, share about their faith and talk hockey right before they hit the ice. At the time our boys were 11 and 8 and they were so thrilled to meet them. We are so thankful that there are role models out there for our boys that have some of the same passions and live their lives for Christ. When we received a message from another mutual friend, Steven Bolton, letting us know that Andrew was now home with Jesus we began praying for all of you. Praying for all that knew and loved Andrew. Praying for you all to feel God’s arms wrapped around you. We also have been praying that through Andrew’s testimony and Life Message more and more will come to know Christ.

    Everyone we have spoke with who knew Andrew all have shared
    how his life, actions, heart, character all pointed to Christ and led others to Christ.

    The song “Let them see You in me” was playing on the radio after we left church this past Sunday and it reminded us all that Andrew’s life pointed to Christ and through his life many will continue to come to know Jesus as their personal savior.
    Thinking of you all and praying that you will continue to allow God to carry you each and every day.
    -Christine, Pat, Carter and Kinan Greco
    Palmer, Alaska

  • Mike Pitt

    Thanks for your honest story and for modeling how we can all contribute to the removal of mental health stigma by being transparent about hot affects all of us.

  • niki

    thoughts and prayers to all his family we enjoyed having him in Idaho as a Steelhead. He was a great person.

  • Marianne

    I have sent my small thoughts to Eagle Brook church for your family. I am hurting so much for all of you. I never knew Andrew personally but I watched him play hockey for 4 years as a life long bulldog fan. My heart is breaking for your famiIy, I have received this phone call and there’s no way to describe the pain, the shock, the confusion and the way it changes your life and changes you. The only thing that came from losing my brother is my great empathy for others.
    Your article above is amazing! It is a gift to many.
    Be strong and courageous.
    Joshua 1:9

  • Beth

    I am so sad to hear of your loss. My husband lives with the stigma of mental illness every day, and thankfully he is well-controlled by medication. I am grateful that I can work from home so that I can be there if I am needed so he does not have manic episodes. And I hope that we can all learn from this that we need to be focused on our friends and family and be willing to take just that extra step each day to let them know we love them. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Abi McGraw

    I don’t know anyone in this family, I just saw the link to this post on my Facebook feed. It was shared by someone I don’t know personally. I am very sorry for your loss. My family and I will be praying God gives you comfort during this time. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

  • Becky

    Dear Carissa, Chris, and family:
    I am deeply sorry for the loss of Andrew. As so many have already written, he was a great man of God and also wonderful with my kids! My daughter has been remembering tubing with him, playing wiffle ball, and even losing to him in musical chairs at the Bolton wedding (Josey was no match for those gigantic quads)! Thank you for sharing about CTE and mental health issues. God will continue to empower you to speak out about this topic and Andrew’s beautiful life. We have so many family members and friends who have struggled with brain injuries and mental health issues. Thank you for your honesty to help heal others. We love you, we are praying for you, and we stand with you, unified in Christ bringing His light into a broken world. May the Lord continue to anoint your words to proclaim truth and good news. You have a gift Carissa! May the Lord also bring you beauty instead of ashes, the oil of his joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair (Isaiah 61).
    With deep love, respect, and sympathy,
    Becky Butters-LeVahn

  • Jill

    Blessed is the person who receives Andrew’s heart.

  • Andy Schwen

    I don’t know your family directly but I teach and coach in Blaine and have been praying for you all since hearing of this news. Such a testimony you are sharing here and so thankful for the steadfast faith your family has in this difficult time.

  • Kristin Willey

    My name is Kristin from Sioux Falls. SD. I met Andrew when he played hockey for the Sioux Falls Stampede. Andrew was so kind and always took time to talk with the fans. I’m so sorry for your loss that your family is feeling and dealing with right now. Thank you so much for sharing his story . Sending thoughts and prayers to all of you during this difficult time. Rest in peace Andrew and know that you were loved by many people.

  • Beverly Enderlein

    Our family is deeply sorrowful, & intensely grieving for you ever since our Amy & Steve shared with us. Your dear brother is a beautiful man, faithful believer in our Lord Jesus Christ, amazing in every way…. we join with each of you in humble worship as we pray for your comfort. We too trust God to save others through this. Gene & Bev Enderlein


    I hope you and your family found the way to heal. I was Andrew’s nurse … I still think of him often. Thank you for sharing his story. Brought me some peace.

  • Mallory

    I am so deeply sorry for your loss. I keep coming back to your post and reading it over and over. I never had the opportunity to meet Andrew but my boyfriend played with him in Souix Falls. He had so many amazing things to say about Andrew. He is currently battling a brain injury from a hockey related concussion and has been dealing with symptoms for over 3 years. Our thoughts and prayers will be with your family (as they have been since his passing).

  • A

    I don’t know your family, just played some hockey in my past in Belarus.
    after my retirement from hockey, I was very depressed. I read a lot about hockey players who had psychological problems. And I came across an article about Andrew. Whatever happened to him, he was a wonderful guy, an excellent hockey player, and the soul of your family.
    Know that people remember and know him even far beyond the ocean.
    Sorry for your loss, with huge respect to your family,
    Andrey I. Zhlobin, Belarus

  • Joel Rechlicz

    Andrew was
    My liney in Hershey , he was one of the best line mates I’ve ever had in my playing career , he always stuck up for me and everyone on the team, he brought smiles to all his teammates everyday at the rink , such an awesome guy to be around and have by ur side , one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever seen as well , would do absolutely anything for
    Anyone!! You are missed
    My brother! Rest easy


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