Dead at 23. And almost one year later, a family’s pain is still present.

Photo: Anthony Moretti 27Nov2016

SportsNet.ca details the life — and death — of former CFL player Mylan Hicks, and finds that almost one year after he was fatally shot, a family remains in despair.

On the last night of his life, Mylan Hicks came home and found his roommate asleep on the couch. Odiase was angry that he’d been sent back to the practice squad and hadn’t played in the Stampeders’ win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers that afternoon. The team was heading out to celebrate the victory. Hicks had gone to dinner with several teammates, then come back to the apartment to try to convince Odiase to join the festivities. But Odiase didn’t feel up to it. Hicks empathized with his frustration. He pulled his friend off the couch and told him to get to bed. Before heading back out to meet his teammates, he went into Odiase’s room. “Alright, bro,” he said. “I’ll see you later.” Then he turned out the lights and closed the door. …

Renee and Reggie Hill were celebrating their anniversary the weekend their son died. They had decided to travel to Indianapolis to watch their daughter’s last performance as a cheerleader for Ohio’s Central State University. Their initial plan had been to visit Hicks in Calgary, but he’d told them not to bother coming because he wasn’t on the Stampeders roster.

Now, on her first trip to Alberta, Renee found herself in a funeral home standing by her son’s lifeless body. “He looked just like my baby,” she says. “I leaned over and I kissed him, and I pulled back up and I stared right at him — and he had this smirk, which he was good for, because that’s how he spoke, with expressions. His expression said, ‘Ma, there wasn’t nothing you could do.’”

Renee clung to her faith as she held the side of her son’s casket. Weeping, she hung over the coffin and started to sing a song the preacher at her church often sang from the pulpit.

All of my life, God’s been good to me…
All of my life, God’s been good to me…
God’s been good to me…

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