Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will suit up for Sunday’s game against the Jets, but he will be playing with a heavy heart.

Gronkowski’s longtime friend Dana Parenteau died on Dec. 18 at age 43, and Gronkowski attended his funeral on Wednesday. The cause of death was not released.

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“It’s always tough going through a time like this,” Gronkowski said Thursday. “I definitely paid my respects, my family and everything, but now it’s a new day. I’ve just got to concentrate and be ready for my teammates, get ready for practice, and just catch up on what I missed and just make sure I stay a little bit extra today and make sure I’m just ready for the game on Sunday.”

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Gronkowski dedicated last Sunday’s game against the Titans to Parenteau, who lived in Seekonk, Rhode Island. After scoring a first-quarter touchdown, Gronkowski raised his hands and looked up.

“I was just pointing up to because I know he’s up there watching,” Gronkowski said after the game. “He was at every game with my family, a close family friend. He loved the game of football, loved being at all my games, always had my back. I definitely made that score for him.”