Pregnant widow shares heartbreak after husband dies
EMMA Grant's face lights up when she talks about her husband, Brendan.
It has been less than two weeks since he died suddenly at their Maryborough home.
Brendan, 31, was in the process of renovating their home, making it perfect for Emma and their three children, when he died of a heart disease known as atherosclerosis.
Emma said the condition was undiagnosed and it was not lifestyle related.
She is currently 18 weeks pregnant with their fourth child and they had been eagerly awaiting the baby's arrival.
The two met at church when they were still in primary school.
Emma remembers looking over at Brendan and a friend telling her who he was.
"I told them, 'I'm going to marry him some day,'" Emma said.
Little did she know, her words would turn out to be true.
The two started dating when they turned 16.
The two were married at 21 and six years ago they moved to Maryborough and bought a Queenslander together.
Emma was pregnant with their first Child, Hope, and Simeon and Elijah would quickly follow.
She wanted to share his story so others would know of what a remarkable, kind-hearted man Brendan was.
At his funeral last week, she paid tribute to his kindness, the care he had for his children and the love he had for his family.
Brendan worked across a number of child safety services during his career, with those who had worked with him sharing their memories of a hard worker who wanted the best possible outcomes for young people.
In Maryborough he worked with Life Without Barriers and with Churches of Christ Care.
Adam McMurray, Operations Manager at Next Step After Care, described Brendan as being a consummate professional with natural leadership qualities.
"He was an exceptional role model for the young men and women he worked with, a gentleman whose actions exemplified the characteristics of how a man should act," he said.
Nicole Roehm from Churches of Christ Care said he had the ability to make young people feel at ease, even when they were in trouble, and never made them feel shamed or devalued.
"He believed in people, especially the vulnerable," she said.
Brendan also volunteered at Tinana Christian Church where he was involved in many projects, including the installation of a playground and personally overseeing a review of the procedures of working with children at the church.
"He was always generous with his time and will be greatly missed," Pastor Kerry Shipp said.
His work in child safety began in 2009 in Ipswich.
Ipswich South Department of Community Services and Child Safety senior practitioner Vicky Patterson said his colleagues and the families he worked with all spoke highly of him and remember his time working with them with humour and positivity.
Leanne, a fellow child safety officer at Ipswich South agreed, saying his absence would be felt about the young people with whom he had built respectful, productive relationships with as well as his workmates and friends.
Emma said she was incredibly grateful for the support she and her children had received, which will go towards helping the children and their education and future.