Beautiful Painful – a book about love.

I was the lucky woman with her heart’s desire not long ago!

Two strangers accidentally met one night, and before I knew it, I was sharing my dream life with Brendan Maloney. I could not have been happier. I don’t know, don’t get that lucky – but I did. In the blink of an eye, I had a gorgeous husband, two beautiful children and a lovely home at the beach.

We were carefree and oblivious to the fact that change was coming.

Today I am a widow. My husband died too early from aggressive cancer. He was 45. In the blink of an eye, my future with that gorgeous man was gone. I like to think before our time on earth began, Brendan and I chose each other for our earthly experience, our university of life — knowing it would mean a shorter time together.

My grief began when Bren was diagnosed, and until August the 31st, 2017, the day he left us, I shared that grief with him. We worked on it together, and as always, we were a great team. He supported us – through the ups and downs of the cancer rollercoaster we were on. 

Losing Bren wasn’t quick, like an accident, leaving us to flounder; it was shocking over a long period. Watching him fight to stay alive day after day, for three years, only to lose that battle was and still is an unexplainable horror no matter how I view it. I would not wish it on anyone. Yet our children endured it.

Bren carried us as far as he could, showing us through his own actions how to move forward when we had to. 


We wanted to ensure the kids knew it was OK to laugh and be happy about things when their dad was gone. They didn’t have to be sad all the time to prove how much they loved him — we had shown him that through our actions our whole lives together. The four of us carry that love eternally. We are forever linked heart by heart. 

I assured them that daddy didn’t leave wondering how much we loved him. And they knew how much he loved us.  He would always watch over us, and when he saw us laugh, he would laugh too. Our happiness would make him happy – it always had.

I talk to Bren all the time and feel his loving guidance clearly. I know he trusts my choices, especially where the kids are concerned, where the kids are concerned. We built a strong foundation of love and solidarity over many years. I still have that to work with. Even so, I miss physically having him right next to me, and I always will. 

Our story together spanned more than 20 years – and although the vignettes shared here focus more on the last three of Brendan’s Brendan’s life was much bigger than that. So I also share memories from the past that family and friends may remember, but Tyra and Baden might not. They are written as I experienced them, from my perspective, in my words. I don’t assume everyone saw things the same way I did.


Ours is a story with a cast of hundreds; many will appear on the following pages, and some names and places will be changed out of respect for privacy. Some characters depicted will have traits of two or more people who have shared our lives over the years — to help tell our story.

To each of you who have passed our way, no matter how long the stay — thank you for being there. I will always be grateful for the support of our family, friends and the wider community – especially in the last three years of Brendan’s life and the years that have followed for Baden, Tyra and Me.

Everyone has a story – this is ours.


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