"We were perfect for each other," heartbroken widower Sean Kennedy (34) said last night as he tried to come to terms with the death in a road crash yesterday of his wife Emily Maguire (27).
The couple were due to fly home to San Diego this morning. Instead the family is now preparing for her funeral.
She died after a 4X4 she was a passenger in was involved in a three-vehicle collision at a notorious junction near Drogheda, Co Louth.
Last night her remains were brought to her family home in Termonfeckin, a short distance from the crash scene.
She had returned home with her husband, who is a US navy diver, so the couple could have their wedding blessed in her local church, the Church of the Immaculate Conception.
The couple married in a civil ceremony in the US in February 2010, but had spent the last "six or seven months planning the trip (to Ireland) and the ceremony", Sean said.
The couple lived in San Diego, California, and "we had a long-distance relationship from San Diego to Ireland until she came out (to live) and we got married then", he added.
They met in June 2005 when Emily went on a J1 visa to America.
"She came out with her friends and they moved into the same apartment complex (as me). We were perfect for each other," he said.
They were due to fly home to California today and her parents, John and Marie Maguire, were due to fly to Italy for a holiday with their son Anthony, who had travelled from Melbourne, Australia, with his wife and child for the wedding ceremony.
It was a weekend of celebrations for the Maguire family because on Sunday they had celebrated the christening of their grandson, Louis John -- his father Terence is Emily's brother.
Another brother, Paul (35), was driving the 4X4 when the crash happened. He was treated in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
In the passenger seat was their mother Maria who was discharged from hospital yesterday.
The fourth son in the family, John Marcus, was also being comforted last night.
Sean's father Ken had travelled over from Chicago for the ceremony.
Sean spoke of his pride in his wife who had secured a master's in law in Ireland and who last month took her New York bar exams.
Emily was expected to pass them without any problems and she had planned to then take her California bar exams so that she would be able to practise as an attorney in San Diego.