THE absence of Dean Fitzpatrick's mother Audrey from his funeral Mass was a result of a collapse due to stress and pressure, said her older brother Paul Donohoe.
Audrey Fitzpatrick (45) was missing from the Church of the Holy Trinity in Donaghmede in Dublin as Dean's loved ones bade the stabbing victim a final, tearful farewell.
She later emerged from her home in Burnell Square with her partner Dave Mahon.
Audrey has stood by Mahon (42) who admitted fatally stabbing Dean, claiming it was "a terrible accident" during an altercation with Dean at the couple's apartment building.
The couple continue to live together in Coolock.
Speaking after the burial at Fingal cemetery, her 59-year-old brother Paul said Audrey had not recovered from the disappearance of her 15-year-old daughter Amy in Spain in 2008.
And now she was struggling to cope with Dean's death. "It's a second nightmare," he said.
Paul Donohoe said his sister was heavily sedated overnight and was devastated "absolutely" at not being able to go to the funeral and burial.
"She took ill last night. We had to get a doctor for her so she's heavily sedated at the moment. She's in the bed under doctor's orders. I only found out about it this morning when I called down to pick her up."
The cause of her collapse was "a combination of a panic attack and stress," he said.
"From being at the funeral parlour yesterday. It's just a combination of everything that built up. It overwhelmed her last night and she just collapsed.
"The doctor put her on medication to calm her down. She's confined to bed. They wanted to put her in hospital but she wouldn't go," he said.
"She couldn't physically do it. It caught up with her in the end. You can only hold it in for a certain amount of time. The pressure builds up, especially with our mother only dying a while ago. And the Amy thing is still going on. And then this.
"And then her partner as well. There's a scenario with that as well. Just a combination of pressure."
Mr Donohoe said his sister had not yet made plans about paying her first visit to his grave but she would go "privately."
"I will concentrate now on looking after my sister. Get her well," he added.