The widow of young father Navar Herbert, who died of a brain tumour on Tuesday night, broke down in tears at a service on Friday as she remembered the ‘love of her life’.
Navar, an otherwise fit and healthy father-of-one, died just a day after marrying his sweetheart Maia Falwasser in an intimate backyard wedding in Queensland.
At an emotional service at Navar’s football team’s clubhouse, his wife Maia turned away from the crowd and spoke directly to her husband’s open casket, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported.
‘You are the love of my life and father to our son, I love you with all my heart. From the first day I met you I knew I needed you,’ she said.
His fellow Nerang Bulls teammates remembered him as an ‘amazing father, husband, son and brother’.
The 22-year-old New Zealand-born father was diagnosed with a brain tumour several months ago and his condition quickly deteriorated.
Navar Herbert, an otherwise fit and healthy Queensland-based football player, died after a long battle with a brain tumour. Pictured with his one-year-old son Kyrie
Nerang Bulls Rugby team paid tribute to Navar who died of a brain tumour in a touching service
Navar’s older sister Jornay echoed Maia’s sentiments, saying he was an amazing brother.
Navar played for the Nerang Bulls Rugby Union team since he was just five, and was a well respected and loved player among the community.
Current and former players, along with Navar’s family from Australia and his native New Zealand, attended the service which had traditional Maori elements.
Many paid their respects by wearing white, and some also donned shirts with a photo of Navar.
Navar’s friends from school shared stories of when they grew up with him, and said he was a good friend and loving father.
Navar’s mother Vanessa Herbert said in a statement that the family tried everything to help him recover, but in the end they were defeated.
‘(He was) always determined, thoughtful and a joker, strong-minded and never complaining. ‘I hope they have awesome footy fields where you are,’ she said.
A mother married her terminally ill fiance in a touching backyard wedding days before he lost his battle with cancer
After the ceremony, a group of men performed the haka to a teary Navar, before coming up one by one to congratulate the couple on their union
‘I hope they have awesome footy fields where you are.’
Navar’s tragic death on Tuesday came just one day after he married Maia in an intimate backyard wedding.
Maia shared footage of their romantic ceremony on a GoFundMe page she created to raise money to fly Navar’s body back to his hometown of Otorohanga, New Zealand.
So far more than $83,000 has been crowdfunded.
Navar was assisted by his groomsmen and family to get ready for the event on Monday, as they helped put on his crisp, white button-up suit and loafers.
He was then wheeled to the event in preparation for his future wife to walk down the aisle.
Maia wiped away tears as she made her way down the aisle hand in hand with her mother, before joining Navar under the canopy.
Navar told his wife how much he loved her moments before they officially became husband and wife
Navar told his wife how much he loved her moments before they officially became husband and wife.
Maia is now campaigning to raise money to bring Navar’s body to New Zealand
The couple’s one-year-old son, Kyrie, was also present at the wedding and featured in the video with their loved ones.
After the ceremony, a group of men performed the haka to a teary Navar, before coming up one by one to congratulate the couple on their union.
‘Today my heart is heavy and sad, I lost my best friend, husband and the father to our son,’ Maia wrote in a touching tribute to her late husband.
‘I feel absolutely showered in love by friends and family … This is a hard time, however I do find my strength and refuge in everybody’s support.
‘Navar impacted so many people near and far, and he will always be in our memories and have a special place in our hearts.’
The couple’s young son, Kyrie, was also present at the wedding and featured in the video with their loved ones
Navar Herbert, an otherwise fit and healthy Queensland based football player, died on Tuesday night