Joy turns to anguish as girlfriend of killed Chapecoense footballer cremates him, 2 days after planned wedding

Brazilian footballer Dener Assuncao Braz with his girlfriend Amanda Machado and two-year-old son Bernardo.
Brazilian footballer Dener Assuncao Braz with his girlfriend Amanda Machado and two-year-old son Bernardo. PHOTO: @AMANDABRAZ16/INSTAGRAM
Relatives mourning over the coffin with the remains of Chapecoense Real football club team player Dener Asuncao Braz, killed in a plane crash in Colombia, at the stadium in Chapeco, Santa Catarina, southern Brazil, on Dec 3, 2016.
Relatives mourning over the coffin with the remains of Chapecoense Real football club team player Dener Asuncao Braz, killed in a plane crash in Colombia, at the stadium in Chapeco, Santa Catarina, southern Brazil, on Dec 3, 2016. PHOTO: AFP
Widow Girlene Rangel (second, left) reacting during the funeral of Chapecoense's player Bruno Rangel, held in Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brazil, on Dec 4, 2016.
Widow Girlene Rangel (second, left) reacting during the funeral of Chapecoense's player Bruno Rangel, held in Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brazil, on Dec 4, 2016.PHOTO: EPA
People attending the funeral of Chapecoense's player Cleber Santana at the Ilha do Retiro stadium in Recife, Brazil, on Dec 4, 2016.
People attending the funeral of Chapecoense's player Cleber Santana at the Ilha do Retiro stadium in Recife, Brazil, on Dec 4, 2016. PHOTO: EPA
Relatives of Chapecoense soccer club player Matheus Biteco, who died in the plane crash in Colombia, reacting during his burial in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on Dec 4, 2016.
Relatives of Chapecoense soccer club player Matheus Biteco, who died in the plane crash in Colombia, reacting during his burial in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on Dec 4, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS
Relatives of Chapecoense soccer club head coach Caio Junior, who died in the plane crash in Colombia, participating in a ceremony to pay tribute to him in Curitiba, Brazil, on Dec 4, 2016.
Relatives of Chapecoense soccer club head coach Caio Junior, who died in the plane crash in Colombia, participating in a ceremony to pay tribute to him in Curitiba, Brazil, on Dec 4, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

She was supposed to say "I do" to him last Friday (Dec 2).

But Ms Amanda Machado was instead left to collect the ashes of the love of her life for the past seven years on Sunday.

The girlfriend of footballer Dener Assuncao Braz - one of 19 players of Brazilian club Chapecoense killed in the Colombian plane crash last week - spoke to CNN of her anguish at losing her husband-to-be.

"When I heard the news, my heart stopped and my world crashed. I wanted to die with him, I wanted to kill myself. I don't want a life without him," she said.

Ms Machado revealed that Mr Dener's last message to her was just before he boarded the plane last Monday, but she did not see it.

"I didn't get a chance to say goodbye, that's what hurts the most," she added.

She now wears her wedding ring on her finger, while Mr Dener's ring hangs on a chain around her neck.

Some 120,000 people - including politicians, athletes and journalists - attended the funeral of the victims on Sunday, which was held at Chapecoense's home ground in the city of Chapeco.

The tragic crash had killed 71 people, including all but three of the 22-man Chapecoense squad.

 

After the emotional funeral, Ms Machado embarked on a six-hour drive - she refused to take a plane - back to her hometown of Porto Algre for a private ceremony and to cremate Mr Dener, according to CNN.

"He never wanted to be a hero," she recalled of her 25-year-old boyfriend.

"He wanted to be respected. He was in a great phase of his career, his last goal against São Paulo (in a 2-0 win for Chapecoense) was beautiful."

The couple have a two-year-old son, Bernardo, whom Ms Machado says resembles Mr Dener and is the reason she has the will to live on.

Os meus piores pesadelos sempre foram aqueles em que te perdia. Lembro que acordava brava com você e te xingava por estar me dando trabalho até em sonho ! Fico lembrando de como eu me sentia nos sonhos , do meu desespero por estar te perdendo , e lembro que acordava, na maioria das vezes , chorando muito ! E você me abraçava dizendo : ESTOU AQUI MEU AMOR ! E NAO VOU EMBORA! Hoje sinto constantemente a dor de ter realmente te perdido ... aquela dor que sentia por ter sonhado que te perdi , hoje é uma dor real ! Queria acordar como das outras vezes , mas dessa vez está tão longo esse pesadelo . Eu durmo e acordo sempre no mesmo pesadelo terrível que você partiu . Como eu queria que fosse diferente . Como queria que fosse um pesadelo . Como queria amanhã estar com essa cena linda de você brincando com teu filho ... ahhh como queria só mais um beijo ... só mais um abraço ! Ahhh como queria ter a chance de dar o último adeus ! Queria na verdade que o Adeus fosse somente um , até logo ! 😭💚

"So, a little piece of him remained. I will do everything to raise him knowing that his father was the most extraordinary man," she said.