Kimberley Kitching will be remembered for her devotion to Australian democracy and unwavering belief in human rights.
But as political heavyweights from either side of the divide filled the halls of Melbourne's St Patrick's Cathedral, a man and family stood there to bid farewell to the woman they loved.
Standing at the same warmly lit alter he married the love of his life more than 20 years ago, an emotional Andrew Landeryou remembered the generosity of his wife and her devotion to the Labor movement.
"She loved me and that was all that mattered," Mr Landeryou said in his memorial speech to the near 2500 attendees which included former treasurer Wayne Swan and former prime minister Tony Abbott.
On her final day, Mr Landeryou said his wife's ability to think of others was in her final acts, bringing home a bottle of champagne for a dinner party and a pie from one of his favourite bakeries.
"Despite what had been a frantically busy and stressful day, she taken time of all things to buy me a pie from a bakery she knew I liked too much," he said.
"It's a poignant reminder of her thoughtfulness. That even when she had a lot on her mind, other than call me, I think it was the last thing she did."
Mr Landeryou expressed anger at himself for not driving Kitching to work or investing more time in her health.
"If I'm angry with anyone, I am angry with myself," he said.
"I'm angry I wasn't driving around that day as I often do. I'm angry I didn't meddle enough in her health and I failed and failed to persuade her to slow down. I'm angry I couldn't and didn't protect her from this."
Politics will remember Ms Kitching for her involvement in championing Magnitsky laws in Australia, which allow financial sanctions to be imposed on perpetrators of human rights abuses and corruption.
The laws have been crucial in implementing sanctions on Russian president Vladimir Putin following his invasion into Ukraine.
Political ally Bill Shorten remembered his close friend as having "no fear, no malice and no jealousy" and a "great Labor heart beating in overdrive".
"Despite her ferocious intelligence, there was not a pretentious or snobbish bone in her body," he said.
Mr Shorten highlighted the senator's push for human rights, detailing her direct involvement in getting refugees with valid Australian visas on to the last RAAF planes during the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan last year.
Direct intervention by Ms Kitching saved 30 Afghan lives including academic, women and activists.
"This is legacy," Mr Shorten said.
"Thirty separate lives changed and saved because of this incredible woman we celebrate today."
Her husband and Mr Shorten acknowledged Ms Kitching's ability to befriend and work with the other side of politics, an attribute Mr Shorten said was becoming a rarity in a more polarised and divisive political culture.
"For the record, our Parliament has lost its best French speaker. A skill we may need," Mr Shorten cheekily said in his speech regarding the fallout from the French submarine contract being cancelled last year.
Mr Landeryou believes a day never went by where he felt Kimberley did not love him.
Their little cavoodle Nancy Jane's greatest love was also Kimberley, which Mr Landeryou said is patiently waiting for her to return.
"Nancy Jane will be sitting right now next to the front door waiting for the her love of her life to return," he said.
"I suspect she will for the rest of her life."
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