The widow of British aid worker David Haines, who was taken hostage and beheaded by Islamic State militants, branded his killers inhuman monsters in her first television interview broadcast Sunday.
Dragana Haines said she felt marked for life by the grief of losing her husband, and was struggling to tell their four-year-old daughter Athea that he would not be coming home.
"They consider themselves brave; that's not bravery," she told Britain's Sky News television, speaking from their home in Croatia.
"It's a cowardly act to behead someone who has his hands tied behind his back, who is kneeling.
"You are not a human being. You must be a monster to do something like that."
Relief agency worker Haines, 44, was helping refugees in a camp in Syria near the Turkish border in March 2013 when he was kidnapped.
His murder was revealed in a video released in September by Islamic State, the extremist group that has seized control of vast swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.
Dragana Haines said she did not know how to explain things to their daughter, telling her only that they were now alone and had to help each other.
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"I'm trying to make her understand that Daddy's not coming back," she said.
She spoke of the agony waiting for news of her husband.
"Every day was a challenge. Waking up in the morning and thinking should I be hopeful, would it be a day when they will call me, or he will call me and say 'OK, I'm free, I'm coming back'?
"Or would it be a day when they will call me and say something bad has happened?"
When she was called by David's brother, who told her that her husband's captors could not hurt him any more, "that actually marked me for the rest of my life.
"I saw him in the video. I just saw the part when he was talking," she said breaking down.
"David gave sense to my life. He made it something different. He changed it. And now Athea is my reason to go on. She gives me strength. David would want me to be strong for our daughter," she said, tears filling her eyes.
The interview comes after US special forces attempted a rescue operation in Yemen Saturday that ended with Al-Qaeda killing American photojournalist Luke Somers and South African teacher Pierre Korkie.
Since August, five Western hostages have been murdered by IS militants.
US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, American aid worker Peter Kassig and British aid workers Alan Henning and Haines were all beheaded.