Catherine Di Blasio had been Christmas shopping for her two kids and was waiting for them to come home when she answered the door to three detectives on Sunday afternoon.
Her nine-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter had all gone for a ride in a four seater plane with their dad off the coast of Redcliffe, north of Brisbane, when the plane fell from the sky shortly after take off, landing in the ocean.
All passengers- the two children, Lucas Mocanu, and his sister Lavinia, 41-year-old dad Chris Mocanu and their pilot, 67-year-old Roy Watterson died in the crash.
"I finally heard the doorbell ringing around four, and I just buzzed because I thought 'oh finally. The kids are here," Ms Di Blasio said.
Instead, she was met by police investigators, who relayed the devastating news.
"When they walked in the first detective introduced himself as Child Protection Services and my heart just sank. I knew it wasn't going to be good news," Ms Di Blasio said.
"For about 15 minutes I had no reaction I just couldn't believe it, I was obviously in shock and in denial."
She said the accident, and the loss of her family still doesn't feel real.
"I don't know how you move forward. Obviously I've never been in this position but when you say bye to them that morning, gave them a kiss, said love you, you never think that will be the last time you see them," she said.
"I still can't believe it myself. It still feels like a dream and I'll wake up tomorrow and just wish it was all over. It just feels unreal at the moment."
Experienced pilot Roy Watterson had taken colleague Chris and the kids on the weekend trip, when the engine stalled, causing the plane to land in the water shortly after take off.
The wreckage has since been pulled from nearby mudflats by a specialist retrieval team, and sent to Canberra for examination.
Police and aviation specialists are working to find what exactly went wrong.
Ms Di Blasio said the flight had been a surprise for the kids, for her son's Birthday.
"They were really excited. They didn't know where they were going but their dad had said it was a surprise for them," she said.
She described her son, who loved his soccer as "very caring, very energetic, competitive with his mates."
"My daughter Lavinia, she was very funny , everyone would always say Lavvy, I've never seen such a funny little girl.
"She was very caring, always made sure she looked after me."
Ms Di Blasio said she's touched by the tributes flowing in for her and her family.
"It's been really overwhelming, I'm really touched by the number of people that have reached out and contacted me in the last two days.
"At the moment I'm just taking it one day at a time just trying to be strong and have lovely support with me."