The Ross County midfielder has been made to endure a traumatic summer, beset by the professional strife of reneging on a pre-contract agreement with St Johnstone and the private torment of caring for a wife whose pregnancy had resulted in illness and depression. Now recovering, she took her place in the stand in Dingwall.
It was the first time in a year that she had chosen to do so, and Brittain marked the occasion with two goals to help County's own sense of recuperation. The Highland side had performed well away to Celtic in the season's opener, but poorly in a home defeat by Partick Thistle and abysmally away to St Johnstone last weekend. A response was demanded during the week and it was delivered emphatically against St Mirren.
The cries of relief were amplified by the return to a display more akin to those that County offered last term but resonated more acutely with Brittain. The personal reasons for his decision to eschew a summer move to Perth have been made clear and an special effort to end the criticism from some supporters was made last week after his wife, Diane, posted a blog explaining her health concerns.
Any sense of closure remained a personal matter for Brittain, though. "There was a lot of emotion in that [second] goal," said the County captain, who received applause in the eighth minute as a sign of support from County fans. "We've been through a lot, not just this week but for the last five months. It was a relief to get that goal and then the second. My mum and dad were here today, along with my father-in-law. And it was my wife's first game since the 1-1 draw with Celtic over a year ago, so there was a lot of extra emotion."
St Mirren might have wished that they were more unfeeling, given the defeat in Dingwall has left them with just a point from four matches and only one goal to their name. That is exacerbated by the fact the Paisley side have conceded seven times during that time.
There is perhaps a need for Danny Lennon, the St Mirren manager, to go back to the drawing board - not least with a tricky Scottish League Cup tie with Queen of the South to come tomorrow - even if he showed a bullishness on Saturday. "I'm very frustrated," Lennon said. "There are moments out there that are costing us with a lack of concentration. We have to resolve it collectively."