Rugby: Nadene Lomu on Jonah's death - He took 99 per cent of me with him

By Alex McLeod

Jonah and Nadene Lomu in 2014.
Jonah and Nadene Lomu in 2014.

Nadene Lomu has opened up about the death of her husband, Jonah, telling Woman's Day that the All Blacks great's passing "took 99 per cent of her with him".

It has been almost nine months since Nadene, 36, left their family home to drop their eldest son, Brayley, at school, the last time she saw Jonah.

The All Black was recovering at home after a long-haul flight to New Zealand from Dubai, where the Lomu family holidayed after a three-month promotional trip to Europe for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Returning half an hour later, Nadene found the 40-year-old had passed away because of the kidney complications that had plagued him for 20 years, and her world crumbled beneath her.

Nadene has admitted that life is just as tough for her now as it was at the time of Jonah's death.

"It hasn't got any easier," Nadene revealed in the latest edition of Woman's Day.

"People say it does. Nine months sounds like a long time, but I miss him so much every single day. When he left, it was like he took 99 per cent of me with him. We were best friends for 13 years - we were a team. We were always together."

As well as having to come to terms with the loss of Jonah, Nadene has also battled with having to tell their two children, 7-year-old Brayley and 5-year-old Dhyreille, that their father will not be coming home, and a difficult financial situation, which was heavily publicised and criticised.

"I have to go to bed - I can't operate. It's a numb feeling. But I don't want to fall apart in front of the boys. I haven't explained everything to them just yet. I've told them that one day we'll sit down and talk about it, but they understand Daddy's dead."

Since their father's passing, both Brayley and Dhyreille have insisted that they shave the number eleven into their left eyebrow, a practice their father used to carry out in his playing days.

- NZ Herald

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