It’s been almost nine months since she had to farewell her soulmate, husband and best friend- New Zealand’s most-loved All Black Jonah Lomu.
Now, bravely and candidly opening her heart to Woman’s Day in an exclusive interview this week, Nadene Lomu reveals just how tough the last few months have been - not just for her, but for the couple’s two adorable children, Brayley, 7, and five-year-old Dhyreille.
“It hasn’t got easier,” she says. “People say it does. Nine months sounds like a long time, but I miss him so much every single day.”
In her moving tribute to her beloved Jonah, Nadene remembers the sports legend - who lost his 20-year battle with kidney disease last year - as a “crazy, silly” dad to their two boys, as well as the most generous, kind hearted and amazing husband.
“No matter how sick he was feeling, he would put it aside for anyone. If people wanted a photo or an autograph, he’d stay until he did the very last one.”
Jonah passed away on November 18 last year, just a day after he, Nadene and the boys arrived back in New Zealand, after a three-month trip to Europe for the Rugby World Cup, where Jonah was working as an ambassador.
News of his sudden death stunned the nation, who had lost one of their most beloved sporting figures.
Buck Shelford and more of Jonah's former teammates perform a haka in tribute to him at his funeral. Story continues below.
But the biggest shock was reserved for Nadene, who struggled to even breathe as she had to tell her little boys that their daddy was gone.
“I knew he was sick, I knew he was very very sick… but we didn’t think it would be this soon.”
She also reveals the struggles she and her sons have had to suffer through in the wake of Jonah’s passing, from living in the public spotlight without his guidance - while of course, they’re still mourning their much-missed husband and father.
To read Nadene’s emotional tribute in full, see this week’s Woman’s Day, on-sale now.