Jonah’s widow Nadene has penned an emotional tribute to her husband that coincided with the seventh anniversary of his passing.
The global sports star passed away on November 18, 2015 at the age of 40 of a heart attack following complications of his kidney disease. His untimely death rocked the sports world.
Three days ago, Nadene, who is bringing up the couple’s boys Dhyreille and Brayley, said there was not a day that goes by that she and the boys do not miss him terribly.
In a Facebook post, Nadene wrote: “If only wishes came true, mine would be for us to do what we always did together and drive, it wouldn’t matter where, just as long as we were together... I know you would bring Rome-Eo to see us too! Even if it meant I had to pick you up from Heaven and return you back, I would. I’d only return you two because I had to. 💔”
“To spend one more moment with you, even if only for a short time back on earth, I know you would sort everything and everyone out that has ever done us wrong and remains too, yet would never be bold enough to take you on if you were still here by my side!”
“All you ever did was protect us and live for us. We were the best team ever and we had the work hard, play harder balance perfected!
“The heartbreak I’ve endured since losing you my love, a bond so strong, no matter where I go or what direction I take, you will always be in my heart and your sons Brayley and Dhyreille’s too, everywhere they go.”
Nadene, who works in real estate and is also responsible for maintaining Jonah’s brand and global image, said she thought with the seventh anniversary of Jonah’s passing almost upon the whānau last week, she was coping pretty well.
“I thought I was doing well, focusing on work listing properties, negotiations with another listing under offer and even launching merch in France to pay homage to you because so many of your fanfam all over the world adore you and miss you,” she said.
“Juggling my mumlife duties with everything else, then I had to talk about you and today marking the worst day of my life!
“Straight after I hung up the call two days ago, I broke down in tears and everything came flooding back, struggling to speak, to breathe and even keep working. I couldn’t even type I was so upset... people were counting on me to make deals happen for them. I sobbed and sobbed, I felt sick to my stomach to the point where I was gagging, all I wanted to do was curl up, close my laptop, not have to make any more work calls and sleep right through to get past this day, Jonah. A day I still struggle to acknowledge, but I knew I couldn’t sleep through it all, I just couldn’t!
“They say time heals and that it gets easier, but seven years today Jonah and I still have my sobbing moments where I’m left thinking, I shouldn’t be like this, I should be stronger and not an emotional wreck like I have been this last week... I wish I could visit you in Heaven Jonah, I really do; for you to hold me tight once more and to feel your love again.
“The last few nights I’ve cried myself to sleep and tonight will be no different.
“To everyone that has lost a loved one; love hurts, in fact love breaks us and my thoughts are with you all. To those with your loved ones still around, be grateful and cherish every moment together, because you never know when it will be your last!
“Jonah, I will always defend your honor as promised, continue to build upon your phenomenal legacy; to my last breath I will stand true and fight to execute your every wish and I will no longer be intimidated and bullied any more than what I’ve been forced to endure.
“While I sob with heartbreak, agony and sorrow today and many other days because you are not here with us; I know I will be stronger again soon, and with your sons by my side, we stand for you Jonah and everything you believed and wanted us to be!
“I miss you so much Jonah, we will never stop missing you!”
Jonah became the youngest-ever All Black when he played his first international in 1994 at the age of 19 years and 45 days. Playing on the wing, he finished his international career with 63 caps and scored 37 memorable tries.