Polly Gillespie, estranged wife of radio DJ Grant Kereama who donated a kidney to Jonah Lomu in 2004, says her heart is smashed by news of the All Black legend's death at age 40.
"I don't want to answer the phone. I can't believe it's true. So many times stupid rumours have been passed around that Jonah had died, and they were just horrible tasteless lies. This is not a hoax.....Oh God that it was," Ms Gillespie has written on her Facebook page this afternoon.
"One of my best friends is gone. Jonah who would talk with me about everything from Versace dinner ware to silly drinking games has gone."
Ms Gillespie says Jonah always stood up for her.
"He actually stood up for me like a big brother. Jonah stayed with us for months and we'd talk and hoon around and laugh, and always watch Antiques Roadshow.
"One thing about my boy is he had great taste in women, and through the years I became friends with the lovely Teina, the indomitable Fiona, and the ever loving Nadene. He sure had great taste in women."
Lomu was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome, a serious kidney disorder in 1995 and he revealed his kidney condition to the public in 1996 after missing the 1996 Springboks tour.
After missing most of the 1997 season with illness, he returned for the end of year tour to the UK and starred in the 1999 Rugby World Cup with a further eight tries.
In 2000 he nailed a match-winning try in the 'game-of-the-century' - to down the Wallabies in Sydney, and remained in the All Blacks until 2002.
But as his health worsened, he required a kidney transplant in 2004 and it was revealed the donor was Wellington radio DJ Grant Kereama.
Ms Gillespie wrote that among the things she'll miss about Jonah is "the quiet dignified way you handled, fans, foes and your illness".
"Grant and I loved you like our own brother, and life without you already hurts so badly. I can't stop crying. I can't stop wishing I could have somehow done something. I'm going to miss you like a naughty little brother.
"Oh Jonah...what are we to do without you? I still have half your stuff stored in your room at our house. My God you were more than the worlds greatest to me. You were just my friend, and I miss my friend.
Jonah I love and miss you, and my heart is breaking.
Kereama was too upset to talk to ONE News when contacted this afternoon.