'I will now be able to grieve' - Nadene Lomu is relieved to finally have a headstone on Jonah's grave

The widow of Jonah Lomu, Nadene Lomu, says she will finally be able to grieve now that a headstone has been placed on the grave of the All Black legend in South Auckland.

Members of both sides of the famous family took part in an emotional ceremony in Auckland today. Source: 1 NEWS

A large group of family and friends gathered at Manukau Memorial Gardens today for a ceremony to unveil the headstone at the grave of the legendary winger who died in November 2015 aged 40, after suffering from a long-standing kidney condition.

Members from both sides of the family joined Nadene and the couple's two young sons at the graveside. 

There had been reports of tensions between Nadene and the mother and brothers of Jonah over the headstone and its inscription, and invitations to today's ceremony were issued at short notice late last week.

Lomu died suddenly in November 2015, today his family and rugby luminaries were present at the unveiling. Source: 1 NEWS

Nadene told 1 NEWS  after the ceremony that "the pressures and the things that have come with trying to do everything have almost been unbearable for me".

She said she wanted the headstone done a while ago, adding, "I haven't had a chance to grieve. So I think for me now that this is done I will now be able to grieve". 

"I think everyone has their own take on when a headstone should and shouldn't go up. A lot of it too, I believe, and even for the Maori culture is it's when you're ready. And even for today I couldn't have prepared myself for today. I knew it was time".

Nadene said "everyone's happy" with the headstone, "so I'm happy that everyone's happy".

"That's all I wanted , I wanted everyone to be happy. I've given it my best, the boys and I have really done our best on this and it's just nice to know that everyone's happy."

Rush, a former All Black, said Lomu was an amazing athlete and person at the unveiling of his headstone in Auckland. Source: 1 NEWS

Nadene said she was thankful that Jonah's brother John attended the ceremony and spoke at it.

She said the short notice for today's ceremony was because the headstone wasn't ready earlier, and also the wet weather Auckland has had recently.

Jonah's brother John told 1 NEWS the family came together today.

"I guess in a way it's time for us to close a chapter of what's been happening and just come together," he said.

He said he didn't know what reports of the family being unhappy were about and "there was nothing about us being unhappy".

He said for the family as Polynesians the headstone is the final thing they needed to have done. 

"And it's now done so we're happy. It's good, it's awesome. I'm happy Mum and Dad are both mentioned on it," John said.

The widow of the All Black legend says she's "happy that everyone's happy" with the headstone following reports of tensions in the family. Source: 1 NEWS


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