A 4-year-old boy thought his mother was asleep when she unexpectedly died after hitting her head while getting off the treadmill.
Jamie Fietje explained his wife, Shari, was usually the one posting on their joint Facebook account when he expressed his sorrow upon announcing her death in a touching tribute.
Mr Fietje shared a photo of him and his wife after she had just completed a 10km run in Tauranga, on New Zealand’s North Island.
“I was proud of her then,” Mr Fietje wrote on Facebook on December 6, expressing how he wished he could have told her how proud he is now of her accomplishments.
“It is with deepest sadness I write that on Tuesday [December 3], I lost the love of my life, someone so special and so dear to me, such a great mother wife and friend to many,” he continued.
Mr Fietje explained Shari had just gotten back into running, following a nose reconstruction.
She decided on December 3 it was time to start running again and she got back on her treadmill.
On that day one of the couple’s children, Axell, was asleep in the house and their four-year-old son, Astin, was with Shari in the shed.
“Mum was on the treadmill and got off and turned it off,” Astin told his father, according to the Facebook post.
“Then she fell over and hit her head and went to sleep, so I went to sleep with her.”
Family still looking for answers
Mr Fietje said it was hard listening to his son recount how his mother died and explained, at the time of sharing the Facebook post, it was unclear what the cause of death was.
Days later, speaking to The New Zealand Herald, Mr Fietje said it was unlikely Shari died as a result of her tripping and hitting her head.
It was likely she suffered a “medical event” and the family is still waiting to see the coroner’s report.
“But nevertheless, it caused Shari to pass away at only 29,” he wrote, saying he was in “complete disbelief”.
Mr Fietje expressed how sorry he was his wife would not get to see their boys grow up.
“It’s just not fair,” he said, adding it would be tough for him watching his children grow up without a mother.
“I promise I am going to try my best for them and for you.”
Mr Fietje said the boys were doing well, but he understood there would come a time where the two would have a lot of questions.
“Treasure every moment you have with your wives, as you just don’t know when it can all be taken away,” he said, before thanking those who had offered support since Shari died.
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