Their two young sons were asleep in the large Balmoral house. Steve woke Kane (six) and Nico (four) and brought them in to see their mum. They went straight to her, held her and cried. Over the next three days, as family and friends came and went, Helen remained in her bed. Her sisters chose her clothes and helped put ice packs around her body to prevent it deteriorating. A friend from the cosmetics company MAC, which Helen had launched in New Zealand, did her makeup; another friend styled her hair.
[...this is a very well-written article about New Zealand's natural funeral movement... AFM Ed.]
When Steve Hill woke up in the early hours of the morning, his wife Helen was dead. He had been expecting something to happen that night. After four-and-a-half years fighting breast cancer, Helen’s strength had gone. She had pulled her oxygen tube out earlier in the evening, just before Steve got into bed beside her, and she’d asked him not to put it in again.
Steve slept next to her every night. Kane and Nico came in whenever they wanted to have a cuddle and talk to Mum. When the wicker coffin that Helen had chosen arrived, they placed it in the bedroom and the boys jumped up and down inside it. Helen was rarely alone. The house was full of people and activity. One of Helen’s sisters helped Steve carve messages into the flax that would be placed on top of her casket. Someone else arranged for a flock of doves to be released at the funeral.