A mum has described the devastating moment she woke up to discover her 31-year-old partner had died in his sleep next to her.
Dad-of-two Oliver Griggs was found unresponsive by Jodie Clay in their bed at home in Birchington-on-Sea.
The gas engineer’s grief-stricken family describe Oli as a loving and dedicated father who had the “biggest heart”
Although Oli was awaiting surgery following a spinal injury, the cause of his tragic death is currently unexplained.
Jodie, 29, his partner of eight years and the mother of his two sons – Vinnie, seven, and Harry, six – says while Oli was laid back among family and friends, he was also “bloody hard-working”.
“You can’t comprehend waking up to someone dead in your bed – I don’t think I’ll ever get past that,” she told KentOnline.
“The boys are only six and seven and now they’ve got no dad. Where do you start with that?
“It still doesn’t feel real – it doesn’t feel real at all.
“He was fine. On the Saturday he was working.
“He had a totally normal weekend and then he just went to bed and didn’t wake up. It just doesn’t make sense at all.”
Jodie says Harry has been feeling “angry and confused” since the tragedy and “just doesn’t understand”.
She added: “My older boy, Vinnie, who is quite a mature seven-year-old, has been very understanding.
“He just keeps saying: ‘I just miss Daddy, I just want him back.’ How do you fix that?”
Oli, who was the household’s main breadwinner, died on Monday, November 13.
A friend of Jodie’s has since set up a fundraiser to help cover the funeral costs and get the family through Christmas.
The Just Giving page has already exceeded its target, with more than 150 people contributing towards a total of £3,000.
Jodie said: “I'm truly blown away and absolutely in shock with the amount of love and support we are receiving during this horrendous time.
“I am so full of love knowing how loved my Oliver was by so many people, as well as us. I love you all so much. It means more than you’ll ever know.”
Passionate about motorcycles, Oli’s funeral will be honoured with a procession of bikers who will head from Canterbury Road in Birchington onto the Thanet Way.
The service will be held on Thursday, December 14, at 10am at Herne Bay Crematorium.
Jodie has put a call out for bikers to join the procession and has requested that guests wear blue rather than the traditional black.
She says the situation still doesn’t feel real and that she can’t even think about Christmas without Oli.
“It's like my whole life has gone on hold because I’ve got to be mum and dad and everything in between,” Jodie said.
“The financial stress of it all and the funeral costs, just everything really – now everything falls on one person.
“I just want to be able to continue to give the kids the life they had with Oli.”
The youngest of four siblings, Oli also leaves behind two brothers and a sister.
A tribute provided by the 31-year-old’s family read: “Oliver absolutely adored his family and his boys.
“All his friends will speak of how happy, laid back and easygoing he was.
“Everyone who knew him adored him, he was a joker and an absolute one-of-a-kind top guy.
“He would do anything for anyone and he brought smiles and belly laughs everywhere he went.
“Oliver lived his life to the full and he truly touched the lives of everyone he crossed paths with. He's left a huge hole in so many people's worlds.”