i'm really shocked and saddened by this news but as someone else said, i think for those in the know it's been expected for quite some time.
i'd heard about rachel's illness about two years ago. i was on the phone to a mutual friend i have with Colin and we were talking about Tomorrow's Modern Boxes. he mentioned that she was seriously ill and it "didn't look good". that was late 2014.
i haven't read any of the debate in this thread apart from the first comment mentioning people criticising Thom and i'm not going to read more because i'm just not into it. i think of course people's personal lives will go into albums but that doesn't mean it should be theorised. it is awful when people are ill and they die, but life goes on and especially if you're in the position of a carer or significant other, you have to make sure that it has to. for yourself, and especially for children. that's what i think from my own personal experience. but i wouldn't even start to try and think what the Yorke's are going through.
i alluded that people shouldn't theorise about this stuff in the AMSP album thread because when talk turned to speculation people had had affairs it felt very uncomfortable. this is why. and even with this announcement, people still don't know all the facts. the longevity of her illness being one that critics obviously haven't considered.