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TV presenter Simon Thomas opens up about 'messy grief' at wife's shock death in new book

PUBLISHED: 11:23 01 June 2019 | UPDATED: 11:23 01 June 2019

Simon Thomas with son Ethan and wife Gemma. Photo: Bloodwise

Simon Thomas with son Ethan and wife Gemma. Photo: Bloodwise

Bloodwise

Norfolk-born TV presenter Simon Thomas has opened up about his wife's shock death in a poignant new book.

Gemma, Simon and Ethan Thomas on the London Eye. Photo: Simon ThomasGemma, Simon and Ethan Thomas on the London Eye. Photo: Simon Thomas

As father of nine-year-old Ethan, the former Sky Sports and Blue Peter presenter has laid bare the devastation at telling his son the heartbreaking news, just three days after wife and mother Gemma Thomas was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.

The 40-year-old's death sent shockwaves through the family, with Mr Thomas detailing his grief-stricken journey in the new book.

In an extract of 'Love, Interrupted: Navigating Grief One Day at a Time', Mr Thomas says: "My hands were trembling on his shoulders as I started to speak. I said: 'Ethan, you know mummy hasn't been very well.'

"He slowly nodded but said nothing. 'Well, today mummy became really, really poorly, which is why you came into the hospital to see her.'

Gemma and Simon Thomas.Gemma and Simon Thomas.

"He was silent and carried on looking intensely into my eyes, and my heart was beating faster and faster.

"I said: 'I'm so, so sorry. The doctors tried everything to make mummy better, but...'

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"Before the words could even form in my mouth, tears filled his eyes and he cried out: 'Has mummy died?'

Simon Thomas with son Ethan and wife Gemma. Photo: BloodwiseSimon Thomas with son Ethan and wife Gemma. Photo: Bloodwise

"Every part of me wanted to somehow sugarcoat what I had to say but I knew, for his sake, I couldn't.

"His legs began to buckle and I said what I'd never imagined saying in my worst nightmares: 'I'm so, so sorry, but mummy's died'."

Earlier this year, the Norwich-born presenter admitted having suicidal thoughts, but credits his son for pulling him through.

In the book, which is due to be released later this month, he also discusses his depression after failed IVF attempts and knowing the couple would never have a second child, as well as his battle with anxiety throughout his life.

In the book, he says: "The reality is that life doesn't feel worth living anymore when you're in so much pain. You think 'what's the point?'

"You will have moments when you lose sight of what's important.

"I'm prepared for people to say I was selfish and thoughtless, but grief is messy. It snaps you in two. You think and behave in ways you'd never imagined.

"But thankfully both times I reached a really low point, the thought of Ethan flashed into my head and gave me the strength and purpose to carry on."

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