Fans praise Simon Thomas as he opens up about dealing with grief

He lost his wife last November

Simon Thomas

by Emma Dodds |
Updated on

TV presenter Simon Thomas has appeared on Lorraine this morning to talk about the importance of dealing with grief after a loss. The 45-year-old, who is father to eight-year-old Ethan, lost his wife Gemma on 24th November last year three days after she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.

Simon, who rose to fame as a children's presenter on Blue Peter, has been very open and honest since the death of his wife, and has opened up about the depth of his grief on his social media profiles and in interviews.

Today, Simon appeared on Lorraine to discuss just how important it is to talk about your feelings and not bottle things up, telling Lorraine that his friends struggled to know how to help him and Ethan.

He said, "I think the problem with this is that it was so brutal, it happened at totally the wrong time in life. We all know that at some point, we're going to have to deal with the death of a parent, we know that grief is going to affect us at some point."

He continued, "When it happens at the wrong time in life, it frightens the life out of people. And when you're alongside me and Ethan, maybe if you're in our house, you can see just how big an absence Gemma is.

"It confronts those people, our friends, with their own mortality - and perhaps that it could happen to them. It's a frightening thought. Sometimes, I think it's easier to step away a little bit and not have to engage with the reality of what might happen to you."

Simon also opened up about how his son Ethan was coping without his mum, "He’s doing good. He surprises me every day with how he’s dealing with it. His grief is beginning to manifest itself a little bit more.

"In terms of immediate family, he’s only got me. And a child wants to protect you and they don’t want to necessarily tell you everything that’s going on in their head. I know sometimes when he gets alongside his auntie Rebecca, Gemma’s sister, he was being very expressive in how he’s feeling and what he’s going through. I think he wants to protect me a little bit from what’s going on because he knows that I’ll worry and maybe I’ll cry.

"I’ve always been very open in my emotions. The only thing I’ll hold back from him is anger, because I don’t think he needs to see that."

Fans were hugely appreciative of Simon's honesty, taking to Twitter to praise him for bringing awareness to an often-ignored subject.

Lorraine continues every weekday on ITV at 8.30am.

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