‘Family life at the school gates will be so hard‘: Grieving Sky Sports presenter Simon Thomas expresses ‘stomach churning dread‘ as his son Ethan, 8, prepares for New Year without his late mum Gemma
Simon Thomas has detailed his ‘stomach churning dread‘ for the year ahead in a heartbreaking statement following the passing of his late wife Gemma last month.
The Sky Sports presenter, 44, took to Twitter on Saturday night with the emotional post where he revealed concerns for his eight-year-old son Ethan entering the new year without his mother.
The broadcaster was hit by tragedy last month when his wife Gemma died just three days after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia – an aggressive cancer that affects white blood cells.
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Preparing to welcome in the New Year without the love of his life Gemma, the former Blue Peter shared a lengthy post on social media which described how he was feeling.
‘Never been the biggest fan of January. In a heartbeat we go from the light filled time of Christmas to the often barren feeling landscape of the new year. But this year it fills me with a stomach churning dread,‘ he began.
‘The unavoidable, inescapable return to the house we so loved, yet now breathes the loss of the woman who poured her heart and creativity into making it our dream home.
‘The silence that has always felt so peaceful, is now a painful, claustrophobic one as I crave that front door to open again and her smiling face to come walking back in.
‘And then there‘s the looming start of a new school term,‘ Simon continued.
‘The school gates, where the daily rhythm of family life is now so hard to be around, and the goodbye to the boy I won‘t see for the next few hours.
‘I don‘t even feel like a family now, it‘s me and the boy – the team, the partnership in this challenging journey we now find ourselves on.”
‘Step by step we‘ll keep moving, keep walking, keep cherishing the memories, keep seeking the light; but 2018 won‘t be a new start.
‘The bells of Big Ben and the bursting fireworks won‘t herald the start of a new beginning but instead the farewell to the last year I had with her and the continued walk through the confusing fog of grief.
‘People have said to me many times over the past few weeks that it can‘t get any worse – but it can, it really can.
‘I just pray to God that it won‘t and that out of the ashes of 2017 we will begin to rise again. I hope God blesses you in 2018 and blesses us too,‘ he concluded.
This comes after Simon shared a heart rendering family photograph of his late wife Gemma and their son Ethan.
Mr Thomas shared the photograph of the two on last night, with the caption ‘Found this earlier. Loved their special relationship xx‘.
Instagram users immediately sent messages of support on the picture, which gathered over 1,300 likes.
James Coyle wrote ‘ keep holding on. Every day hold on. You are an inspiration. Stay strong. My thoughts are with you and your family.‘
Neil Golightly added: ‘Your own relationship with your son has now taken on it‘s own special meaning. Keep posting the pics, keep grieving take your time. There is no rush and you‘re doing a great job. Merry Xmas to you and your son I look forward to seeing you back on my screen. Good luck on your journey‘.
Another user said: ‘This deserves a frame around it – stay strong your doing amazingly and your wife will be so proud of you looking down amongst the stars. God bless to you and your boy xx‘.
The lovely photograph comes just after the couple‘s only child, Ethan, wrote a tragic letter asking for his ‘mummy back‘.
The boy won hearts with his touching response, with more than 500 likes under an hour after dad Simon uploaded the picture to his Instagram account.
Simon wrote: ‘I just wish I could give him the third‘
The eight-year-old asked Santa for Playmobil and Lego before ending the list by asking for his ‘mummy back‘.
The tear-jerking post led to an outpouring of support for the tragic family with users branding the photo ‘heartbreaking‘.
User Leesha Jayne wrote: ‘This is heartbreaking, brought a tear to my eye. Wishing you and your family a merry Christmas.‘
Helen Michal said: ‘So sorry for your loss. A very sad time I’m sure. I wish I could take the pain away. Sending you love and hope‘.
Earlier, Mr Thomas had shared another post to Instagram with a photo of his wife‘s wedding rings.
He wrote: ‘Her wedding rings are back with me. I showed them to Ethan this morning and he said – ‘Daddy, when I get married, can I give them to my wife?
‘His heart is beyond measure #lightinthedarkness‘.
The heartbreaking post was met with another outpouring of supportive replies from well wishers.
Rose Harding wrote: ‘For a boy so young, amazing for him to think like that for the future.
‘His mum will be looking down so proud and whoever gets this ring in the future what a special moment.‘
Mrs Thomas, 40, started feeling unwell and went to the doctor three times before later going to hospital.
Mr Thomas said his wife‘s condition deteriorated rapidly within hours and she was taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.
After tests, she was transferred to the Churchill Hospital in Oxford and began chemotherapy.
But tragically, she died just three days later of the aggressive acute myloid leaukaemia.
Norfolk-born Simon joined Blue Peter in 1999, replacing Richard Bacon, and worked alongside the likes of Konnie Huq, Matt Baker and Zoe Salmon during his six years on the children‘s show.
He left for Sky Sports in 2005 and has worked on a number of projects.
Most recently, he was seen presenting live Premier League coverage for the channel.
After his wife‘s death, Mr Thomas took to Twitter to share his grief.
He wrote in an emotional post: ‘Today I am crushed with indescribable pain. Just three days after falling ill with Acute Myloid Leukaemia, my dear wife Gemma passed away yesterday evening surrounded by her family and friends.
‘If you are a prayer – pray for my boy Ethan. 8yrs, precious and in bits. Thank you.‘