Any loss can be a shock, but Simon Thomas’s wife Gemma died just three days after she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia.
In his book Love Interrupted, the former Blue Peter and Sky Sports presenter tells of her final hours at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford, and how he had to explain to their son Ethan, that his mother had died. From that moment, every night they shared a “mummy memory”.
Thomas relates his previous struggles with anxiety and depression, which made dealing with the sudden loss of his wife an even more difficult challenge. However, throughout, his love for his young son has sustained him and given him the strength to carry on day by day. He has found ways to encourage other men experiencing bereavement to talk about their loss openly and to be less embarrassed to show how they are feeling.
Reflecting on the first year without Gemma, Thomas writes: Whatever life has thrown at us so far, and whatever may come next, I am determined to keep seeking the light and searching for joy….. I know that I must continue to find hope, enjoy new experiences and savour life again. I owe it to Gemma. And I owe it to Ethan.
Life journeys [9 THO]