Gemma Atkinson opens up about dad’s ‘sudden & unexpected’ death in heartfelt post

Gemma Atkinson, 35, sadly lost her father “suddenly and unexpectedly” after he suffered a heart attack 18 years ago. Today, she paid tribute to her dad in a lengthy post, in view of her 1.4 million Instagram followers.

The former Strictly Come Dancing star shared four pictures of her dad from her childhood in a heartfelt post. In one picture, Gemma’s dad was seen holding her on his shoulders when she was a baby.

Another sees Gemma as a toddler enjoying a holiday with her parents.

As part of her lengthy post, the radio host explained to fans how she and her family coped with losing their loved one. 

She began: “8 yrs ago today my dad passed away very suddenly & unexpectedly.


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“It was horrendous and I used to look back and wonder how I coped. I’ve realised I got through it because when bad things happen that you can’t control, you have 2 options.

“Option 1 is to be sad and angry and grieve as expected, then in your own time, process it and carry on.

“Option 2 is to be sad and angry and grieve as expected but never process it and never move on.”

Gemma went on to say that her family had chosen to choose option one as their way to cope with her dad’s loss.

“I also know it’s what my dad would have wanted, and being a mum myself I understand that even more,” she went on to say.

She added that she wants her daughter baby Mia to “know her inner strength is always there when she’s faced with hard times she will struggle”.

“In time she’ll eventually learn to cope again and in her new circumstance feel strong again,” she continued.

Gemma went on highlight the tragic losses which continue to rise amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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She said she hoped her post would give those who have lost a loved one a “slight glimmer of hope” in that they will eventually feel ok again.

“Honour those lost with happy memories and talk about them a lot, because despite the bad things that happen, on a whole, Life can be still be wonderful if you allow it,” she continued.

Many of Gemma’s fans and friends flocked to her page to comment.

This Morning host Ruth Langsford commented: “Lovely photograph, wise words. Nothing can take your memories. Lots of love.”


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Emmerdale actress Charley Webb wrote: “So true. Sending love.”

Gemma’s beau Gorka also commented on his girlfriend’s post with two love heart emojis.

The former Emmedale actress and Gorka welcomed their baby girl Mia back in July.

The pair have began dating after meeting on Strictly Come Dancing in 2017.

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