Heartbreak for Simon Thomas as his father-in-law dies from same cancer that took his wife

24 January 2019, 10:59 | Updated: 1 April 2019, 08:11

Simon Thomas' father-in-law has passed away
Simon Thomas' father-in-law has passed away. Picture: INSTAGRAM

Heartbreak for Simon Thomas as his father-in-law dies from same cancer that took his wife

Simon Thomas has paid tribute to his father-in-law after he lost his life to cancer - just over a year after the same disease took his wife.

The 40-year-old, who quit his TV presenting job to raise his young son Ethan, 9, after Rebecca died in November 2017, announced the sad passing on Instagram.

He wrote: “Life can feel very cruel. Last night Gemma’s dad’s life reached its end as Myeloma took its final toll.

“It’s devastating for Rebecca who in 14 months has lost half of her family to #bloodcancer and heartbreaking for Ethan who only a month ago said, ‘Why do I keep losing everything I love?’

"Now he’s lost the man with whom he had the most special of relationships — the man he called ‘Pompa'.

The ex-Blue Peter presenter, 45, was left left a single dad after Gemma died just THREE days after being diagnosed with a Acute Myloid Leukaemia.

The couple had been married since 2005.

Since her passing, Simon has been sharing his grief on social media, helping other widowers and single dads handle the ups and downs of becoming a single-adult family.

In November, Simon revealed that he had found himself in the "early stages" of a new romance - and he says that one of the reasons he has embarked on this new relationship is for the sake of his son Ethan.

Read more: Simon Thomas takes off his wedding ring five months after his wife's death

He said: “Sometimes I struggle with the phrase ‘moving on’ – I don’t think you ever really do move on from what’s happened.

“That hole that a loved one leaves doesn’t shrink over time. Life begins to grow around it.

“You begin to deal with some of the challenges grief throws up, being a single parent throws up."

View this post on Instagram

Christmas Day - 2015 Just a wee note to wish you a very Happy Christmas and to say thank you. Thanks the many on here who have stood by us throughout this year, who have continued to check in to see how we’re doing and have carried on sending words of encouragement. Despite having never met most of you, they have meant so much. Words cannot describe how much Ethan and I miss Gemma being part of our lives, my heart breaks daily for my boy and the unchangeable truth that his Mum is never coming back. But despite his own pain, the light that shines from him has never dimmed, even in the toughest moments. He has dragged me through this year in ways he doesn’t yet fully understand but one day will. Life is unrecognisable from just thirteen months ago; but even in the darkest moments the light has shone, and we have experienced incredible blessings in the bleakest of times. Life will never be the same again, Christmases will forever be different; but I hold onto the hope that they, and life can one day, perhaps, be as good again. Have a very Happy and peace filled Christmas xx PS. Tip for supporting the bereaved this Christmas. Talk about and remember the person who is no longer with you. Don’t treat them like the elephant in the room because for me, all I want to feel free to do, is talk about Gemma. People talking about her isn’t painful, it isn’t insensitive, it isn’t somehow helping me, instead when people talk about her it reminds me in a comforting way of how special she was to so many people. If someone who has lost needs to cry this Christmas - let them cry. If they need time out - let them have it. If they’re not their ‘usual’ selves let them be that in the knowledge that it’s nothing against you; they’re just in a lot of pain that the festive season only serves to intensify it. Just love them.

A post shared by Simon Thomas (@simonjthomassky) on

But despite his new found happiness, Simon did admit that meeting someone new and moving on didn’t come without its challenges - and that he knew that introducing her to his wife’s family was to be handled very sensitively.

He said: “The hard thing for Gemma’s family – they’ve not met her yet.

"She doesn’t want to appear insensitive, launching in there, ‘here I am guys’.

“When the time comes for them to meet, this will be a very physical representation, it will be a very painful reminder of the physical absence of Gemma.

"We do need to take our time. The stuff that goes on around us can be quite difficult to navigate at times.

“The rules of engagement around it are really quite difficult.

“She has in truth chosen a much rockier path than she could have done.”