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Sunday 18th August 2019

Pregnant Gemma Atkinson shares throwback picture to remember her dad

She opened up about grief

Actress Gemma Atkinson has shared an emotional message in memory of her later father David.

The former Emmerdale star lost her dad when she was just 17 after he suffered a heart attack.

The pregnant 34-year-old posted an old picture of herself as a baby sat on her dad's shoulders to Instagram.

She spoke about her loss to highlight the charity Grief Encounter, which she is patron of.

Gemma captioned her post with: "As many of you know I am a patron of @griefencounter the bereavement support charity for children and young people. I took on the role because having lost my dad at age 17 I know just how heart-breaking and confusing grief is to navigate. I want to tell you about Grieftalk. A new, free and confidential bereavement support helpline from @griefencounter.

"You can Talk, Chat or Type on the phone, online or by email. Call 0808 802 0111. Or go to www.griefencounter.org.uk or Grieftalk@griefencounter.org.uk, available from 9am-9pm five days a week."

She also urged people not to suffer in silence if they have suffered a loss, adding: "Don’t suffer alone if you are grieving the loss of a loved one. Take the help. I wish this service was available when we lost dad ❤️."

Gemma, who is expecting her first child with Strictly Come Dancing star Gorka Marquez, recently spoke on her sadness that her dad won't get to meet her child.

Read more: Pregnant Gemma Atkinson shows off unborn baby's first bed

I took on the role because having lost my dad at age 17 I know just how heart-breaking and confusing grief is to navigate.

Earlier this month, she wrote on Instagram: "It dawned on me today the wonderful relationship I had with my grandparents when I was growing up, and then it hit me my dad won’t get to meet his Grandchild.

"Seems crazy... I blame the pregnancy hormones but today has been a bloody rollercoaster. Fits of laughter to sobbing. Thankfully, I had cookies 😂 🤦🏼‍♀️🎢."

Read more: Gemma Atkinson reveals hardships of pregnancy

Gemma and Gorka announced their exciting baby news in February, a year after they confirmed their romance after meeting on Strictly in 2016.

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