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Tuesday 10th December 2019

Simon Thomas says he’s “merely surviving” in heartbreaking blog post about wife Gemma’s death

Grieving dad says he is sleep-deprived

Two months after his wife Gemma tragically died of cancer aged just 40, Sky Sports presenter Simon Thomas has shared a painfully raw account of his grieving process.

The Norfolk-born star, 45, and the couple's eight-year-old son Ethan were left devastated after Gemma lost her life just four days after being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.

Since then, Simon has been uploading poignant family pictures to social media to show how much his wife is missed.

He's now launched an online blog to detail how he's coping with the tragedy, and the first post is Simon's most emotional offering yet, revealing that he's "sleep-deprived" and "merely surviving".

The blog's home page features a poignant photo of Gemma (Credit: Simon Thomas)

Simon penned the first instalment of the blog – which is titled A Grief Shared: A Journey Through The Toughest Challenge Of My Life – at 3.30am.

And in it, he explained why he was still awake in the early hours.

He wrote: "I'm into the tenth week of severe sleep deprivation. One-thirty is the earliest I've been up, four-thirty feels like a lie-in, and some nights I've not slept at all. I've tried most drugs, but nothing works any more.

Physically, I feel the weakest I've ever felt. I couldn't be strong even if I tried.

"I've stopped fighting it. I've stopped getting angry and come to realise that this is just another grim part of this strange path called grief.

Read more: Grieving Simon Thomas reveals stranger's incredible gesture after his wife's death

"My body is weak. My mind is frazzled. I've taken people's advice and tried to exercise, but after five lengths of the pool I'm exhausted (it's only 25m).

Simon and his son Ethan have been left heartbroken (Credit: Simon Thomas/Instagram)

"Physically, I feel the weakest I've ever felt. I couldn't be strong even if I tried."

However, the brave presenter revealed that he was doing his best to muster up some energy for the sake of his son.

Read more: Sky presenter Simon Thomas shares tribute to late wife eight weeks after her death

He wrote: "Out of the weakness of my sleep-deprived body, I have managed to keep my head above the water.

"I manage to get my boy up each morning and get him ready for school, I manage to keep myself busy and not leave myself too many long periods alone in our house with my thoughts, and I somehow manage to get to the end of each day."

But he added: "I'm not being physically strong, I'm merely surviving at the moment until that day the sleep begins to return and my body starts to grow in strength again."

Simon and Gemma were married for 12 years (Credit: Simon Thomas/Instagram)

After Simon published the blog, he took to Instagram to express his surprise at how many people had been touched at it, and how media outlets including BBC News had picked it up.

He told his 22,000 followers: "A surreal day. I never thought a few words written in the small hours would have an impact like this, yet as it all goes on 'out there', I've been in my house having to deal with the painful intensity of Gemma's absence.

"But if it helps one person then it was worth it."