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Simon Thomas on how his son Ethan is dealing with losing his mum

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Former Sky Sports presenter Simon Thomas has opened up about how his son, eight-year-old Ethan, is coping with the loss of his mum, Gemma, who tragically passed away in November 2017 just three days after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

Speaking on Lorraine, Simon said: "[Ethan's] doing good. He surprises me every day with how he's dealing with it. His grief is beginning to manifest itself a little bit more. In terms of immediate family, he's only got me. And a child wants to protect you and they don't want to necessarily tell you everything that's going on in their head."

Simon continued that Ethan has a good relationship with his aunt, Rebecca, and has opened up to her about his mother's death. "I know sometimes when he gets alongside his auntie Rebecca, Gemma's sister, he was being very expressive in how he's feeling and what he's going through," Simon explained. "Because I think he wants to protect me a little bit from what's going on because he knows that I'll worry and maybe I'll cry. I've always been very open in my emotions."

He revealed that Ethan regularly comforts him, saying: "This is where grief gets you – it's in the mundane… All the things we used to share, now it's just on you. And I just started crying. It hit me again, I'm on my own, I've got to struggle through this on my own.

Sky Presenter Simon Thomas on stage during the Football League Awards 2015 at The Brewery in London. © EMPICS Sport Sky Presenter Simon Thomas on stage during the Football League Awards 2015 at The Brewery in London.

Within 20 seconds, I hear the pitter patter of feet up the stairs he [Ethan] comes up and gives me a massive hug." Simon confirmed that he left Sky Sports following his wife's death in order to take care of his son. In a blog post he said: "I'm doing it for Ethan.

On that first morning after Gemma went, I remember Ethan coming up to me in the lounge and through his tears he said these words: 'Daddy, you know every weekend you go away and do the football, and I spend the weekend with Mummy? What do I do now?' And they have stuck with me ever since."

Gallery: People we lost in 2018 (Photos)

CAPTION: THE FACTS OF LIFE -- 'Read No Evil' Episode 24 -- Pictured: (l-r) Charlotte Rae as Edna Garrett, Roger Perry as Mr. Parker (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) People we lost in 2018
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