It's been over four years since Sky Sports presenter Simon Thomas lost his late wife Gemma Thomas, but the star has opened up about how he marks the anniversary of her death with his new wife Derrina Jebb and his 12-year-old son Ethan.
After Gemma sadly passed away from blood cancer in November 2017, Simon found love with 31-year-old Derrina and the pair got married at Norwich Cathedral in July 2021. He admitted on Kate Ferdinand's Blended podcast he found the first year after Gemma's passing difficult but he's now "very comfortable" with the anniversary, while Derrina is reportedly "more emotional."
WATCH: Simon Thomas opens up about telling son Ethan his mother had died
The legal professional explained: "You just feel this real guilt and I definitely feel that especially the last two [anniversaries] I have been probably more emotional than you two [Simon and Ethan].
"It's is silly because I didn't know Gemma, but you take on what everyone else is feeling in the wider circle.
"I guess there's a bit of sensitivity, but it's also that empath just thinking, 'This is horrendous'. I definitely take on other people's sadness and loss and I definitely get emotional."
The Sky Sports presenter married second wife Derrina in July 2021
Derrina apparently puts effort into marking the date each year, while Ethan prefers a small gesture such as a "balloon with a little message." Simon, meanwhile, said he's more concerned about how his son feels each year.
Referring to Derrina, he said: "I think sometimes you struggle a little bit with guilt, in particular around anniversaries. I'm very comfortable with anniversaries as in I don't overthink them.
"I think the first year when you go through loss, those firsts are massive and every first is a hurdle to get over, but with time it becomes easier.
Simon Thomas lost his wife Gemma to blood cancer in 2017
"I'm not one who, any anniversary wants to do anything particularly significant. They're just, for me, markers in time. But from Ethan's point of view it's, 'Would you like to do something?'"
Former Blue Peter presenter Simon and church minister's daughter Derrina met in November 2018, and he explained on BBC Radio 5 Live what traits attracted him to her.
He said: "Right from the early stages, she had this empathy towards me. She’s Christian as well and that’s important to me as a man of faith.
"She’s been an incredible support for me. She was the only person who would always pick up the phone."
Speaking candidly about moving on following his wife's death, he told the Loose Women stars: "You have to try and find some kind of life again.
"I think you've got two choices, you either give up on life and remain in a cage and if some people want to do that, that's totally fine. It's not for people to judge. I just want to be happy again and I know Gemma would want me to be happy."
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