Jessica Cunningham appeared on Tuesday's Loose Women, where she described the heartbreaking moment she had to explain to her three young daughters that their dad had died. The 30-year-old's ex-partner Alistair Eccles, 35, committed suicide at his home in Burnley in August this year, leaving behind his girls, who were aged just six, four, and three at the time.
Jessica Cunningham had to tell her daughters of their dad's death in August
Jessica, who appeared on the ITV daytime show alongside Jeff Brazier, told the panel: "The day it happened, he was supposed to pick the girls up in the morning to have them for the week as it was the summer holiday. It's funny as when you hear words like that your whole world just stops and I thought 'Jesus, I've got the three girls who are still asleep, how am I going to tell them?'"
Jessica appeared on Loose Women with Jeff Brazier
The reality TV star added: "My eldest, she was a real daddy's girl, and it's just not something you think you are going to have to deal with. "They saw him every other weekend, and Poppy adored her dad. She was the last one to wake up in the morning and as soon as I heard the footsteps, my heart just sunk, how on earth do you tell your children that it happened?"
The reality TV star paid a touching tribute to her ex-partner back in September
Jessica explained that she had initially told them that their dad wouldn’t be able to pick them up because he had "an accident to his head''. She then took them on a walk where she broke the devastating news to them. "Initially I was in shock, and told them. Then we took them on a walk and we just asked them what they thought about life and death, and they told me that they think that when you die you sit on a cloud and you wave to people. And then I told them that Daddy had died."
The star added: "Again, being conscious of telling the truth, I said he had a poorly mind and if you don’t go to the doctors because of it, like you have a poorly leg, you could die. "Honestly, I've never heard them cry the way they cried, and that is what is really heartbreaking," Jessica told the panel.
Jeff, meanwhile, went on to explain that he had six months and "time to prepare" to tell his own children about the death of their mum, Jade Goody, who died in 2009. Jeff told the panel that Jade had planned how she wanted her sons Freddie and Bobby to be told about her death. He said: "She wanted to tell them that Jesus had chose her for a certain task and that’s where she was going to."